Earlier this week, Claude Giroux did a lot of talking. He talked about how the Philadelphia Flyers could still make the playoffs, and about how lucky they were to still be in contention after how bad they’ve been. Perhaps his version of the “Guarantee” was supposed to spark his team to victory.
That’s what captains do, after all. They say the right things at the right times and spur their teams on no matter what.
Philadelphia didn’t respond though, and continued to lose hockey games. Giroux still hasn’t scored a goal, and it took a long-time (and now ex) captain returning to the lineup to finally get some goals generated in Philly. Vincent Lecavalier returned with devastating effectiveness.
He scored a hat trick against the New York Islanders on Saturday, and the Flyers scored more than two goals for the first time all year.
That’s how captains should operate. Quietly, while showing his team how to do it out on the ice with his play. Giroux had two assists against the Islanders, sure. Yet the edge seems lost following his chatter. He wasn’t out of line in stating that the Flyers could make the playoffs.
It just would have been more effective for him to go out and play like a forward that believed it. He’s still carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and appears to be a shadow of the man that once was thought of as one of the top players in the world.
Lecavalier spent a majority of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a core part of the franchise’s leadership group. He’s won a Stanley Cup. He knows how theses things work. Against the Islanders, he let his play do the talking. Giroux should take note and stash the experience moving forward.
That’s how you captain a team back from the dead. That’s how you lead.