As part of our post-season wrap ups and moratoriums, the writers here at M&G are offering their insights into the Calgary Flames season, and voting on intra-site awards for various players.
Today's award is the Paul Reinhart Heart Award, given to the defenseman we deem "best".
As usual, the votes, arguments, and winner are all after the jump.Craig:
I think Giordano will get the most nods here but for me it was Anton Babchuk. He didn't get the minutes that Giordano did, especially on the Powerplay, but for the time he did play, he was very good. His season PROD value (37:00) was over 8 minutes better than Giordano's. While he's not the physical defenseman we all seem to covet here in Cowtown, he played a strong positional game, and really besides his 33 giveaways that were the result of bad outlet passing, there weren't a lot negatives with his game over the year.
Mark Giordano and it is not just the consistent effort he put in all season either. He was the highest scoring D man on the Flames - 43 points (in a three-way tie for D-men at 20th overall in the NHL) but Gio is not just a two-way D man, he is the full all-around Defenseman. 140 hits (34th in the NHL) 193 blocked shots (3rd in the NHL) and trailed only Jbo on the Flames for time on the ice at 1,897 min for the year (19th in the NHL) - the Flames paid him just over a million this year as he closed out the final year of his old contract. The best move of the Flames during the season was getting him locked up early into a long term contract.
I went into this award thinking that it would go to Mark Giordano with ease. I was wrong. Jay Bouwmeester played against top competition (CRQoC 1.271) every night and his zone starts were middle of the pack for Flames d-men. He logged almost 19 minutes a night at even strength, and another 3.2 minutes per game on the PK. Both were
tops on the Flames. Even with all that defensive responsibility his even-strength point production was equal to Gio’s. J-Bo may still take a lot of heat for his huge contract, but he was the Flames best d-man this year.
Mark Giordano--This is an easy one. Gio didn't put up spectacular offensive numbers this season, but still finished sixth on the team in scoring with eight goals and 35 assists, doing most of his damage on the powerplay, where he had five goals and 25 points. He lead the Flames' blueline in shots and blocked shots and his 140 hits was good for third best on the team. He finished with the best Corsi rate of all regular Flames defenders aside from Adam Pardy at +8.22/60 while operating alongside Cory Sarich for much of the season. His level of dedication and desire to win are evident every time he races back into his own end to break up a play when every other player is still caught up ice. Mark Giordano didn't miss a beat in 2010-11, and with his handsome new contract kicking in next season, let's hope it stays that way.
Cory Sarich really led the team from the backend, with strong physical play, good puck movement, graceful skating, and an ability to avoid poor penalties. Absolutely none of that is true. But it is all true for Mark Giordano! Not only was Gio terrific from the eyeball test, he was one of the top players in FenwickF20 and Fenwick% throughout the league. I'd pull up the stats, but stats.hockeyanalysis.com is down as I write this. Anyways, Gio rules.
And the winner is...