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Calgary Flames

Mark Giordano, first star of November

The NHL announced their stars of November today and at the top as their number one player is our god-king Mark Giordano.



Let's start with a great highlight reel from last season in which he truly emerged as one of the league's best.

Credit: Anthony Cook (he makes really good videos)

Per the release posted here

Giordano led all defensemen and tied for sixth in the NHL with 16 points in 13 games to power the Flames (15-8-2, 32 points) to a 9-4-0 November record and third place in the Pacific Division. He also paced the League with a +12 rating, led all blueliners and ranked third in the NHL with 12 assists, and posted one game-winning goal (Nov. 13 vs. ARI). Giordano opened the month with points in seven straight contests, extending his overall point streak to nine games (5-9—14) and matching the longest such stretch of his NHL career (Jan. 14 – Feb. 1, 2014: 4-6—10). He also recorded his 20th point in his 18th outing of the season, becoming the fastest Flames defenseman to reach the milestone since Al MacInnis in 1993-94 (6-14—20 in 18 GP). Overall, Giordano found the scoresheet in 11 of 13 November games. The 31-year-old Toronto, Ont., native leads all defensemen with 19 assists and 25 points in 25 outings this season. He also is tied for second among blueliners with a +14 rating.

Those numbers are one thing but his underlying numbers are what is driving his success so far this season:

Let's really examine those other underlying numbers too. In all situations this season so far, Giordano is at 50.68% CF and 7.73 Corsi Rel%. Relative Corsi is of course the way of measuring the player's ability at generating shot attempts (shots, missed, and blocked) relative to the rest of the team.

The real important play is at even strength or 5v5 where Gio is sitting second on the team at 48.63% behind best-friend and co-member of the best pairing in the NHL, TJ Brodie. The same goes for his Corsi Rel% at 7.09 to Brodie's 7.32 which is perfectly acceptable as Brodie has played 490:38 ES to Gio's 457:47 as of now. With regards to Fenwick, measuring shots and shots missed Gio tops out on the team (keeping in mind proper sample size) at 50.61% and his FF Rel% is tops at 50.61%.

Keeping all this in mind, he does begin play with a majority of his zone starts in the neutral zone or defensive zone with a 40.09% OZS% at ES and 43.81% OZS% in all situations. So what that shows is that he is out there in EVERY situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5 on 3 PK like late in the Senators game a few weeks back or on the PP quarterbacking it; he does it all.

It doesn't stop there, his ability to improve the players around him (shown below) is the single most important aspect to his play.

  • Examining the “CF%/FF%” With and “Without Giordano” columns are the biggest areas to examine along with TOI, and OZS% to follow.
  • Remember to consider sample sizes of TOI together as well – so guys like Max Reinhart, Raphael Diaz, and other defensemen may have questionably small numbers. I wasn’t super sure how to highlight or draw attention to TOI here but I think it helps.
  • The second column of “CF% without/FF% Without” are the columns specific to Mark Giordano’s numbers without that respectful player playing with him on the ice.
Underlying numbers and league numbers supported aside, his play is remarkable and we’re incredibly grateful to have him play for Calgary. It’s a damn shame that last year’s injury prevented him from more serious Norris trophy conversation and maybe even a roster spot for Team Canada. He is truly a rare breed of player who was never drafted and yet outperforms players drafted years and years ahead of him.

We love you, Gio. Never stop doing what you're doing.

Watch the damn video too, I wanted it included to ensure all those folks who love the "eye-test" were satisfied.

All data pulled from and

by Mike Pfeil