WINNIPEG, MB -- The pairing of Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie has been a pillar of strength for the Calgary Flames the past over the last couple of seasons and continue to be the team's anchor on the blueline.
Not only are the two defensively sound, they also have been key contributors offensively this year. The pair are leading the Flames in scoring through the opening six games of the season.
Brodie is riding a five-game point streak and has amassed two goals and six points through six games. Giordano has recorded one goal and six points through six dates.
"I think that both guys play an aggressive style," head coach Bob Hartley mused. "They communicate well, they can both move the puck very well. I think also that they trust each other.
"If one guy’s in trouble, the other guy can bail him out ... They have great chemistry."
Since Hartley joined the Flames organization in 2012, he has watched both players make huge strides individually and from what he has witnessed during his time with the team, he sees them making even more progress as the season rolls along.
"I’m very proud of the progress that many of our players. I was going to say young players. Gio’s not old but Gio’s not young and you look at the progress this guy has done and TJ and Kris [Russell] and many other guys, for me and our coaching staff, it’s rewarded because we’re dealing with good people. It’s fun.
"Good people always want to learn. Those guys, we’re on them every day whether in practices or meetings or videos and they’re always ready to listen. I think that’s why we have a chance to get better."
Brodie, in particular, has come a long way over the past few seasons. The Flames fourth round pick in 2008 has morphed into a top-two defenceman at the age of 24 and continues to develop on a nightly basis.
He set new career-highs in 2013-14 with four goals and 27 points and while it is still early in the year, it appears he will push past those totals this season.
"He’s probably tired of me telling him to shoot the puck," Hartley chuckled. "It’s just to show you what maturity does to a player. TJ is a great young man and he wants to learn, he listens, he has a great attitude and he’s a great skater."