The Calgary Flames are getting some tough injury news regarding their captain. Gritty defenseman Mark Giordano will be sidelined anywhere from six to eight weeks due to a broken ankle. The rock-solid blueliner, who is in his first year as the team’s captain, sustained the injury on their recent road trip in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. He took a shot off his right ankle during that contest. Giordano had missed the team’s last three games until the diagnosis was made official.
In Giordano’s absence, the team will definitely be leaning on veteran Dennis Wideman to continue to do some heavy lifting; he’s been playing in the neighborhood of 29 minutes a game since Giordano went down. Wideman was an impressive +5 in the 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals this past Saturday night. Kris Russell and T.J. Brodie were also in the neighborhood of 27 minutes in that contest. Head coach Bob Hartley says it will lead to increased ice time for everyone on the defense core, which will also means added responsibilities for Shane O’Brien, Chris Butler and Derek Smith.
While others will be asked to do more, it’s awfully difficult to replace what Giordano brings to the organization. He brings a high compete level every night, blocks shots, hits, and has an offensive upside. Before the injury, Giordano had been producing at better than a point per game, with two goals and seven assists in eight contests. He leads by example night in and night out and will be missed.
The Flames have home dates against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings before heading out on the road again. This season was expected to be a difficult one in Calgary, but the Flames have been able to keep their heads above the .500 mark so far. However, that task has gotten more difficult after losing their No. 1 defenseman for the next couple of months.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports