The Flames received devastating news yesterday when it was learned captain and Norris candidate Mark Giordano would be lost for the season with a torn biceps tendon.
The timing, though, was interesting.
Giordano was injured in last Wednesday’s 3-1 win over New Jersey, and both he and the organization were tight-lipped about the status and severity of said ailment. He was initially ruled out for one game — Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Islanders — before getting shut down for the season yesterday.
Why? Well, it sounded like Giordano was trying to see if he could play through the injury and hold off surgery ’til the summer.
“The doctors weren’t too optimistic, but they said there’s a tiny chance [that I could keep playing],” Giordano explained, per the Calgary Sun. “I was sort of pushing to try it out and see how it felt, but when you get out there you realize right away that there’s little chance you can compete at the level you need to.
“So I came back home and saw another doctor, talked it over and I think surgery’s probably my only option at this point.”
The Flames knew the severity of Giordano’s injury and tried to make a move at Monday’s deadline, but didn’t have a ton of time to act and were leery of veering from their long-term vision for a quick fix.
Which is partly why Giordano pushed to keep playing. The other reasons, obviously, were his leadership role and immense value to the team; a first-time All-Star this year, Giordano plays a ton of minutes for the Flames (over 25 a night) and leads all NHL defensemen in scoring. What’s more, Calgary is right in the thick of the Western Conference postseason chase — it heads into tonight’s action sitting third in the Pacific Division — and Giordano knows his absence will now lead to questions about whether the Flames, who have overachieved this season, will fall out of the playoff picture without him.
He also knows doesn’t like those types of questions.
“I knew that was coming, and I hate that it’s about that,” he explained. “Hopefully that will die down quick. I mean, just look at our team, the way we’ve played all year. It’s different guys stepping up on different nights.
“We believe in this team.”