Giordano made about fighting Oiler

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:39 PM ET

Dropping the mitts is nothing new to Mark Giordano.

He’s thrown punches in 10 NHL scraps, according to Hockeyfights.com, and handled his own in pretty much all of them.

Still, the Calgary Flames defenceman didn’t appreciate having to fight Colin Fraser after throwing a clean check on Taylor Hall in Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers.

“I don’t agree with the fighting every time you hit a guy. You hit a guy clean, within the rules, I don’t understand it,” Giordano said. “At the same time, if a guy jumps over the boards and tries to show you up a bit, you’re not going to back down. That’s what he did. It seemed like he came off the bench and challenged me.

“I guess I see his point, a young guy who’s going to be one of their top players, but at least the ref saw him as the instigator.

“You want to stick up for your teammate, and every team does, so it’s good when they call it. It’s a double whammy, you get the hit and the powerplay.”

Giordano earned the decision in that scrap, too, for what that’s worth.

Fighting a player for a dirty hit is nothing new.

Nor after a crushing hit, especially on a star player.

Over the past few seasons, though, more and more often players are forced to face retribution for an obvious clean check.

Giordano’s hit in Hall, the Oilers’ No.-1 pick in this year’s draft, wasn’t remotely dirty. It was flashy because Hall landed on his rear end.

“I really didn’t get him that hard, to be honest,” Giordano said. “I got him with my hip. When I first saw it, I figured I had him lined up better and he got out of the way, but that’s why he fell and had the big flip.

“Also at that point, we were up and he thought it was a good opportunity (for Fraser) to get his team going.”

Fraser was given a minor for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct, but the Flames can be thankful Giordano didn’t do any damage to his hands by throwing punches.

After all, the blueliner is counted on not only for being steady in his own zone, but also more than able to chip in offensively, coming off an 11-goal, 30-season campaign last year.

Going into Thursday night’s clash with the Colorado Avalanche, the 27-year-old blueliner from Toronto had just two assists this season.

Not that he’s worried.

“I’m getting a lot of chances,” Giordano said. “Offence is one of those things which comes in bunches and can come and go. You want to contribute offensively, but the main thing is to stay solid defensively.

“Then, all the other stuff will come.”

In the mean time, he’s been aiding the cause other ways.

Giordano went into the night’s action second in the NHL with 26 blocked shots. Last season, he prevented the goalies from needing to stop 126 pucks.

Under head coach Brent Sutter, the Flames have been more pro-active at blocking shots.

“It’s something I like doing,” Giordano said. “With the rules, it’s tough to tie up and push guys out because they call it a lot. You’ll see a lot of defencemen fronting shots from the point, blocking them, especially if they’re wristers.

“It’s like any other stat. It can go up and can go down. I’m in the position to block shots more than last year, a lot of it being on the penalty kill.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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