Mark Giordano (Defense) - Midseason Grade: B
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Our Individual Grades:
One can say whatever they wish about the trio of Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik - The tandem of Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton are what allowed the Flames to be as good as they were this year. Giordano was sixth out of the top 200 defensemen in relative expected goal count. That right there shows that he’s a top pair defenseman.
Beyond the possession statistics, he averaged nearly half a point a game as a defenseman while playing five-on-five, short handed, and on the power play. He’s an elite talent and the Flames are quite lucky to have him. Some out there think he isn’t captain material - they’re dumb humans and you shouldn’t listen to them.
The Captain delivered again for the Flames this season. While his offense was down this year (39 points), his defense was well above average. Gio had 184 blocked shots on the season, the second most of his career and carried the Flames locker room for the entire season.
People keep awaiting the drop off of Mark Giordano’s play as he was 33 this season, but it still has not happened. Giordano had another terrific season, benefiting the team in all situations, going injury free for a second straight year and forming one of the best defense pairings in the entire league with Dougie Hamilton. He is such a great story and it has been beautiful experience to see him blossom from an undrafted free agent signing into one of the best defensemen in the league while in his 30s.
Some wanted to jump on Giordano this season for his drop in offensive production, but that came with the territory of playing in a more conservative system under Glen Gulutzan. While Giordano’s offensive production dropped, his defensive play improved a vast amount, especially once he was partnered with Dougie Hamilton. At 5 on 5 in 2015-16, Gio was on for 62 Goals For and 69 Goals Against. In 2016-17 he was on for 59 Goals for and 38 Goals Against. That defensive improvement was a big reason why the Flames made a 17 point jump and returned to the playoffs. He continues to show no signs of slowing down as he heads towards his mid-30’s, if the Flames can get a few more years of this Mark Giordano, things should be set perfectly.
Our Final Grade: A+
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