A National Hockey League captain has just put a ton of pressure on his shoulders.
The Philadelphia Flyers currently find themselves in a very big hole against the two time defending Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins after four games in their first round series in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that seemingly has not deterred Flyers' captain Claude Giroux and apparently it has not shaken his confidence either.
On Thursday Giroux spoke to the media about the game that the Flyers will play on Saturday, Game 5 of the series and a potential elimination game for Philadelphia should they fail to win. Giroux though , a player who is not usually particularly vocal, has no intention of losing in Game 5 and he made that crystal clear when addressing the media. In fact Giroux made comments where he stated flatly that the Flyers would be back at the Wells Fargo Center for Game 6 of the series.
"We're not ready for our season to be over," said Giroux as per NHL.com's Dan Rosen "We go to Pittsburgh, tough building to play in. We know we can win there. We know if we play our game we can win. So we're going to go out there, play our game and be back for Game 6."
Giroux is guaranteeing a win here by saying that the Flyers will be back for Game 6 of the series and, while that may sound a little crazy considering how badly they have been dominated in their three losses, Giroux has some pretty good reasoning behind his words. Giroux believes that the fight the team showed earlier in the season after losing 10 straight games will be exactly what they need to get back into this series.
"It's believing in ourselves. All year we've done that," Giroux said. "I know we've talked about it before, but you lose 10 in a row and you find a way to make the playoffs, not a lot of teams can do that. Just the fight in this team. Tomorrow is going to be a big game for us."
There are of course a few obstacles here for Giroux and the Flyers and obviously the biggest one is going to be the two time defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Penguins have thrashed the Flyers in their three wins, outscoring them by a ridiculous margin of 17 - 1 and there's really nothing to indicate that the Flyers will be ale to pull it together for Game 5. If anything there are a great many signs that Giroux and the Flyers won't be able to live up to his guarantee.
The Flyers have already used three goalies in this series and not a single one of them has looked good. Between Petr Mrazek, Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth not a single one of them has been able to record a save percentage above .860, and the reality is you just don't win playoff games with those type of numbers. Unless Giroux plans on playing goal in Game 5 the Flyers are going to have to play out of their minds if they expect to overcome the awful goaltending they've gotten in this series thus far.
There's also the fact that arguably Phialdelphia's best two way player, Sean Couturier, could miss Game 5 due to the injury he suffered during practice earlier this week. No officials word has come out about Couturier's status but if he's not ready to go it's hard to imagine how the Flyers can pull this one off. If Giroux can play the hero and rally the Flyers though it could prove to be one hell of a hockey moment.