Giordano production, consistency keys for surging Flames

It may seem as if Mark Giordano never gets tired, but the 35-year-old Calgary Flames defenseman has a different take.

"If you came and sat on the bench beside me after a shift, you'd see me breathing pretty heavy after most shifts," he said.

Perhaps, then, it's better to say Giordano, in his 13th season in the NHL, is showing no signs of slowing down. The Flames captain continues to play major minutes, averaging a team-high 24:30 over 30 games, 18th-most in the League. It is the ninth consecutive season Giordano has averaged more than 23 minutes per game.

"He's a real proud man, a guy who does it right each and every day," Calgary coach Bill Peters said. "He's a hard worker, he looks after himself and he has a great hockey mind. He understands the game defensively, offensively and it allows him to play very aggressively and have the puck a lot."

Ask teammates and opponents why Giordano has been so steady, and they credit the same thing.

"The biggest thing is his work ethic," said Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. "He's a professional off the ice with the way he approaches the game, so that gives him the best chance possible. I just think his mentality off the ice has allowed him to have that consistency."

Giordano is a big part of the success for the Flames (20-10-2, 42 points), who are first in the Pacific Division and winners in six of their last seven games. They play at the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNW, NHL.TV), the start of a three-game road trip.

Known for his defensive play, Giordano has helped spark offense for Calgary with 32 points (4-28-32), which is tied for third among League defensemen. Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators and Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs lead the NHL with 33 points. Giordano leads all defensemen in assists with 28.

#hockey, #professional

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