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09-09-2011, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I have used my eyes in watching hockey, thank you very much. For about 18 years. And from what I've seen, the gap between the top defensive forwards is not that big - certainly much smaller than the gap between the top scoring forwards and top defensemen.

Now to get away from "I saw it so it must be true:" There's a reason defense-only forwards get paid less than top forwards and top defensemen, right? Because it's a lot easier to get a defensive forward who's almost as good.

Since you obviously need something to do, look at who finished top 10 in Selke voting the last few seasons and try to argue with a straight face that the guys who finished 3-5 were significantly better defensively than the guys who finished 6-10.
Except Erixon was top-10 for 5 seasons in Selke voting. Does being consistently in the top echelon of defensive forwards not count for something? Most guys in the MLD, unless I am mistaken, have had maybe 1 or 2 good Selke finishes.

And the reason that the best scorers get paid more is because good defense doesn't win games. If you had a team of Guy Carbonneaus or Bob Gaineys, you'd lose every game by 1 goal, but you'd still lose every game. The top scorers get paid so much because the goal of winning hockey games is to score more goals than your opponent. As well, I do agree that it is much harder to find an elite scorer than an elite defensive forward (whatever elite means, depending on era).

However, I think it's really funny that we're talking about "not big differences" between 3-10 in Selke finishes, with all the praise that's heaped upon guys like Datsyuk, Toews and Kesler. Yes, there is a difference. In this case, a significant difference. And Erixon did this 5 times (placing in the top-10). So, for 5 seasons, Erixon was considered one of the 10 best defensive forwards in the league. If that sort of consistency doesn't count for something, then why are we here?

And to answer your question, yes, I do think there is a substantial difference in the defensive impact of guys like Bergeron, Malholtra and Mike Richards as opposed to Claude Giroux, Brad Richards, Pascal Dupuis and Brandon Prust, just to name a few.

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