Dave Lozo – NHL.com Thursday January 12, 2012
If you were surprised that Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was named to this year’s All-Star team, it turns out Girardi was probably just as shocked.
“To be honest with you, I never really would have thought I’d ever be an All-Star, to tell you the God’s honest truth,” Girardi said before the Rangers face the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. “I had some plans tentatively, but I didn’t book anything. I honestly didn’t think I was going to get picked. I knew there was some consideration, but I didn’t want to book anything and lose my money. I’m glad I didn’t and it worked out good.”
Girardi will be joined by teammates Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik along with coach John Tortorella for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Lundqvist is among the League leaders in most goaltending stats while Gaborik’s 23 goals have him in MVP talks.
Tortorella has been the leader of the League’s best team, but Girardi isn’t exactly your prototypical All-Star defenseman.
The undrafted free agent leads the NHL in ice time at 27:18 per game. Offensively, however, he’s not exactly the Paul Coffey of this generation. The 27-year-old from Welland, Ontario, has 15 points, which rank him 58th among defensemen. While Girardi lacks the credentials offensively, he’s among the game’s best defensive defensemen this season along with fellow All-Star Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.