It was hard not to talk about Flyers stud scorer Claude Giroux after the first round of the playoffs. He put up 14 points against the Penguins and was hailed as being the “best player in the world.” Life against the Devils hasn’t been as kind though.
Through the first three games of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Giroux has just one goal and has been more than frustrated with how the team’s power play is going. As Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com hears it from coach Peter Laviolette, the Devils aren’t giving Philly much to work with offensively.
“The real estate is hard to come by. The scoring chances are not as significant. The speed up and down the ice is not as significant. It’s more zone time and battling as opposed to rushes up and down the ice. I think it’s just a completely different look and feel than the first series.”
The Devils have been tough defensively and not in the old fashioned New Jersey way either. It’s not quite the trap and obstruction stuff you’d see back in the 90s, instead it’s a ferocious forecheck that frustrates whoever is carrying the puck. The Flyers haven’t had much time to think, never mind make a clean pass. For Giroux, not having that time or space to get creative is proving more than difficult and creates a problem they’ll need to find a solution for fast.