Hockey

CBC Sports - Tuesday Oct. 15, 2013 13:39 ET

Making the cut: Olympic power rankings of 30 Canadian NHL skaters

Flyers’ Claude Giroux on the hot seat

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Flyers captain Claude Giroux has only registered one assist this season despite playing five more minutes of power-play time than any other forward in the NHL. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In Week 2 of our Olympic hockey power rankings, Radio-Canada’s Guillaume Lefrançois offers his thoughts on the performances of his top 30 Canadian skaters. Each week, our hockey experts from Radio-Canada and CBC Sports also debate one player in greater detail.

Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers is on the hot seat in this edition of our rankings.

Guillaume Lefrançois (Radio-Canada): The 2013-2014 season is only two weeks old, but Giroux has hardly looked like one of Team Canada’s locks. Despite playing 22 minutes per game, despite having played five more minutes of power-play time than any other forward in the NHL, the 25-year-old centre only has one assist to show for it.

Even though he keeps saying it’s a non-issue, one has to wonder if the finger injury he suffered during the summer is slowing him down. Let’s not forget that Giroux had to skip Canada’s summer camp as he was rehabbing, a decision that allegedly “disappointed” the team’s management. Could a golf injury derail Giroux on his way to Sochi?

Tim Wharnsby (CBC Sports): Giroux still is lock in my mind. His slow start simply is a symptom of a struggling Flyers team. He’s still a dynamic right winger who was a point-per-game player on a bad team last season. He checked in with 93 points in 77 games in 2011-12.

He can score. He can defend. He will look a lot better alongside players like John Tavares and Logan Couture on Canada’s third line. He has proven in the past that he’s one of the most productive players when games count. He had three goals and eight points in eight games for Canada at the world championship last spring; he checked in with 24 goals and 63 points in 58 post-season games in the past five years.

Lefrançois: There's no denying his talent, especially when it comes to playoff time. But he's the first to admit that "confidence is not there," as he told NHL.com last week. So basically, if the Flyers keep on struggling, he might not go to Sochi in the best mindset. Steve Yzerman and company have to hope that Team Canada's much more positive atmosphere will help him get his mojo back.

1. Sidney Crosby

Key Stat: 7 points in 3 games
Guillaume says: Sid the Kid is on his game.
Previous ranking: 1
2. Steven Stamkos

Key stat: Scored hat trick against the Panthers: On the power play, short-handed, and even strength
Guillaume says: Can't accuse him of being one-dimensional.
Previous ranking: 4
3. Duncan Keith

Key stat: 3 assists in his last 2 games
Guillaume says: All of his points are at even strength this season.
Previous ranking: 2
4. Patrice Bergeron

Key stat: Only 2 goals against while he's been on the ice this season, including 1 into an empty net
Guillaume says: A start to the season worthy of a Selke Trophy winner.
Previous ranking: 3
5. Jonathan Toews

Key stat: 3 points in 3 games last week
Guillaume says: His line with Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell has been effective.
Previous ranking: Unchanged
6. John Tavares

Key stat: Finished the week +3 even though his team lost 2 of 3
Guillaume says: His opponents must take advantage of the time when he's not on the ice.
Previous ranking: 7
7. Corey Perry

Key stat: 2 goals, 2 assists, +4, and 9 shots in 2 games
Guillaume says: He's a big reason the Ducks have had a strong start to the season.
Previous ranking: 6
8. P.K. Subban

Key stat: 6 points: 3 at even strength in 3 games
Guillaume says: When the Canadiens were sluggish against Calgary, he was one of the few who was energetic.
Previous ranking: 9
9. Shea Weber

Key stat: Recorded his 1st point of the season on Saturday
Guillaume says: Although he's a -5 in 5 games, he remains a Norris candidate.
Previous ranking: 10
10. Eric Staal

Key stat 3 points in 4 games
Guillaume says: He's still waiting for his linemate Alexander Semin to get into form.
Previous ranking 12
11. Drew Doughty

Key stat: No points, but +4 in his last 3 games
Guillaume says: Came back strong after a tough night against the Rangers last week.
Previous ranking: 8
12. Brent Seabrook

Key stat: 2 assists in past 2 games
Guillaume says: Calming force for the Blackhawks.
Previous ranking: 11
13. Taylor Hall

Key stat: 1 goal, 3 assists in 3 games
Guillaume says: He's back at his natural position as a winger and it shows.
Previous ranking: Unchanged
14. Ryan Getzlaf

Key stat: 2 goals, 1 assist and +5 in 2 games
Guillaume says: Part of a dominant line with Perry.
Previous ranking: Unchanged
15. Claude Giroux

Key stat: Finally, his 1st point after a slow start in the first 5 games
Guillaume says: A coaching change won't be enough for the Flyers. Giroux needs to lift the team.
Previous ranking: Unchanged
16. Logan Couture

Key stat: His streak of consecutive games with at least 1 point ended at 4
Guillaume says: The Sharks' strong start only makes him more visible.
Previous ranking: 20
17. Martin St. Louis

Key stat: 5 points in 3 games
Guillaume says: Continues to play well with Stamkos.
Previous ranking: 23
18. Marc-Édouard Vlasic

Key stat: 2 goals in 3 games
Guillaume says: His offensive success probably won't last, but his +8 doesn’t lie.
Previous ranking: N/A
19. Alex Pietrangelo

Key stat: 2 more assists for the young 23-year-old defenceman
Guillaume says: Even though he's offensively gifted, Hitchcock also gives him a lot of PK minutes.
Previous ranking: N/A
20. Patrick Sharp

Key stat: Still without an even-strength point.
Guillaume says: Quiet start to the season for the perennial 30-goal scorer.
Previous ranking:N/A
21. Matt Duchene

Key stat: A week with 4 points in 3 games
Guillaume says: The young Avalanche players are red hot and he's among them.
Previous ranking: 17
22. Rick Nash

Key stat: 2 assists last week before getting hurt
Guillaume says: Out with a concussion, his second head injury of 2013.
Previous ranking: 18
23. Joe Thornton

Key stat: 4 assists and a +6 for "Jumbo Joe" in 3 games
Guillaume says: One of the catalyst behind the Sharks' success.
Previous ranking: 19
24. Mike Richards

Key stat: 4 assists in 4 games
Guillaume says: A boost for the Kings' offence.
Previous ranking: 26
25. Jordan Eberle

Key stat: 1 goal, 1 assist in a hostile Toronto environment on Saturday night
Guillaume says: Dallas Eakins doesn't seem to want to ration his ice time: played 26 mins against the Canadiens on Thursday
Previous ranking: 27
26. Andrew Ladd

Key stat: 1 goals in 3 games
Guillaume says: His statistics alone aren't noteworthy.
Previous ranking : 22
27. Mike Green

Key stat: No points in 2 games
Guillaume says : The Capitals had a rough week.
Previous ranking: 25
28. Jeff Carter

Key stat: 2 goals, 1 assist against the Senators last week
Guillaume says : If it weren't for the lockout and an injury, we'd be talking about a player with 5 consecutive 30-goal seasons.
Previous ranking: N/A
29. Jay Bouwmeester

Key stat: Team Canada veteran averaging 23 mins per game.
Guillaume says: Could his connection with Alex Pietrangelo open the door for him?
Previous ranking: N/A
30. Kris Letang

Key stat: Hasn't played yet this season due to an injured knee
Guillaume says: He's started practising and his return could come soon.
Previous ranking 21

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