Philadelphia Flyers: Top 5 most clutch players of the 2019-20 season

Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

3. Claude Giroux

The Captain has a long, documented history of coming up big when his team needs him the most. From blue-collar momentum plays like his tremendous work along the wall in the seventh game of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs Boston, to his overtime winner against the arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2019 Stadium Series, Giroux has put in a decade of clutch plays.

Despite his production slowing down a bit this season due to age and having to adjust to yet another coach’s system, Giroux still manages to muster the strength to lift his team up and carry them through moments of uncertainty.

Of Giroux’s 21 goals this season, 12 have been scored in the third period. Though he hasn’t recorded any in overtime, his six game-winning goals is the most on the team, and the second highest total of his career when he had seven in 2013-14. Of these six, three were scored in games against division rivals.

This includes a dominant four-point game vs the Hurricanes and an electric two-goal performance in the February 28th drubbing of the New York Rangers.

Giroux also singlehandedly dragged the Flyers to a victory against the Buffalo Sabres to extend their win streak to a season-high nine games just before the pause, despite his team’s lackluster performance.

It isn’t solely offense that earns the Flyers captain a spot on this list. Giroux has had yet another fantastic two-way season. According to Hockey Reference, Giroux starts 45.4 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone. Despite that, he has posted a 56.2 Corsi for percentage, the highest of his NHL career.

Giroux also has switched from center to wing depending on the game scenario and his team’s needs, often taking offensive and defensive zone draws late in the game. His absurd 59 percent win rate in the faceoff dot places him fourth in the league.

This was most apparent early in the season when Sean Couturier was suffering from a wrist injury against the Devils. Giroux took over on draws for his ailing teammate, facilitating his shootout winner later in the game.

A Swiss army knife with a knack for scoring game winners and igniting comebacks, Giroux has been at his best this season when the stakes are high or his team needs a pick-me-up.