Gio’s value to Flames ‘no secret’
The Calgary Flames are on a roll.
They’ve won their last four games, they’re 8-1-1 in the last 10, and have one of the most potent top lines in the National Hockey League.
But they’re about to face some adversity without their captain Mark Giordano, who was suspended for two games on Friday for kneeing
Mikko Koivu, and topline centre Mikael Backlund, who suffered a concussion in Thursday’s 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.
They’re also without fourth-liner Ryan Lomberg, who was also suspended for his late-game actions when he jumped Wild defender Matt Dumba, who had laid out Backlund.
Those players, of course, were added to the fact the Flames are still without defencemen Michael Stone (blood clot) and
Juuso Valimaki (lower body) and forward Michael Frolik (lower body).
Losing their captain — their heart and soul leader — is big. Giordano has three goals and 26 assists (which
was fifth in NHL scoring heading into Friday) and is second on the Flames with a plus-16 rating.
“Everyone obviously knows how good of a player Gio is,” said Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic. “It’s no secret. He’s one of the best, if not the best defenceman in the league … He’s a heckuva person, a helluva player. He plays the game hard and fair every night. He’s been doing it for 13 years.”
“Your captain is a huge part of your team,” he said. “G’s the backbone of this team and on any given night, he’s our best player.”