"With all the blocked shots and hits, it is easy to overlook the fact that Girardi also established career highs with 27 assists and 31 points this season, largely by making simple, clean passes, with good vision both springing attacks from the Rangers' zone, and when they were set up at the other end. If Girardi can continue to make strides to the "bonus" part of his game, he can be an All-Star. As it is, he probably is not all that far away from being regarded among the game's elite on the strength of his defensive play alone."
...Girardi is by far the most under-rated defenseman in the league. The guy blocks shots, hits and stays out of the penalty box. With him sprinkling in a little offense every once in a while I've got to agree with Spector that it's only a matter of time before Girardi begins to be recognized.
...what I find interesting is that after the whole Gaborik/Carcillo incident I thought Girardi was done with the Rangers, but to his credit he continued to play hard and I feel he learned from it as I've seen him come to the aid of teammates countless times.
For a while it seemed like Girardi was overlooked while people raved about Staal. This year though, there were a number of games where he played really well and people took notice. It was very nice to see. I think they're both great defensemen, and it's good to know they can pair up and take down pretty much any line in the league.
I also agree with AnnoyingJoe though, that it's hard to build your team around shot-blocking long-term. You get a good reputation as a tough, hard-working team... but you also pile on the broken bones and missed time. I guess a side benefit is that you get to work more prospects into the lineup :P.
The whole shot-blocking thing is great and all, but I'm not sure how sustainable it is. Look at what happened to Callahan. You can't continually throw yourself in front of pucks and hope to stay healthy. The team needs to improve as a whole, find a way to compete that doesn't involve throwing themselves on grenades all of the time.
Girardi is a warrior. By the way the whole Gaborik/Carcillo incident was very amusing to watch. That's the reason why we drafted Mcilrath to make sure we have no more running Rangers.
I'd like to see him shoot more. Seems like he has a better point shot than most of our D (not saying much).
No question Giradi is in the Top 10, if not Top 5, undrafted players in the league. Oh and that is probably the best picture of him. I wish I could do that to Hartnell too.
@AnnoyingJoe All of hockey is dangerous and soldiers throw themselves on grenades to protect people, so why cant giradi throw himself on a "grenade" to protect his team. Its the way that the rangers work. They need to improve in many ways but i feel as if this is something that the rangers do really well and its effective. Injury is always a concern in hockey. Are you gonna tell me that people shouldnt fight because they could get hurt? Giradi does what he needs to in order to be a great defensemen. If he gets hurt then he gets hurt. Everyone in hockey gets hurt. Its the players that come back and fight just as hard as before and take risks to help their team that matter.
@cb1 He's very good at getting his shot thru traffic and on goal. Never a booming shot but effective.
But then they lose their best player for the playoffs because he broke his leg...blocking a shot. There's nothing wrong with shot blocking; it's courageous and self-sacrificing. My point is that you can't build a team around that. My point is that they need to Improve the entire team (puck-control, forechecking etc.) so they aren't relying on a strategy that will invariably decimate the team. And yes, I am saying that people shouldn't fight because they may get hurt. See: Derek Boogaard. @ErinM
@AnnoyingJoe @ErinM Thats ridiculous! Derek Boogaard died because he got addicted to oxy and mixed it with alchohol. Tons of people fight and dont get addicted to their pain meds. Derek made a bad decision that unfortunatly led to his death. He needed to get help earlier or not get addicted. If your in pain your doctor will up the dose there is no need to take tons of pills when your body doesnt need them. Look at someone like Sean Avery. He fights and isnt addicted to pain pills or having serious debilitating injuries. Derek Boogaard did it wrong. You just need to fight in the right way. If Derek could do that maybe hed still be with us. Dont blame it on poor fighting techniques.