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04-08-2012, 07:05 PM
  #67
Sojourn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumperkisser View Post
sbisa is playing sheltered minutes? he plays on our PK and is our 2nd pairing.. how is that sheltered minutes? he usually plays around ~20 minutes a night
Looking at quality of competition, yeah. Compared to the other D pairings, Sbisa is playing sheltered minutes. At even strength, the Sbisa/Lubo pairing get more offensive zone starts than either of the other two D pairings. He's able to play at a more comfortable level for him, where he isn't expected to sink or swim. Sbisa can make mistakes and not worry about them ending up on the scoreboard.

Yes, he's playing on the PK, but we're talking about a minute and a half per game. That's 4th amongst our D, and considerably less than Lydman and Beauchemin(Beauchemin plays more than 4 minutes, and Lydman more than 3).

That being said, Gardiner is getting sheltered minutes defensively too. His increased responsibilities come more on the offensive side of the game, which shouldn't be surprising because of the two Gardiner just brings more offensively. He has a better shot, moves the puck better, and is more creative with the puck. He's also a world class skater, which allows him to do more. Sometimes that works against him, because he can be overly fancy with his skating. Anyway, there's a reason Beauchemin(not exactly a stud offensively) is given a bit more responsibility offensively than Sbisa.

Sbisa is the better, and more stable, defensive player. He's the more physical of the two. Gardiner is the better, and certainly more dynamic, offensive player. Jake still gets a little lost at times in the defensive zone. Like Duckie said, they are different types of defensemen. Still, I don't see how anyone could say Gardiner isn't even close to Sbisa. Gardiner is the more inconsistent of the two, but he's also the more talented. Not to mention he averaged over 21 minutes the entire season, where as Sbisa was only pushing 20+ minutes the second half of the season. PK time was almost identical too.

I'm fine with saying Sbisa is the better player right now, and I think his consistency and his experience do give him the edge. Not to mention his willingness to engage physically. But Gardiner not even being close to Sbisa, and it's an insult to even suggest that? I can't objectively look at the two and say that. I think it's very close. Close enough that next season it wouldn't surprise me to see Gardiner surpass Sbisa entirely. Whether or not that happens, well, Sbisa will have his say in the matter.

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