Skating: Though Girard’s speed is an asset, it’s his agility and elusiveness that really jump off the screen. He routinely finds exit routes under pressure in order to kick-start his team’s transition game. In the offensive zone, he can create separation with twitchy movement and possesses the poise to travel along the blue line with the puck on his stick.
Passing: In addition to his superb skating, Girard facilitates Colorado’s breakout with highly accurate passes. Unlike many offensive blueliners who take it upon themselves to generate chances (often to a fault), he’s more than happy to make the simple play and put his teammates in good positions.
Confidence: The two previous traits become that much more impactful when combined with Girard’s confidence. He believes in his ability to evade the opposition at will, holding on to the puck and attempting spins and cuts that most defenders just aren’t expecting.
Size: While this is indeed the new NHL, Girard’s 5’10”, 170-pound build remains an issue. He’s easily outmuscled in the corners and his limited reach occasionally burns him in coverage. He simply doesn’t have the frame to be a lockdown defenseman.
Defense: Beyond his diminutive size, his defensive instincts leave something to be desired. He doesn’t always pick up his assignment quickly enough and frequently loses inside leverage during net-front battles. This is especially apparent in the postseason, when the intensity ramps up and games are decided in the trenches.