Consider this Claude Giroux's way of saying he misses his teammates.
Less buzz in the team's text message and fewer hopeless FaceTime attempts would be nice.
“We have a busy group chat — everybody kind of gets involved," Giroux said Thursday on a conference call through the NHL communications department. "We did a group FaceTime the other day, it didn’t go very well. Everybody just started screaming, so couldn’t hear anybody.”
Hey, they tried.
As you can tell, Giroux misses Flyers hockey. So, too, does the entire Delaware Valley.
But the Flyers' captain knows what's currently of the utmost importance as the NHL stands in wait-and-see mode during the coronavirus outbreak. With the 2019-20 season on pause, Giroux wants Flyers fans to be safe and smart.
“I hope everybody is doing their part, we want to get back and play in front of you guys," Giroux said. "We miss playing in front of you guys. The first step has to be everybody do their part.”
Giroux is home in Ottawa with his family. He's finding ways to stay in shape and keep the competitive juices flowing.
Prior to the league's stoppage, the Flyers were climbing into the top six of the NHL standings. Since Jan. 8, the Flyers had gone 19-6-1, a stretch in which they were tied with the Bruins for the NHL's most points at 39. With 13 games left on their regular-season schedule, the Flyers sit one point behind the first-place Capitals in the Metropolitan Division race. And according to Hockey-Reference.com, the Flyers sport a 99.7 percent chance to make the playoffs, 30.5 percent chance to win the Metro and are projected to finish with 104 to 105 points.
Because of the pandemic, it's uncertain when and how the NHL will resume play. The league's goal, though, is to finish the season and award the Stanley Cup.
“We were playing some good hockey," Giroux said. "We’re in good position to go into the playoffs.
“As much as it’s frustrating, I think you’ve got to stay optimistic here.
“I think early on a lot of people weren’t taking this very serious. The last few weeks, people are really making sure that everybody stays home and everybody does the right things. If it keeps going like that, I think we’ll go in the right direction. But there’s a lot of unknown and you’ve just got to do your part.”
Giroux took part in Thursday's conference call with three other Metropolitan Division players — the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, the Hurricanes' Jordan Staal and the Rangers' Marc Staal.
When asked what they don't miss most about competing against each other, Giroux found a way to jab his division rivals.
“Jordan and Sid, they cheat so much in faceoffs," Giroux joked. "I don’t miss that.”
“Best buddy, I was going to say the same thing about you,” Crosby said with a laugh.
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