Recently, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi said that he feels “reenergized” skating with one of the top teams in the NHL. At 33 and after watching the New York Rangers buy out his contract, Girardi has a renewed sense of excitement competing with the Lightning.
Matt Calvert of the Columbus Blue Jackets found that out the hard way. Watch as Girardi lines him up for one of the biggest hits of the 2017-18 season.
The way Calvert’s helmet goes flying is just so incredibly satisfying. Calvert was clearly watching the puck, completely unaware Girardi was closing in.
At first, it looked like the contact from Girardi hit Calvert in the head (the helmet popping off helps sell that idea), but upon taking a closer look, it’s clear Girardi goes in calmly with his arm down and makes contact with Calvert’s shoulder. Calvert’s head does snap back, but that’s not because Girardi targeted the head or made any kind of illegal contact.
With his renewed sense of energy, Girardi is proving he’s worth the manageable two-year, $6 million contract Tampa Bay awarded him this summer. If he keeps dishing out hits like this one, the contract will be viewed as a bargain.
Of course, the Blue Jackets weren’t happy by the hit and tried to step in to fight Girardi. Sadly, you can’t have a big hit in the modern NHL without the opposing team trying to fight.