When Claude Giroux was named to Team Canada for the World Championship, there was concern surrounding his health. Giroux has seemed to quiet those doubts as he has been thriving for Canada. He’s a part of a team that has yet to lose in the tournament.
Claude Giroux Thriving At Worlds
Giroux spent most of the regular season recovering from a hip and abdominal surgery that took place last summer. He mentioned it was the most difficult recovery he has dealt with. This included the surgery on both of his wrists back in 2012.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble with my wrist after surgeries,” he said. “[Hip surgery] definitely was different. Wasn’t the mental game like it is right now.”
After admitting it took him long to recover, Giroux would finish with seven goals and seven assists in the team’s last 11 games. He has continued with a strong start for Canada. In four games so far, Giroux has seven points in the form of two goals and 5 assists.
A Familiar Face, A Strange Foe
While picking up two assists in the opening game against the Czech Republic, Giroux took a hit from a familiar face. Flyers’ teammate Radko Gudas caught Giroux up high with a punch to the chin.
There was no harm, both Giroux and Gudas laughing about it after the game. During a postgame interview, Giroux walked past Gudas and gave him a shove in the back in return.
“That’s expected; that’s the way he plays,” a smiling Giroux told reporters after the game. “During the season, I’m glad he’s on my team.”
“That’s Radko, that’s what you love about him,’’ Flyers and Canada GM Ron Hextall said. “So you can’t pick and choose. We love Radko because that’s the way he plays. He plays that way all the time no matter who. ”
Claude Giroux came into this tournament with plenty of experience playing for his country. He was a part of the gold medal winning team at the 2015 IIHF World Championship. In 10 games, he had three goals and seven assists. He also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship. He recorded two goals and four assists in seven games.
Giroux was a part of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, 2013 IIHF World Championship and Canada/Russia Super Series in 2007 as well. He was also selected to the National Team camp in September of 2013, but did not attend due to injury.
If there was any concern that Claude Giroux was still playing through any type of injury, he has erased them.
Ten Flyers Selected To Play At Worlds
There is plenty of Flyer power when looking at each country. Including Giroux, there are five Flyers on Canada’s roster. Wayne Simmonds, Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn are also on the roster for Canada.
Jake Voracek and Gudas are playing for the Czech Republic while Ivan Provorov is a part of the Russian team. Valtteri Filppula, Finland, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, France, round out the Flyers selected to play for their countries.
Bellemare was named player of the game in France’s 5-1 upset win over Finland on Sunday. The forward would finish with a goal and assist in the game.
Despite the honor and a free watch, he rejected the honor and instead gave it to goaltender Florian Hardy. Hardy would make 42 saves in the win.
“I didn’t actually hear my name,” Bellemare said of being announced as the player of the game. “I was clapping for [Hardy], looking at him, then he heard my name. This was not right.”
Bellemare would also go on to say that anybody would’ve done it that way and Hardy deserved the honor.
Flyers Rookies Continue To Shine
Konecny and Provorov are both coming off of their first NHL seasons. The international stage hasn’t phased the two rookies a bit, however.
In Provorov’s first appearance with the senior national team, he continued the workhouse mentality that he had with the Flyers. He has been averaging a little over 18 minutes, which ranks him third on the team as a 20-year-old. He also has two goals and two assists.