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MONTREAL | AT a time, not so long ago, the defenders of less than 6 ft had not the odds in the NHL. Today, the speed and the revival of the game have even more importance than the strength. And there is a greater openness of mind with the small rear.
Among the 31 NHL teams, there are 23 defenders under 6 ft who have played at least 20 games this season. It’s practically a defender per team. For the visit of the Avalanche at the Bell Centre, there will be three defenders that met these criteria.
On the side of the Canadian, there will be a Victor Mete (5 ‘ 9 ” and 183 lbs). In the camp of the Avalanche, one will find Samuel Girard (5 ‘ 10 “and 162 lbs) and Tyson Barrie (5’ 10 ” and 190 lbs).
At only 20 years, Girard has already found an important place within the brigade of defenders of the Avalanche. Since the beginning of the season, Jared Bednar uses it for close to 20 minutes per meeting.
The old Cataracts de Shawinigan has long since learned to play according to his strengths to survive in a universe where the rivals are up to 99% of the time bigger than him.
“It just takes believing in yourself, said Girard on the eve of the match against the CH. This is not a challenge to play against the bigger players, it is natural. I’m on ice and I have to use my qualities. “
“I know that my speed will help me, he continued. If I see a guy 6-foot-3 and 240 pound-feet come up behind me, I’ll know what to do to use my speed and get around it. Not me getting hit because there’s a chance that I comes out of there with a broken shoulder ! ”
The intelligence prior to any
Since the beginning of the year, the defender originally from Roberval, in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean does not broke any bones. He still has both of her shoulders firmly in place, having participated in the 44 games of his own. With his colorful language, he explained part of his recipe.
“We need you to be smart, he recalled. If I see a fat person in the corner, I’m not going to go pick it up, it’s up to me to sent. I try to push in the tape, remove the washer, stick against stick. ”
A happy family
For the single visit of the Avalanche this season at the Bell Centre, Girard has played in front of an army of supporters.
“The fan club of the Cataracts comes, he said. They are going to be 60. Of Lac St-Jean, they will be 250. It is always a nice experience to play in front of family and friends, at the Center Beautiful. I grew up watching the canadiens, now I’m on the ice and I play against them. “
Among the many faithful of the number 49 of the Avalanche, there will be his parents (Tony and Guylaine), his two brothers (Jeremy and Christopher) and sister (Jessica).
Younger, Samuel had received the most beautiful gifts from her big brother, Jeremy.
“My brother was also a good player, but he has left his place for not because it costs too much my parents,” he recalled. He knew that I was a little more talented than him. He also wanted to play in the NHL, he worked hard. He sacrificed himself for me. “
“In the repechage, he has me tight in his arms, telling me that he was living this dream with me. He made his tour in Colorado, he tells me after each match, I’m freaking out. I live your dream in my head also. I saw it at the same time as you. We support as a family. My other brother and my sister have always been there for me. They encourage me. ”
As Jeremy said in a report relating to RDS, it is the name of Girard, found in the back of Samuel. It is an honor for the whole family.