The Calgary Flames TJ Brodie is coming off a career-worst year and the easy way to fix it is to pair him with Mark Giordano again.
It was not long ago when TJ Brodie was beloved in Calgary. Brodie was an offensive machine and it looked as though he was going to develop into one of the leagues top defensemen. He, along with line-mate Mark Giordano, were one of the best defensive pairings in the league and the Calgary Flames offence and powerplay thrived because of it.
In recent years, however, things have not been as good for the Flames defenseman. Especially this past year. TJ Brodie seems to have completely lost his touch and the only reason anyone can think of was no longer playing with Mark Giordano. Brodie has been a -16 each of the past two seasons and is coming off a 32 point year in which he had several bad turnovers that hurt the Calgary Flames.
There has been talk that new coach Bill Peters plans on reuniting Brodie and the Flames captain this season in hopes of regaining the magic they had when they played together. Let’s take a look at the difference between the past two seasons and the season and a half where they played together courtesy of hockey-reference.com.
Giordano – 143 games, 32 goals, 72 assists, +8
Brodie – 151 games, 17 goals, 69 assists, +19
Giordano – 163 games, 25 goals, 52 assists, +22
Brodie – 155 games, 10 goals, 58 assists, -32
The most alarming difference here is obviously the change in +/- for TJ Brodie. Giordano actually has a better +/- when he is not paired with Brodie, showing both the struggles Brodie can have in the defensive zone as well as the brilliance of Gio.
On the flip side, Brodie does help Giordano in the offensive zone. Ultimately, each defenseman brings out something in the other one when they are paired together. That is exactly what you want when you are putting together a team and figuring out the best possible lines.
With Dougie Hamilton gone (tear) and the addition of Noah Hanifin, Mark Giordano needs a new line-mate. The best option would be to bring back the Brodie/Giordano line that was so effective during the Flames last playoff season and pair Hanifin with Travis Hamonic. With Hanifin and Hamonic (has a nice ring to it, no?) you are looking at a potentially similar situation. Travis Hamonic will bring out the best in the defensive end while Hanifin could elevate the offensive output that Hamonic produces. Win-win. I truly think this could be a very solid top 4 for the Calgary Flames in all three zones.