Rate our Defensemen
How would rate our 'defensemen'? My rating
Lundin - A- Only one who seems to be playing as good as he can.
Ohlund - B- Defense still there but offence has gone
Hedman - B- Getting better but still a year or two away from a a true #1
Kubina - C+ Still making dumb plays and getting even slower
Clark - C
Jones - C-
Smaby - D Just tooo slow
Ohlund: B He was good in the past, now is old but bring leadership and hits like a train
Lundin: C He's fast and work hard, but he doesn't use his body
Clark: C Blocking shot machine and looks good in PP
Kubina: C He always was a slower skater but bring experience in a soft D
Hedman: D Doesn't worth a 2nd pick right now, can't hit, out of position and his shots are bad
Jones: D For some reason he played just one full season in seven years in the NHL
Smaby: D Can hit but too slow and with injuries most of the time
I asume this is so far this season?
A positive suprise, does more than blocks shots and has been decent in the offensive play
Solid with good hits but his offensive play is totally gone
Plays at his capacity, does it well but can't see further progress from Lundin
Aaargh! Seems to feel more safe in his own zone but can do SOOO much more in terms of offense!
A bit disappointing, not bad but nor good
Um..he is Randy Jones? A brainfart now and then and it will just get worse..
Was better a few seasons ago, now he is more looking like a career AHLer.
Pros: Has done a nice job breaking into the zone, even on the PP. He blocks a lot of shots and is usually in position.
Cons: Most of his shots badly miss the net, and he can't get back if he loses a half step on an opposing forward.
Pros: Still can deliver the big hit.
Cons: Shot from the blue line couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, declining foot speed. Isn't as good at breakout passing as I'd hoped.
Pros: Will throw a hit here and there and stand up for teammates.
Cons: Shot accuracy, anyone? Slow, makes questionable decisions with the puck. Poor positioning and slow reaction time as well.
Pros: Is usually in position,
Cons: Doesn't hit, looks shaky with the puck at times, breakout passing?? Has clearly regressed in the past season. He'll let anyone camp out near our net.
Pros:Footspeed and strength have increased.
Cons:Seems lost far too often, doesn't throw a big hit when necessary and isn't doing enough offensively.
Pros: Hits once in a while
Cons: Foot speed, decision making, no offensive ability. Awful defensive positioning near the net on a routine basis, he's facing the wrong way, for Pete's sake!
Pros: Can make a nice pass once in a while
Cons: Everything else.
There are a few trends with our defense as I see it. 1)Poor shot accuracy 2)Poor breakout passing 3)Lack of speed 4)Lack of good positioning. Oh, how I yearn for a capable rearguard!
Lundin - C - He has been worse than last season.
Ohlund - C+ - Some hits and good defense.
Hedman - B-, Best defense-man so far IMO could be better offensively.
Kubina - C+ not good enough offense, so so defense.
Clark - B-, I can't stand him in the point of the PP, very good defense tho.
Jones - A+++ - GET HIM IN THE ALL-STAR (seriously, C-, I've liked him)
Smaby - E, slow as hell.
Anyone who says lundin is lower than a B+ or an A really hasn't watched the lightning. Just because he doesn't hit does not make him a bad defenseman. he has easily been the best defensive defenseman on the lightning this year.
Smaby-Honestly i don't think he has gotten enough time in the lineup to prove himself, its hard to play well getting only 5 minutes every week.
I really don't think the defense has been that bad, i think its mostly been the goaltending that makes the defense look bad.
Maybe Boucher's system where he wants everyone on the puck should be clarified to the D-men that it doesn't always include them too!
We have an awful D.
Clark- B minus.
I'm almost inclined to say C plus, but he is well rounded and has been pretty solid this season.
Lundin- C plus
He's got good feet and good composure, but he hasn't done as well so far this year as I would have thought. He does have room for improvement though, and if he would get better in the physical aspect of the game he'd be a b.
I'm being generous here. He shows spurts of brilliance once in a blue moon and carries the puck well, but his physical game is nonexistent and faster players have blown right by him plenty of times. He really needs to work on those things, or he won't amount to as much as anyone hoped.
Ohlund- C minus
He is playing better than last year, but he has certainly lost a step. I like how he isn't fancy and he knows his job.
Kubina- C minus
Pavel is hugely overpaid and overrated as well. He isn't physical enough for a big guy, and he is slow. However, he does bring a hard shot, and some of his "desperation" plays have surprised me.
Jones- D minus
This guy is beyond useless. His defensive game is awful, and he doesn't bring enough to the table offensively to justify the minutes he gets. I've seen him in Philly and LA, and nobody shed a tear when he left them. I like his effort, but there is no area in the game that he is above average in.
Smaby- Not enough time
I really like the way he plays. He, like Ohlund, realizes he isn't the fastest guy out there, so he always takes the body. That's a quality the team needs a lot more of, but Smaby doesn't get enough ice time for me to give a fair grade.
Overall, I'd say we have one of the worst D corps in the NHL, if not the worst. I see some high grades in above posts, but if you watched any other team D's on a consistent basis I think you'd reconsider. I even felt I was being lenient with most of them.
Lundin - B
I think hes played about the same as last season
Ohlund - B
Solid and has a nice mean streak, his offense would probably show up more if he had more time on the PP but he can't hit the net.
Hedman - B
Hes improving. If you gave him less than a B your expecting him to be the player he will be in a year or two. He leads the team in ice time as a 19 year old.
Kubina - B+
I'm grading him based on his role and his play above replacement. Him and Hedman both are squared off against the other teams top lines, they are going to get beat every now and then.
Clark - B
He is playing above expectations, and leading the defense in scoring. Not much to dislike
Jones - B
Not sure what people are expecting from this guy, unless you just want to pick on the guy because he is our 6th defenseman. His two biggest knocks coming in were taking stupid penalties and getting beat. Well, he has 1 penalty so far this season, has rarely gotten beat, and has been the best boardman so far this season which is the biggest role Boucher asks of his defensemen.
Smaby - C
He is a victim of circumstance, he would be a much better defenseman in another system that doesn't rely on speed and thinking.
Nobody has really stood out to me so far this season, which is a good and bad thing. All of the defensemen are within one or two +/- of each other, which tells me they are being used properly and given the correct amount of ice time. Also to note, all of our defensemen are negative despite us having a positive record. If you doubt that would be different if a goalie not named Smith was playing in net you would be wrong.
Everyone is bad we dont fight enough and play like we're in the SEL
Final Final Thought:
This team has had 20 games to adjust to an entirely different system. Our overachievers to this point have been players with some experience or prior knowledge of what Boucher brings, that isn't a coincidence.
Too bad Tampa didn't take Matt Duchene instead of V Hedman.
Can you imagine the future of this team, the offensive pop, if Tampa had passed on VH and taken Mr Duchene?
Maybe I am not hearing enough about Hedman up in Canada but the impression I was getting, from what I read, Mr Hedman was not worth a #2 pick. I agree Tampa needs defense. Just think it could have been something special with Duchene on the Lightning.
Maybe don't read Scott Cullen's **** as much?
Hedman is the 2nd youngest defenseman in the NHL right now. (The youngest is Cam Fowler) Might be a little early before saying he's not worth the 2nd overall pick.
Clark - A, above expectations. Eats over 20 a night with 51 blocked shots and 15 giveaways in 24 games. For all the **** we heard about how he was so terrible from Colorado fans, hes been nothing short of fantastic. Its like this system was built for him, or just gives him the right amount of confidence. Leads our scoring from the blueline with 5G. Third in shots for defensemen. Second in hits. Second in takeaways. He is the Joaquin Benoit of the Bolts. If you looked in the dictionary for "value", you would find a picture of Brett Clark.
Randy Jones - B, also above expectations. Another great value choice. We knew getting into this contract that we werent looking at a norris candidate, we knew we were dealing with a puckmoving defenseman that had some questionable decision making while paired with another puckmover last year (Jack Johnson) but was still capable of putting up points. Hes been good with controlling the play upon entry into the offensive zone and extending the play once in. Six assists, tied for second with 34 blocked shots, third on the team in giveaways with 12, and manages to find the net real well with his shot. Has been the lowlight of a few plays, but this was to be expected.
Victor Hedman - B, about where I expected him to be. While his giveaway pace is alarming (on pace for 78 for the year) I think it is to be expected with a 19 year old eating big minutes and relying heavily on his reach and very rarely on his body. Tied for second with 34 blocked shots, yet being outhit for the year by Mike Lundin, which is absolutely shocking. Leads the team with 10 takeaways. Leads the team with 34 shots (and leads with 22 missed, tied with Clark). Hes progressing at a steady pace and as he accepts the fact he can physically dominate people without having to have that nasty, Pronger-like streak, he'll continue to evolve into a dominant defenseman. After some of the things the guys at BP mentioned... it just makes more sense that you don't see Victor hit his stride until around 23.
Pavel Kubina - C, certainly hasn't become any faster over the years, but still stands tall as a reliable defenseman for this team. Only 8 giveaways in 24 games (!!!) and has produced 32 shots and a goal from the backend while blocking 26 shots and landing 26 hits. Hes not going to be flashy or wow you, but he'll exist on the backend as a needed cog for this team and will continue to shoot, to block shots, and be responsible enough in his end to continue to eat 18 or more minutes a night.
Mike Lundin - C. I had high hopes at the start of the year that Mikes nonphysical nature would lend him to being more of a puckmover and offensive producer, as well as a reliable defenseman. While he has continued his nonphysical ways, he has only managed 13 shots. I still have hopes for him for the season and I want to see him pick up a little more aggression on offense, a little more swagger with the puck. Still managed an excellent 33 blocked shots. Only 4 giveaways, 5 takeaways. He keeps his game quiet and simple.
Mattias Ohlund - B. I know people are going to question me giving him a B but at his age he is not only leading the team in hits, hes doing it at age 34 and establishing once again a reputation for taking your head off if you want to cross his blueline. He continues to block shots (30 in 16 games), leads the team in hits in 16 games, 4 giveaways and 5 takeaways, but has only taken 7 shots. Either Lundin needs to pick up the pace, or we need Ohlund to step back into his old Vancouver role on offense.
Mike Vernace - D. Finds himself out of position in the neutral zone, only managed 3 blocked shots, a giveaway, and 5 shots in 8 games. Needs more AHL time to refine his game, if possible. Been burned hard a few times.
Mathieu Roy - D. Same as Vernace, but with less playing time and about 5:00 TOI if he does play.
Matt Smaby - D. Plagued with injuries. While establishing 14 hits in 8 games, he hasn't been healthy, he hasn't looked fast, and in a lot of situations, has looked disinterested. Where is the Matt Smaby of two years ago? The kid that led the team in hits with a broken foot and took the body with reckless abandon? Where the hell is the Matt Smaby we've known?
Also of note, he have a massive disparity of hits between home and away games. We've been incredibly physical on the road, outhitting our home games by nearly 100 hits. This team needs to learn to come out with the same mean streak in our house as well. Sure, we've had four more games on the road than at home, but four games should not be a difference in 100 hits.
I would LOVE to have Duchene, but if Hedman develops as he should, he'll have everyone scratching their heads why he wasn't the no. 1 pick in 2009. I mean we're talking the difference between top line centerman, and a franchise defenseman here.
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