Thread: News Article: Who is the Rangers #1D?
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08-09-2013, 10:18 PM
eco's bones
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Do you think he plays a lot because hes a legitimate top tier NHL defenseman?

Or because:

1. He plays the right side on a team bereft of RD
2. Hes been able to ride shotgun with Staal and McDonagh for years
3. Hes played for a coach that generally gives big minute to his top 4 defensemen (see #1).

Im not saying Girardi isn't valuable to this team. He is. But hes not a top pairing defenseman via NHL standards without the help of Staal and McDonagh (who are). Its been a rollercoaster ride whenever Girardi is paired with anyone else.
The problem I have with this argument is it neglects the fact that Girardi for the past several seasons has been an absolute workhorse even if mostly paired with Staal and McDonagh--and he's constantly on the ice at even strength or in shorthanded situations against the best players in the league. He doesn't get injured. He doesn't take lots of penalties. We know that Henrik is a great goalie but he wouldn't be quite the same without the d corps in front of him. Girardi as the best right D is a major component of that d corps. He is not without flaws and even occasionally has a bad game. I would rank him after both McDonagh and Staal but IMO after Girardi is where the drop off is not before and I like Stralman as well but he's not near the level of the other three.

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