No one expected the Philadelphia Flyers to miss out on the Eastern Conference finals, and worse the Stanley Cup final. It happened : the New York Islanders got the best of Philly and everyone was left wondering what the heck happened.
On Monday, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault opened up about his team’s elimination and sent a tough message to his captain Claude Giroux at the same time. Vigneault pointed out that both men will sit down for a chat before the start of the 2020-21 season, and it sure sounds like Giroux will get to hear about how his own head coach believes he is capable of much more on the ice.
“There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about his will to be successful and his will to help his teammates. I do agree that he is getting older. He’s got an opportunity right now since we’re in pause, the whole world is in pause, to take these next months and really work at his conditioning and probably find the time to slow time. He’s getting older. As you get older, the muscles don’t react as quick, but you can work on that. He’s going to put in a lot of time and effort. I do believe that there’s some areas that having gone through with Claude this first playoffs, I do believe there’s some areas where I could help him with where he could perform better.”
“I need to see him face to face and sit down. I haven’t had that opportunity. He’s one of those guys that because we are in the same region that I will be able to talk to in the next while face to face. I need to talk to him in person. Obviously the comments that I’m going to have with him and that he’s going to have with me are going to be on a personal level, so we’re not going to share that, but I can tell you, on the record, very directly, that I do believe he can play better. He can perform better, and knowing Claude, he’ll put in the time and effort to do it.”
Giroux only managed to record one goal and eight points in 16 playoff contests, when everyone expect him to come out on top and lead his team to the Stanley Cup final. He looked awful on the team’s power-play unit, but it sounds like Vigneault is confident things can be fixed in the near future.
We wonder how Giroux took the message that his coach first shared with the media during his end of season video conference. We bet he would have preferred to be the one hearing this first before the rest of the National Hockey League…