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Girardi Is Fearless

John Kreiser at NHL.com takes a look at the seven most fearless players in the NHL and at the top of the list is the Rangers' own Dan Girardi…

"Girardi said he plans to wear a visor this season after seeing fellow Rangers defenseman Marc Staal take a deflected shot in the eye late last season. Given Girardi's willingness to use his body to stop pucks and opponents, it's amazing he's lasted this long without one.

Girardi led the NHL in blocked shots this past season and has been in the top six in each of the past four seasons, a span in which he's missed a total of four games. Add that to an average of just under 191 hits per season (including a pro-rated 179 for 2012-13) for those four seasons and you get a player who collects a lot of bruises."

Inexplicably, Ryan Callahan did not make the list.

…it absolutely defies logic that Girardi has missed just four games in the last four year with amount of times he's thrown his body in front of shots. I remember we got a huge scare last season when he blocked a Subban rocket with his foot. Absolute warrior. Meanwhile, a guy like Callahan (how the hell is he not on this list?) can't stay healthy while committing himself to the same fearless brand of hockey. Guess it's just luck.

…i said this earlier in the summer, but I do wonder how guys like Callahan and Girardi will respond to AV. Their bodies will surely be ecstatic with the lack of punishment, but how about their games? Callahan and Girardi's careers flourished in Tortorella's tough forechecking, shot blocking system, so it may take some time to get used to a less intense game plan. Which is why Callahan missing out on training camp and the first month of the season will put him that much further behind the eight ball.

…having said that, the move away from focusing on shot blocking will likely extend the careers of both players.

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Kevin

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