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Team Canada keeping eye on ‘bubble guy’ Giordano

Jan 9, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

Mark Giordano #5 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Capitals defeated the Flames 5-4 in the shootout.
(October 2, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Calgary captain Mark Giordano has emerged as a strong replacement candidate should one of Canada’s eight Olympic defensemen get hurt.

“It’s not just, ‘Hey, here’s your 25 guys’ and our work is done. Now, management is going to pour into arenas and watch those bubble guys like [Giordano],” Team Canada assistant Ken Hitchcock said, per the Calgary Sun. “There are probably eight or 10 bubble guys identified in case there’s an injury, and he’s one of those guys who is really emerging.

“It’s too bad he was hurt, but he’s climbing the ladder.”

Giordano, who missed 18 games this year with a broken ankle, has been very solid while in the Calgary lineup. He enjoyed an outstanding start by scoring nine points in his first eight games while averaging a whopping 25:03 TOI and, since returning from injury on Dec. 4, has scored nine more points in 17 games.

Named captain prior to this season, Giordano is known for his quality two-way play and ability to log huge minutes. He’s played over 28 on two different occasions this season and, in his third game back off the broken ankle, played 26:20 in a 2-1 OT win over Edmonton.

Giordano also possesses a left-handed shot, which is important for the makeup of Team Canada’s defense. The braintrust wants the blueline to have four righties and four lefties (currently, the four lefties are Jay Bouwmeester, Duncan Keith, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Hamhuis), so it’s very possible Giordano could be the first man up should injury hit.

“Everybody knows you lose eight players a week in the National Hockey League to injury,” Hitchcock explained. “It could be some of our Team Canada guys.”

  1. joey4id - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I was expecting to see Seabrook get a spot and team up with Kieth. If TC brass stick to their plan for having 4 left and 4 right d men, then I assume Giordano would be one of the candidates to replace a left handed d man, and Seabrook would be considered to replace a right handed d man. idk

  2. joey4id - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    BTW. I would think that the bubble replacement that’s going to generate a big buzz will be who they select as a forward should one of the selected 14 have to bow out. I’m still not convinced Stamkos is going to be ready. I mean, you’d think he’d need to get some game time with TB before going to Sochi.

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Neal > Rick Trash

    • joey4id - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      For an all star selection I would agree. Nash is a good fit for the team. He may end up with a secondary role, and with his speed an experience (we saw it again last night vs the Hawks) he’s a better fit than Neal. Just my opinion. Nash is a better skater than Neal, big body, and Canada really didn’t put him on the team to be a game breaker. If Giroux is not a good fit, then there certainly is no room for Neal. I mean, I like the guy, and he’s going a phenomenal job in Pitt. Couture, Giroux or St. Louis would be selected before Neal if saw any of the top 8 or 9 forwards drop out because of injuries.

      Kunits – Crosby – Samkos
      Sharp – Toews – Duchene/Benn
      Nash – Getzlaf – Perry
      Marleau – Bergeron – Carter

      Tavares

    • slaugin - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I just dont see Ciarelli/Julien wanting Neal on the team after watching him Knee their guy in the head. Especially while leaving Lucic off the squad. Maybe its not the right way to go about it but that has to leave an impression on a couple guys that have a lot of pull for TC

      • dueman - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        That’s a silly comment.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Penrulze…Ready to how how retarded that comment is?
      Rick Nash……Career 0.81 ppg
      James Neal career….0.76 ppg
      Nash played 99.9% of his career on the Jackets with what for linemates?
      Neal has played half his career playing with the likes of Malkin and Crosby
      Take that away and his number with the Stars were 0.60 ppg
      just with the Pens 0.95…….Now is James Neal better or is he better with better teammates?….Have to wonder what Nash’s numbers would be if he had Sid and Malkin to play with…..But as a Pens fan you cant see who the better player is….You just see the “Homer” answer

  4. toiletclown - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    girouxs not even a bubble guy hahahahaa

    • esracerx46 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Giroux isn’t a defenceman.

      • toiletclown - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:21 AM

        hes not a forward either

    • blackandorangeforlife - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Last i check he isn’t riding anyone’s coat tails either!

  5. blackandyellow71 - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    While I would love Neal on Sids other wing, I’m happy with just having Kunitz.

    As for the top replacement at wing I would guess it might be St Louis. He should’ve made it outright.

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