Brian Campbell vs Dion Phaneuf
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11-15-2012, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by
Campbell is far better defensively?
Corsi Rel Qoc: 1.399 (1st on team and 10th in the league among defensemen)
QoC: 0.090 (1st on team and 3rd in the league among defensemen)
SH TOI/G: 2:30, 2nd on team by 8 seconds
Corsi Rel QoC: 0.755 (3rd on team and not in the top 50 among defensemen)
QoC: 0.026 (4th on team and not in the top 50 among defensemen)
SH TOI/G 1:16, 7th on the team, 1:39 below team leader
I guess Mike Weaver, Jason Garrison and Dmitry Kulikov must be black holes defensively, because that would be the only explanation for someone as good defensively as Campbell getting such easy minutes.
It's sad how underrated Phaneuf is defensively over here.
First off, I do agree that Phaneuf is better defensively. That said, I think those numbers are a little misleading. You can't point to the minutes a defenseman plays without addressing what his teammate situation is and how well he does in said minutes.
As far as teammates goes, it's clear that he and Gunnar are the only guys on that blueline who are remotely capable of shutting down other teams' top players. Gardiner and Liles are purely offensive defenseman (at the moment), and Komi, Franson, and Schenn are all third liners when they're even in the lineup. The Leafs were forced to give Phaneuf very tough minutes because there was really no alternative, not because he was excelling in them. And really, he wasn't excelling. His 2.80 GA ON/60 is pretty bad, even for players facing that level of competition (Campbell's, by comparison, was 1.87). Only Duncan Keith posted a worse GA ON/60 while facing a similar level of competition. Goaltending was surely a factor in this (as it was for Keith), but some of the blame lies with Phaneuf and his propensity for mistakes. I think on a team with Weaver and Garrison, two very underrated shutdown guys, he probably wouldn't be seeing top competition or top 2 PK time either. He'd likely be in the exact position Campbell was in.
As for the OP's question, I'm going with Campbell, but it's close. I think his advantage in playmaking, skating, and as a PP QB outweighs Phaneuf's better shot, physicality, and defensive play. Campbell's playmaking is truly elite, that's what pushes him over the top for me. Only Karlsson has him beat in that respect, IMO. Also, Phaneuf's physicality is somewhat of a negative for me, because he can be irresponsible with his physical play and really shoot himself in the foot. When you've got a defenseman registering over 200 hits per season, it's a safe bet that he's taking himself out of position chasing those hits. When his team is counting on him to carry the defensive load, Phaneuf needs to learn to dial down the hitting by being more selective. I think that would go a long way towards improving his defensive play.
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