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09-13-2012, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
So your examples are a hall of famer and a couple first round picks? So umh yeah... that pretty much proves offensive D can switch and become effective stay at home types.
When were Kindl and Smith picked?
Did you notice that all of your examples - Shanny, Jagr, Bure - are forwards? It is way, WAY easier for a forward to play their off wing than for a D. In fact, it even opens up the net in terms of angles, which is why D frequently flip sides on the PP before one of them winds up for a shot.
I used forward examples because many of the great "off-hand" defensemen don't stick to just one side.
Nicklas Lidstrom played both sides. Mark Howe played both sides. Brad McCrimmon played both sides. Steve Chiasson did it too. On the current roster there's Kronwall, Kindl, Quincey, and Ericsson who have spent a lot of time on both sides.
A defender has to hold the puck in the offensive zone, which is much easier when your stick is on the boards side. Forwards don't have that requirement. Also, when a D angles a charging forward towards the boards and away from the center of the ice, it is advantageous to also be angling the forward toward one's own stick side, as apposed to away from your stick.
Holding the puck in on your wrong side is simple. There are a few ways to do it easily. One of the most common is to place your skate at such an angle against the boards that the puck will deflect off of it and towards your stick blade. If a defenseman can't handle holding the puck in when they aren't on "their side" then they don't belong in the NHL.
Some D, like Stuart, are adept at playing their off side and don't suffer a drop off. It isn't a trivial change, however, and there can be drawbacks. The Wings would have been better off adding a true Right D.
Ok. Say a player suffers an 80% dropoff in play quality on the wrong side. Assuming the same cost, would you rather a player that is right handed, or a more-skilled left-handed player that would play his "wrong side" equally as well as the righty does?
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