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Should Girardi Garner Norris Trophy Consideration?

Any one that saw highlights (or the full game) in Boston would have seen Dan Girardi play a brilliant game all-round. It’s not a shock anymore, however, as Girardi makes his way through a brilliant season individually. However, can a defensive defenseman really garner Norris Trophy consideration? Is Girardi a sexy enough brand name, are the points missing from the resume?

If All Star voting was any indication of Girardi’s league wide respect then it doesn’t bode well for the rock on the Rangers blue line but if the numbers get stripped down, the whole picture looked at and the realisation of just how essential Girardi has been to the Rangers is seen, then Girardi deserves real consideration.

Look beyond the 27+ minutes per game that Girardi gets. Look past the 30 point season that he is on course for (which compared to the usual Norris candidates is a paltry sum). Forget about Girardi being a league leader in both hits and blocked shots. However put it all together and you have a player that excels in almost everything he turns his hand to. Girardi is a good decision maker, is constantly up against the league’s best offensive stars (and usually wins) and yet he still manages to be a legitimate option offensively.

What perhaps goes unnoticed about Girardi is the unreal 8 penalty minutes he has been assessed this season. When you play a physical game like he does and play the minutes he does then 8 penalty minutes is an astounding figure. It is testament to Girardi’s positioning, the aforementioned decision making and technique that he is such a fair player. Lady Byng anyone?

When all is said and done the Norris trophy will be decided between the usual candidates like Shea Weber, Zdeno Chara and Nicklas Lidstrom but let’s hope Girardi gets a mention. A player like Girardi is rarely in the spotlight around the league, yet is one of the key reasons the Rangers are one of the best teams in the NHL this season despite injuries mounting and travel being a burden. Here’s hoping the underappreciated get some love.

16 Responses to “Should Girardi Garner Norris Trophy Consideration?”

  1. Zen says:

    He should but he won’t. The Norris is reserved for those who are great offensively too. I doubt it will ever change.

  2. RangerSmurf says:

    He shouldn’t because he’s not of the 5 best defenseman in the league (that’s how deep the voting goes).

    He’s a minutes eater who’s very solid in his own zone, but that doesn’t put him on an elite/Norris level of player. Guys like Chara, Keith, Weber and Boyle don’t trail in minutes by that much (1-2 minutes total).

    Even beyond them, look at McDonagh. He can match Girardi almost minute for minute. He’s tied for 7th in the NHL among defenseman, w/ 17 even strength points. His biggest deficiency is he doesn’t get PP time. If Girardi has a case, McDonagh does too.

    Love what Girardi has done stepping up, but he falls short of Norris level this year, IMO.

  3. Leatherneckinlv says:

    A new award needs to be put in place called the Orr trophy so that Gman could win the Norris and let the offensive D man win the Orr Trophy…Yeah Girardi rates to be in the running

  4. Jeff P says:

    According to my statistical evaluation, on a per game basis the best d-man in the NHL is Letang (and he’s 3rd overall). Chara is 7th, Weber is 8th.
    Girardi is 66th (Lidstrom is 80th).

    While Girardi is great at what he does, and is very important to his team, we might be overstating his value simply because we are fans.

    Besides the dominant trio of Letang, Chara and Weber, I would also take Phaneuf, Keith, Campbell and Karlsson over Girardi in the Norris discussion.

    • RangerSmurf says:

      Can you describe your methodlogy briefly?

    • ArtyFan says:

      You forgot Suter too, and few good others

      • Jeff P says:

        @Smurf It’s select offensive stats (goals, assists, +/-, and power play points) and defensive stats (blocked shots and hits). For each category take a number of standard deviations the player is better (negative if worse) and add together, nothing as fancy as Fenwick or something like that. For me though, it matches the ‘eyeball test’ very well.

        @ArtyFan Didn’t put Suter there because of Weber, by the same token that nobody is arguing about McDonagh for Norris, even he’s been almost as valuable as Girardi (very similar numbers in just 2 minutes per game less).

        • RangerSmurf says:

          Doesn’t have to be fancy, but seems to pass the initial sniff test, so was curious about it. Thanks.

  5. ArtyFan says:

    If you ask this question, would you answer this one — Would you trade Girardi for any big name in front of him? I said yes, I would. As many posters said here, he is great and one of the most valuable to the team, but… from what we have and not from the league. If we like McD and Sauer, it doesn’t mean they’re elite D in NHL, maybe at some days, but not at current competition. None of them even close to Leetch so far.

  6. pavel says:

    I love how people see a flashy, offensive minded defenseman and automatically assume they’re just as good defensively. Most of the guys in the league that are considered “elite” defensemen suck in their own end. Green, Karlsson, Phaneuf, Campbell and Subban all can’t defend their way out of a paper bag. Isn’t the point of being a defenseman to, ya know, defend? So, yes, Girardi should win the Norris trophy.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      Agree with you…many make their descisions based on Stats and that really irks me because just by going by numbers is actually very inconclusive. Stats don’t show game changing body checks or blocked shots at opportune moments, Stats have some value but are not to be relied on as the only measuring stick. Much of what Girardi does can not be seen in a statistical chart such as mentoring Ryan McDonagh.

      • RangerSmurf says:

        I agree, Girardi has some quality intangibles working for him, but:

        a) he’s not the only one w/ intangibles
        b) with what you can measure, he is not as good as his peers.

        I mean even if they could, stats wouldn’t show Lidstrom ever making ‘game-changing body checks,’ and he’s arguably the 2nd or 3rd best d-man in the last 40 years.

        Even if you ignored all the offensive categories, I personally can still think of 5 better defensive d-men, and that’s all it takes to say Girardi doesn’t deserve Norris consideration.

        Love his game, but be realistic. If he were on the Sharks, no one here would dream of giving him a Norris vote (using them because the Sharks do have an excellent defensive d-man out there, and zero people talk about him. Not Boyle.)

  7. Walt says:

    Lets be fair about this, we all love what Dan has done for us this year, but he isn’t flashy, and will get zero consideration for what his game is!

    Look at Green with the Caps, he sucks in the defensive zone, can’t kill penalties, but he has a good shot, scores a lot, and gets all the press. The same can be said of Campbell with the Panthers, he too is a defensive liabilty. You can keep those two guys, but then there is Weber, Chara, both of whom can score, give you minutes, and not be poor in their zone. Those type of guys are few, and far between, and they get the earned press space!!!!!

  8. Billrabatin says:

    Sadly,The Rangers rarely use 2 D on the PP and hardly if ever score rebound goals or deflections on shots eminating from the point…a glareing stat! feed the point more and HAVE someone in front of the net(other than Cally) and the PP goals will come for Girardi