The suddenly red-hot Calgary Flames are in the midst of their finest stretch of play during the 2013-14 season, including recent victories over elite squads such as the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. The team’s offense has come alive in a major way, and no player has been more consistent in leading the charge than defenseman Mark Giordano.
Giordano has been a steadying influence during this first season of a major rebuild for the organization, and has truly embraced the captain’s role in his first year sporting the ”C”. He is one of the more underrated standout defensemen in the game and is currently in the midst of a career-best eight-game point scoring streak.
During that stretch, Giordano has racked up four goals and four assists. He’s produced nine goals and 17 assists in 36 games this season, and leads the team in power play markers with six. Those numbers would be even better if not for Giordano missing 18 games due to a broken ankle that was sustained in a game in late October.
A true reflection of his value to the organization is the fact that the team went a miserable 5-11-2 in his absence. The Flames missed his ability to log plenty of ice time, his offensive production, physical play and shot-blocking skills. He brings an immense competitive fire to the table on a nightly basis.
Giordano plays in the neighbourhood of 25 minutes a game and has proven to be a positive influence on defensive partner T.J. Brodie. The talented young blueliner is seeing his game blossom with Giordano as a mentor as Brodie has produced 18 points in 54 games and has improved his all-around game.
While it’s been a trying season for the rebuilding Flames, there has been one constant that head coach Bob Hartley can rely on. He knows he can bank on getting an honest effort on a nightly basis from his team’s leader. Giordano was a perfect selection as captain for this younger group heading into the season, and he’s backed that up in spades with his stellar play.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports