Flyers captain Claude Giroux is in a recent groove, having scored points in six consecutive games heading into Sunday's home matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Giroux seemed out of sorts for a long stretch before this streak, and after Sunday's optional morning skate, he talked about how difficult it was rebounding from offseason surgery.
On May 17 Giroux had surgery to repair his right hip and an abdominal tear. In late August before training camp, he said he was 100 percent.
It turns out that wasn't really the case. Giroux has never used injuries as an excuse, but when he was asked Sunday how difficult it was to get past the injury mentally and physically, he opened up somewhat.
"When you try to make plays you used to make and can't really make them, it is frustrating and confusing," Giroux said. "When you start getting the confidence back, you know you can make those plays you just go out there and make it happen."
The hip injury was more difficult to overcome.
"I think when you don't think about that kind of stuff, you go out and play the game, but when it is in the back of your mind and you are really not thinking about the game and mostly thinking about your hip or whatever, I think it is important to kind of focus on the right things," he said.
"Even if you don't feel good out there, you have to find the right way to be strong mentally."
Giroux entered Sunday with 14 goals and 37 assists, with a minus-17 rating. Not since his first full season with the Flyers in 2009-10 have his offensive numbers been this low (not counting the lockout-shortened, 48-game season in 2012-13).
Giroux has had two other good offensive stretches this season. Beginning wit the second game, he scored points in 10 consecutive games.
When the Flyers went on their 10-game winning streak that was snapped Dec. 17, Giroux had points in eight of those games. He had five goals and seven assists with a plus-10 rating during the winning streak.
In the next 32 games, he had three goals, 12 assists, and a minus-19 rating.
Then came the beginning of the current points streak heading into Sunday, and Giroux has looked like a different player.
"I really noticed the pace and the speed of his game has been very good over the last 10 days, two weeks, it seems like he has been able to elevate a little bit there," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "I would agree and think he has been very effective through that time period."
Giroux couldn't pinpoint when he started feeling more confident about his hip.
"I don't think it is one day, I think it is gradually you just have a little more confidence, start feeling a little better," he said. "When you are in the gym and are kind of feel good, your confidence is like 'all right I am starting to feel better' and it is exciting."