Magnus Paajarvi was known for his wheels when he was a hot prospect years ago. But last night, Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux showed the St. Louis left winger what speed is all about. Check out Giroux's fly-by on Paajarvi, leading to a sweet goal on Brian Elliott during a 4-2 Flyers win:
No chance for Elliott on that one. Giroux is one of the marquee players in the game, though he hasn't been rewarded with much team success lately. The Flyers have just one first-round playoff series to their names in the past three campaigns and the post-season will be a dogfight in the Metropolitan Division once again.
Defense has been an issue (hey, Andrew MacDonald's back! Kind of...) and this year, Steve Mason has struggled in net. Fortunately, Option B Michal Neuvirth is on fire lately, with four wins and a shootout loss in his past five appearances.
It would really be a shame if we didn't get to see Giroux in the playoffs again. This is a player with a 93-point campaign under his belt and this year, he's among the top scorers in the league again. But he's also 27 - which seems young, but this is the NHL we're talking about. How many more years will he have those afterburner skates?
For the Flyers, the hopeful answer is "long-term," because defensive help is coming. Shayne Gostisbehere is already making an impact, while Samuel Morin, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg all have varying degrees of potential for the near future.
Right now, the Flyers need more offense, too. Jakub Voracek is ice-cold and only four players have hit double-digits in points through 29 games. It's actually a miracle that a team that has given up 19 more goals than it has scored is only a few points out of a wild card spot right now, but that's NHL parity for ya.
If Giroux and Neuvirth can get a little more support from the crew, perhaps we'll get to see more great moves from Giroux in the playoffs after all.