|Forensics - Dan Girardi||Tweet|
|Written by Michael Amato|
|Tuesday, 28 February 2012 20:00|
Dan Girardi isn’t going to be challenging for any scoring titles, but he certainly has plenty of fantasy value. The all-star was never drafted and has now become one of the league’s best shutdown defenders.
Girardi is tied for fourth in the NHL when it comes to blocked shots.
Now Girardi deserves most of the credit for his great shot blocking ability, but there are other factors at play here. We will get to that shortly; but first let’s take a look at his hit totals.
You can see he also ranks in the top 20 in that category. Having a guy on your fantasy team that puts up huge blocked shots and hits numbers is obviously going to be a big advantage. Girardi’s physical presence and the situations he most frequently plays in, gives him a great opportunity for success in these areas.
Girardi plays with Ryan McDonagh on the Rangers shutdown pairing. Playing in that role means you are going to face the oppositions best talent night in and night out. Here is an example of who Girardi and McDonagh were matched up against in two recent games.
So it’s clear that the duo is facing heavy firepower quite often, and when you have to check the opponent’s best line all the time that means more hits. It also means a greater opportunity to block shots as those players will no doubt be directing a lot of rubber at your net.
Girardi also ranks second in the league in average ice-time per game with just under 27 minutes. This is always a good thing when it comes to stats because the more you are out there, the better the chance for you to increase your production.
Not only does he play a lot in general, but Girardi leads the Rangers with an average of 3:20 per game of shorthanded ice-time. When you play on the penalty kill that often you are naturally going to block a lot of shots, due to the fact that teams with the man advantage are going to be shooting much more often than at five on five.
Another interesting thing to note is that two teams from the Atlantic division, the Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd) and Philadelphia Flyers (4th) rank in the top five in the NHL in shots on goal. You play divisional opponents more than anyone else in the league so that doesn’t hurt Girardi’s shot blocking numbers either.
The great thing about shot blocking and hits is that they are typically not streaky categories. Players can be hot and cold when it comes to putting up points depending on who is on their line, who they are playing, or how their team is performing. Girardi is posting great numbers in hits and blocks partially because of the way he plays, but also because of the situations the Rangers use him in on a regular basis.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:58|