The time has come to change the narrative on Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano. For years and years the main focus has been on the undrafted into the OHL and NHL blueliner that bucked all the odds to become a really good NHLer.
All of that clearly applies and has for years. However this season it’s a tale of how the now 35-year-old has never been better.
Going into Monday’s action no blueliner has more points than Giordano with 35. No defenceman has a better plus-minus than his plus-21. Giordano plays against the best the league has to offer to every night. He is arguably the club’s best penalty killer and this season has added quarterback of the No. 1 power-play unit to his portfolio and has performed that task with excellent efficiency.
Twelve of those points have come with the Flames enjoying the man advantage. On the weekend Giordano became the first Flames D-man to score short-handed goals in back-to-back games when he found the back of the net on Saturday in a win over the Minnesota. On Sunday the Toronto product notched a goal and an assist in a 7-2 romp over the Blues in St Louis extending his point streak to five in which he has accounted for 11 points. It was also his 12th multi-point game of the year.
The numbers illustrate that the man they call Gio is off to far and away the best start of his now 13-season NHL career. I have been lucky enough to see the majority of his career with my own two eyes.
What I can honestly say about Giordano dating back to my first few viewings when he was a member of the Owen Sound Attack is I have never left the rink one night feeling like he hadn’t left everything he had out on the ice. His dedication to the Flames and the community has been a treat to watch.
I have always felt Giordano has never taken one day for granted and thus has carried that attitude to work with him everyday.
A drive which today has many in hockey talking not only about the Flames leader as a really good player but among the league’s best.
Giordano’s will to get better every day has people following up his name with one word: Norris. Thirty-four games in he is definitely in the conversation.