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All-Star appearance another highlight in Giordano's stellar season

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

COLUMBUS, OH -- After the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, bragging rights go to Mark Giordano.

For the first time in his career, not only was he drafted, but he was selected ahead of Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin.

"I can say I was drafted ahead of Ovie," he quipped on Friday night. "So that's pretty cool."

Selected in Round 14 of the All-Star Fantasy Draft by Team Toews, Giordano will compete in the 2015 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday and play in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.

"It’s great," he said of the weekend's events. "To be here for the first time, it’s pretty special for me. I’m going to take everything in and enjoy it."

The All-Star Weekend is yet another highlight in Giordano's already-impressive 2014-15 season.

The Flames captain has generated plenty of Norris talk with his play throughout the year, not only acting as a pillar of strength defensively, but also generating the bulk of Calgary's offence.

Giordano leads the team in scoring with 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) through 47 games and is the NHL's leading scorer amongst defencemen.

Making his season even more impressive, the 31-year-old is a plus-19, which is second amongst all Flames skaters, despite the fact that he faces off against opponent's top lines every game.

Modestly, Giordano deflects the praise sent his way, crediting TJ Brodie's play for helping shine a spotlight on them as one of the league's top pairings.

"We’ve just tried to play consistently, be really good defensively because we’re playing against the top lines in the league. We’ve clicked so the offensive numbers have been there for the both of us.

"I think you get a lot more recognition when you put up the offensive numbers but I’ve tried to get better defensively and be consistent."

Looking ahead to the Flames remaining games this season, Giordano is focused on keeping his team playing consistently down the stretch.

The team is happy with their first half of the year but they're far from satisfied. Their sights are firmly set on the playoffs.

"I think we’re in a good spot and we’ve had a good year as a team," he stated. "I think we have to stick to our game plan. I think we’re a hard working team, a blue collar team.

"Down the stretch you’re going to have win games against teams that are around you. You try and avoid the losing streaks. There’s a big cluster of teams and if you lose a few in a row, you can see yourself on the outside real quick."

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