Thread: News Article: Top 10 PK D-men
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09-29-2010, 02:40 PM
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Top 10 PK D-men

I like to see one of our guys there

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Top 10:

10. Marc-Eduoard Vlasic – After bursting onto the scene at the ripe age of 19-year-old, Vlasic has started to make a name for himself as one of the game’s potential stars. His coach in Juniors, Patrick Roy, tended to be a pretty excellent penalty killer himself as he led the young Vlasic and Quebec Remparts in winning the Memorial Cup in his final year. In his first few seasons he also fell under the wing of elite defenseman Rob Blake, giving him a hockey degree most players will never experience. He might as well be an honorary Colorado Avalanche for the dynasty years, just ten years younger. Vlasic led the team in shorthanded time-of-ice per game and continued to be an integral part of the team despite only playing 64 games. Had he not missed time he probably would have led the team in blocked shots as he did the year before.

9. Marc Staal - Just like his brother Jordan, this young Staal excels at the defensive end of the game. Perhaps it was having to play defense against both Eric and Jordan growing up, or doing the same thing against the top competition every night for the New York Rangers. Staal uses an excellent amount of balance to attack forwards in the defensive zone. His size, reach and strength helped his team boast one of the better penalty kills for the past couple of years. Breaking into the NHL under defensive specialist Tom Renney seems to have kept his play poised and positionally sound. His 241 penalty minutes killed led the team by a wide margin, proving his worth to the team as both a backbone and foundation for their young defensive core.

8. Duncan Keith - The master of his craft, Keith finally showed the rest of the hockey world he could produce at the highest of levels. Nevertheless, the point of this article would be to talk about his defensive accolades like his over 430 minutes on the penalty kill over the past two seasons. Only his partner, Seabrook, finished higher in blocked shots but Keith far and away led his team in takeaways as he helped create turnovers with his elite speed. At one point they measured the Stanley Cup leading defenseman as having similar endurance to Lance Armstrong, a skill which definitely paid off when needed to kill a long 5 on 3 or double major.

7. Mike Weaver – Need to know why the St. Louis Blues penalty kill was tops in the NHL? Look no further than Mike Weaver. He finished the 2009-10 season with the second most SHTOI/game (3:59) in the league. Even more impressive is his one PPGA per 13.34 SH Minutes played. His superior hockey sense in the defensive aspects of the game allow him to do much more than his 5’9, 186 lbs frame suggests. He will use every inch he has to get in front of a shot. Leading the Blues with 127 blocks in 77 games. The numbers and intangibles don’t lie. Mike Weaver is just that good.

6. Kimmo Timonen – Another Philadelphia rear guard that excels on the penalty kill is Kimmo Timonen. At just 5′ 10″ and 194 pounds, Timonen doesn’t have the size that Pronger possesses, but makes up for it with quickness, elite-level positional play, and a keen hockey sense. Even though Timonen is a smaller blue liner, he was ranked ninth overall in the NHL in blocked shots with 168. Timonen also knows when to join the shorthanded rush and jump into the play, as two of his six goals last season were of the shorthanded variety.

5. Chris Phillips - The quietly considered defender from the Ottawa Senators is a beast in his own right. This former first overall pick may not have ever become a superstar but quietly carved an excellent career . Throughout the years Phillips combined with another defensive defenseman Anton Volchenkov, leading to one of the best shutdown combinations in the League. Having a player his hockey sense and defensive prowess has helped the Sens make the playoffs, in spite of their offensive weapons. Last season alone he led all NHL defensemen in shorthanded time of ice, enduring slightly more time than another workhorse in Jay Bouwmeester.
4. Barret Jackman – To succeed on the penalty kill a defensemen must be fearless. Barret Jackman certainly has no fear. Game in and game out he battles in the trenches to clear forwards and block shots. His 1.60 Blocks per game pace (106 BS in 66 GP) put him just behind Weaver’s team leading 1.64/game pace. Jackman doesn’t mind the
physical abuse of playing in the dirty areas. The stats say he thrives there. Finishing 6th in the NHL with an average of 3:47 SHTOI/game and allowing just one PPGA for every 11.90 SH Minutes played. Barret Jackman is a heart and soul leader who gets the job done a man down.

3. Anton Volchenkov – The “A-train” doesn’t have that name as a sarcastic joke. Known to be one of the League’s finest shot blockers, he’ll patrol the New Jersey blueline in charge of the penalty kill. With solid numbers throughout his entire career, he did dip a bit in the amount of blocked shots last season ending the year with 172. Regardless, he is a machine and a quiet weapon on the blue line and should help Martin Brodeur clear the crease or keep pucks out of the net.

2. Zdeno Chara - It’s no secret that the Boston Bruins play in a defensive-minded system and that allows Big Z to flourish. Chara will continue to log big minutes for the Bruins in his contract season. Playing with the shot blocking phenom Dennis Seidenberg for an entire season could see Chara return to his 2009-09 Norris Trophy winning numbers.

1. Nicklas Lidstrom – What can be said about the ultimate defenseman in the National Hockey League that has not been said already throughout his outstanding 18 year career. Lidstrom is the model d-man in the game today, and though he plays and excels in all occasions on the ice, he averaged 2.56 minutes a game short handed last year with Detroit and earned three short handed points. However, this is the ultimate machine patrolling the blueline and is one reason the Red Wings are constantly competitive.

Pronger got an mention:

Chris Pronger – At 6′ 6″ and 220 pounds, there are numerous reasons that make Philadelphia Flyers Chris Pronger one of the best penalty-killing defensemen in the NHL. With the combination of a long reach, hockey instincts that keep him one step ahead of his opponents, and a fierce disposition that keeps the front of the net clear for the netminders that wear the Orange-and-Black, Pronger regularly logs huge amounts of ice time when his team is down a man. With the big body, Pronger also blocks many shots, as he finished fifth in the NHL last year with 189. Not so coincidentally, success follows wherever Pronger plays, as he has participated in three of the past five Stanley Cup Finals, and for three different teams (EDM, ANA, PHI).

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