The Calgary Flames have had a major blow dealt. Star defender Mark Giordano will be out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. He exited early in a recent loss to the San Jose Sharks. The 36-year-old is far behind last year’s Norris Trophy campaign but is still a quality skater at his age.
In addition, Mark Giordano (lower body) has been placed on the injured reserve. https://t.co/ph7hVfriW5
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 6, 2020
Mark Giordano Week-To-Week
The Flames dodged a huge bullet when it comes to Giordano’s injury. General manager Brad Treliving told the media he is dealing with a right hamstring injury. The injury occurred late in the second period during the Flames 3-1 loss to the Sharks.
It could have been a lot worse While 2019-20 isn’t as outstanding as 2018-19, Giordano still has five goals and 27 points in 54 games. That total is good enough for 31st among NHL defencemen this season. He is scoring at half the rate he did last season which is a big part of why his point total isn’t as high. It was also reasonable to assume he would regress based on his age. Defenders can often age more gracefully than forwards but any player entering their late 30s nears the point where their production can drop off quickly.
Only time will tell if that is happening for Giordano. He is not scoring as often as fans would like but almost none of the Flames are doing particularly well. Almost every leading scorer from last year has seen their per-game scoring rates drop from 2018-19. The team’s issues cannot be isolated to one superstar blueliner.
What This Means for the Future
This injury puts a big dent in Calgary’s playoff hopes. They could still make the wildcard but will need to overcome one of the worst goal differentials in the Western Conference; their -19 is ahead of only three teams. They will need a big effort from their established stars to hold off several teams including the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flames will also need to find a new quarterback for their top power play. Giordano was averaging almost three minutes per game with the advantage. That time will likely split between young defenders Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson. Andersson seems like the more likely candidate based on his stronger puck possession numbers but Hanifin is the former fifth overall pick from the 2015 Draft. Both are decent options but not up to Giordano’s level at this point in their careers.
With Giordano’s injury, the Flames announced they have recalled Brandon Davidson from the American Hockey League.