Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano honours late father in 5-1 win

Mike Armenti
March 29, 2024  (9:37)

Mark Giordano steps up to join the play in the offensive zone

The last few days have been very strange for the Toronto Maple Leafs. First, they put up one of the sloppiest efforts of the season against New Jersey, dropping a 6-3 loss on home ice on Tuesday. Next, Wednesday's practice was canceled at the last minute and replaced by a skills session when several Leafs were absent from practice, which wasn't the expectation. Then, ahead of last night's game, the Leafs scratched Timothy Liljegren just before pre-game warmups and activated Giordano from LTIR and played one of their most complete games of the season in a 5-1 win over Washington without the likes of Liljegren, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner, Joel Edmundson and Calle Jarnkrok - five NHL regulars.

Re-inserting a player into the lineup that late can sometimes be disruptive to team chemistry, especially when the team is already missing several key players. However, for Giordano, it became very apparent very quickly that it was going to be a special night. It all began at 10:09 of the first period when Giordano stepped up and wired one home to give his team the 1-0 lead.
Following his 1st period tally, Giordano took a moment to look up to the sky and point upwards, as if to honour his late father, Paul, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this season.
Following the game, Giordano was asked about the gesture and provided the following response, though he also admitted that he wasn't sure it would happen this season:
"It's something I promised to myself I was going to do when I scored."

The media also asked Giordano about his father and how he's coping after the loss of such an important person in his life.
"Oh man, he was just a jokester. Great guy, funny, easy to be around. We miss him. It was a tough little bit for the family, but we rally around each other like we have always and we'll go from there, move on."

After being named Player of the Game by former belt-holder Joel Edmundson, Giordano gave his teammates and the Leafs organization a huge shout out for how they've supported him through one of the toughest seasons of his career and life.
"You always feel better being around the guys. The support from the organization, I mean, you can't say enough about our organization & our team. When something like that happens, you see how many people really, truly care about you."

The Leafs are back in action on Saturday night when they travel down the road to Buffalo take on the Sabres. With the number of injuries on the blueline, we can likely bank on seeing Gio back on the blueline tomorrow night, where he'll look to carry over his momentum and keep things going as the Leafs look to clinch a playoff spot for the 8th consecutive season.
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Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano honours late father in 5-1 win

If everyone on the blueline is healthy in Toronto, where would you put Mark Giordano in the pecking order?

Among the top 6 defensemen12235 %
He's around 7 or 820959.9 %
He's low in the pecking order, 9 or 10185.2 %
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