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07-31-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
if a guy was 6th in ES icetime but doubleshifted on the PP and got 50 points and finished 2nd in overall icetime, would you refer to him as a "1st pairing defenseman"?
First off I think that was his rookie year and that needs to be kept in mind about that season in particular.

Second, I think that a lot depends on the context, as usual.

On teams with guys who are almost all defensive (Krupp and Kasparitus for example) or guys who are mostly to all offensive (******/******/Malakhov), it would make a lot of sense for a smart guy like Al Arbour to use them in their specialities and the ES vs PP icetime probably reflects that. Malakhov was probably the most well rounded defenseman on that squad pretty easily even in his first couple of seasons.

Looking only at ES icetime can cut both ways. You can say they must be the better defensive players because they are trusted more 5 on 5 but they could also be getting more ES time because they aren't good PK or PP players (or both in some cases).

I don't like taking it as gospel that ES icetime in a vacuum lets us see into what the coach was thinking because they adapt the icetime as best they can to take advantage of their players individual skills as well as fill in the gaps that they need filled on the team to the best of their ability.

I don't think it is always purely merit. The overall situation is going to dictate it to some degree. How much depends on the context.

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