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Calgary Flames player profile: Mark Giordano

March 28, 2020, 11:28 AM ET [11 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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With absolutely nothing happening in the hockey world right now, and for the foreseeable future, I’ve decided to take the plunge and write player profiles for each member of the Calgary Flames.

As was the case when I did them last summer, we’ll be looking at the season they just put together and expectations moving forward.

I’ve written up eight players thus far, with Dillon Dube being the most recent.

Today we’re going with Mark Giordano.

Counting stats: 60 games played, 31 points (five goals, 26 assists), 23:53 average time on ice

5v5 underlyings: .82 points/60, +4.00 CF% Rel, +12.98 GF% Rel, +6.10 xGF% Rel, 100.6 PDO

2019-20 review: I predicted Mark Giordano would run into offensive regression this season. Did he ever. Giordano’s point totals dropped from 40 to 14 at 5v5, and 74 to 31 overall. He did play 18 fewer games, which obviously didn’t help the cause, but he very clearly took significant steps back offensively.

It’s not necessarily because of age or any specific thing Giordano did. His shot and chance generation numbers were pretty similar to what they were a year ago. The differences were he recorded points on ~35% of the goals he was out for as opposed to 50% (regression there was expected) and his on-ice shooting percentage dipped from 10.52% to 7.69% (again, regression there was expected).

While the eye-popping offensive totals were missing, Giordano still put together an awesome campaign. He managed to produce 5v5 points at a higher clip than Oscar Klefbom, Jacob Trouba, John Klingberg, Drew Doughty and Matt Dumba. It’s not like he was a dud offensively.

Giordano also continued to drive play at an elite rate while facing top competition and playing a ton of minutes. The Flames’ shot share was 4% higher with Giordano on the ice, and their goal share was nearly 13% higher with Giordano. His relative numbers (besides Corsi) were actually higher this year than last.

Fun fact(s): Of the 173 defenders to log 650+ minutes at 5v5, only four (Dougie Hamilton, Brent Burns, Roman Josi, and Shea Theodore) generated shot attempts at a higher rate than Giordano. He was still creating shots, and firing at will, from the backend.

2020-21 outlook: Not much is going to change with Giordano and his role next season. Unless there’s a dramatic drop off, which I don’t see in the span of a few months given the way he takes care of himself, he will still be the team’s No. 1 defenseman. He’ll play 23+ minutes, face top lines and play on the power play; although he may see more time on PP2 if the Flames have another PP specialist on the roster (let’s say they re-sign Erik Gustafsson, for example).

At any rate, I’d expect a 40-50 point season from Giordano with positive relative numbers being posted across the board. Maybe not to the same extent as this season – at some point he has to show *some* signs of slowing down – but a strong impact nonetheless.

numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com

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