If Dan Girardi played baseball, we’d get a FanGraphs piece, and a Prospectus Piece, probably something by Jason Stark, and certainly a Joe Sheehan newsletter about how bad he is and how he’s killing his team. Think of all the Jason Heyward stuff you’ve seen and apply. If he played football, there would be talking heads on Sportscenter debating what the problem is with the coaching staff that keeps running him out there.
And yet, no one in the main circle of hockey media ever tells you this guy sucks. That’s because somewhere along the line, a while ago now, he was given the label of “warrior.” Which means he blocks a lot of shots, because he has to, because he’s neither quick enough to get it back or to stop opponents from taking it from him nor is he skilled enough to pass it to someone who can do something better with it. Also he cross-checks guys around the net after whistles. The Hockey Grizzled go tumescent for that shit.
Here are Girardi’s relative-Corsi marks the past four seasons: -3.7, -5.2, -8.3, -5.1. His relative xGF% marks: -1.7, -1.0, -4.5, -3.5. The two not-awful marks are probably a result of the offensive talent that bails him out in Tampa, because you saw what happened with the Rangers.
And yet you’ll never hear a Pierre McGuire or anyone close to the game say so. Girardi actively hurts his team, but no one in hockey criticizes all that heavily, unless they’re the Toronto media in which case everyone’s guilty, because really no one in hockey is all that far from getting hired themselves. These guys making the decisions and those commenting on them have all been drunk in Moosejaw together or something, and hence none of them can be wrong.
You know what you’re seeing with Girardi. They know. But only we say. You always have to look a little harder for the truth in hockey.
Game #8 Preview Suite