The new captain, Claude Giroux, is in a rut.
The smooth-skating center has no goals and just two points over his last five games, and he has seemed out of sync recently.
Not too coincidentally, the Flyers are off to a 2-5 start.
Someone asked coached Peter Laviolette Thursday if the Flyers’ situation was as simple as this: When Giroux gets untracked, so will the team.
“I think everybody’s got to get going in the right direction,” said Laviolette, whose Flyers play the sagging Capitals (1-5-1) at the Verizon Center on Friday night. “Certainly Claude is one of those players that can change a game, but if it’s just Claude who shows up in Washington, we’re going to be in big trouble. Everybody’s got to play a little better.”
Giroux, 25, who had a neck injury while playing in Germany during the lockout, says he is 100 percent healthy.
“Obviously, I am not happy with my game. But like I said, it's only seven games and it's a long season, so I am staying positive and things are going to turn around pretty quick,” he said.
On Friday, Giroux will have Danny Briere as one of his new linemates. The two were dominating when they played together in Germany.
“So I know where he is on the ice and I know what kind of player he is,” said Giroux, who used to live with Briere and his children in Haddonfield. “So we can feed off each other.”
The Flyers and Caps are a combined 3-10-1.
“Obviously they are going to be desperate like us,” Giroux said. “But we can't figure on them (being pushovers). We have got to figure out the way we play on the ice and we just want to get better. Obviously, the two points are huge, but at the end of the day, we have to make sure we get better as a team and not get ready for just one game.”
After playing the Capitals, the Flyers have four straight home games, facing Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina again.
Breakaways. The Flyers are 1-4 on the road…..If fatigue is a factor, the Flyers should have the advantage. While the Flyers were off on Thursday, Washington dropped a 3-2 decision in Toronto, where the Caps were shorthanded for 12:11 of the first 40 minutes....In seven games, Washington's Alex Ovechkin (minus-3) has two goals and one assist, while Giroux (plus-1) has two goals and two assists....Caps defenseman Mike Green is averaging 27:11 per game, placing him sixth in the NHL.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.