Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is still finding ways to help his former team. A text message from the former Flyers captain helped turn things around for a struggling Claude Giroux.
"It wasn't going right, and I got a nice text from Mike Richards," Giroux told NHL.com before Tuesday's win over the Senators. "I think he gave me a boost to relax and play the game."
The 25-year-old could not remember exactly what Richards said, but he did reveal the message came well before he notched his first goal on November 9.
Whatever Richards said, it seemed to work.
Since Giroux netted his first goal of the season, which ended a 21-game drought that went back to last year, the Flyers are 4-0-1. In those five games, the young captain has two goals and three assists.
"It's easy for people to be like, 'Just go and score a goal,'" Giroux said. "To hear it [from Richards], it kind of made me just relax and think about how I'm lucky enough to play this game for a living. "
Going 15 straight games without a goal to start a season would put pressure on anyone, especially a young captain for a franchise that has gone nearly 40 years without winning a Stanley Cup. Giroux knew his poor play was affecting the team.
"I take things really personal when I don't play well, and I'll be the first one to be hard on myself," he said. "I was disappointed in my game, knowing I could play better."
Giroux and the Flyers are playing better now, but they still have a long way to go. They are currently ranked seventh in their division, one point from last place. However, it seems they are starting to turn things around, with their young captain leading the way.
For Giroux, the credit for his adjustments goes to one of his predecessors.
"I talk to him once in a while," Giroux said of Richards. "It was nice for him to reach out and talk to me a little bit."