At 32 years old, Dan Girardi is not the Dan Girardi who signed a 6 year 33 million dollar contract back in 2014. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the style of play G has played throughout his career has been a major factor in a regression for someone who should be at least in the Rangers top 4. I’m not saying Rangers fans shouldn’t be upset- It sucks when you’re paying top-4 money to a guy who may or may not be a reliable 6th defenseman. But as I write this I think of an article I read earlier today by Brett Cyrgalis of the post.
The article is entitled ‘Bloody footprints everywhere’: Business as usual for Rangers. If you haven’t had a chance to read it I suggest you do. Essentially it talks about a shot that Dan Girardi blocked in a 4-1 win over Anaheim the other night and how G walked around the locker room leaking blood from his skate and he didn’t even know. Let that sink in. Close your eyes and imagine. You take a slap shot to the foot, on purpose, go to the locker room, hang with the boys, get fired up for the next period only to see that there is a pool of blood in front of your stall because of the blocked shot a period before.
Again, like I said earlier, I can understand why some Rangers fans are upset with G, “hate” G, can’t stand him, etc. But my message to those people is quite simple: Fuck right off.
This man has spent his entire career skating around as a black and blue bruise. He has taken more punishment and displayed more heart than arguably any Ranger in a long ass time. Remember this blocked shot in the 3rd period TRAILING 3-0 or when he got LIT UP by Evgeni Malkin, only to return for OT.If you think of Dan Girardi you think of words like warrior, nail gun, a defensive shooter tutor. Once a reliable shut down defensemen it KINDA makes sense that hey “I’ve blocked a gajillion shots in my career, broken bones, gotten stitched up more than Frankenstein- maybe I’ll lose a step or two.” During Girardi’s career you’ve never had to guess if the effort would be there or if he was going to bring it- even if his limbs were dangling from him or had just fallen off.
I guess the reason I’m writing this is because I’m sick of how this guy is the scapegoat all the time. He may not be a top 4 defenseman but the guy will block a shot with his face and be ready to go the next shift. He shows up every game and you never have to question that. Is he slow? Yes. Can guys skate around him? Yes. Without question the answer to both of those questions are yes. But here is a thought- How about limiting ice time and putting him on the PK where he can do what he does best; block shots.
Maybe the coach should play him in a role more designated for him?? With 7 defenseman on the roster, why wouldn’t you limit Girardi’s time thus keeping him fresh hopefully for a long post season run? I mean clearly this won’t happen because this has happened time and time again. Remember not too long ago, it was old Dan Boyle who struggled to make backwards C-cuts?? I respect the fact AV trusts his veterans but I don’t get how he can’t look long term. SMH.
At the end of the day, I will always cheer on and salute a Defenseman that has given us more over the last 5 years than most. He has received a lot of negativity from Rangers fans maybe because fans remember the Girardi of old and don’t know what happened to the new G. Maybe it’s because they think there is a lack of effort? Or maybe Rangers fans fall victim to Sam and Joe and decide to suck off Marc Staal instead. How people can bitch and moan about G and not say anything about the red headed Lenny is one of the greatest wonders of the world.
Next year will likely be it for the undrafted career Ranger. The Rangers are almost certain buy out the rest of his contract but I will always have a soft spot for #5. In the end I don’t know, I just wish Rangers fans were as loyal to him as he has been to you.