VOORHEES, N.J. --
After the Flyers beat the Penguins in Game 6 of the first round, Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette
started a response of Claude Giroux
demanding to start the game, "When the best player in the world comes up to you …"
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The moniker was picked up on by fans and hockey experts throughout North America, with few disagreeing.
But as dominant as Giroux was in the first round, he's been mostly quiet through the first three games of the conference semifinal against New Jersey. He has just one goal -- a power-play goal in Game 1 -- and is a minus-3 with seven shots, and he's winning just 47.8 percent of his faceoffs.
Giroux said he ignores all the "best player in the world" talk, but says he knows he has to be better.
"Just need to be patient, wait for my chances and play good defensively," he said.
Those around him say they don't see him pressing, or getting frustrated.
"All players have pressure to be successful, whether you're a penalty killer or a goaltender or a second-line center or whether you're one of the leading scorers in the League and a top player in the game, I think, there's always pressure," Laviolette said. "I don't necessarily see him struggling with that."
"Claude is probably the hardest worker on the team," Danny Briere
said. "When things are not clicking, he works twice as hard to make it happen. … No fingers should be pointed at him. I read some reports somewhere that he's struggling. He's working as hard, but the puck is not going in. We all know with a world-class player like that, things can change in one shift or one game. I don't know if he's pressing too hard. The one thing I like about his game is he's giving it all and that's all you can ask for."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK