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11-19-2012, 11:41 PM
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These lists are so difficult because the players that truly excel at defence generally are overlooked around the league. I'm shocked Smid, Orpik, and Scuderi didn't make the list (although Scuderi was at least an HM). I also wouldn't say Garrison is even the Canucks' best D defensively.

Originally Posted by Bluesman91 View Post
This thread quickly got flooded with Sens fans screaming Karlsson. How delusional can you all be?
Literally one Sens' fan has posted that Karlsson deserves to be in the top 20.

As to "How delusional can all [one of him]" is, his argument would have some merit if he were backing it up with statistics and/or analysis. It's been re-iterated a million times, but the principle all originates from the classic basic concept: it's hard for the opposition to score if the other team has the puck. The ability to clear the zone and begin the break-out is also an important part of defense.

I vividly recall Volchenkov in his Ottawa days battling for the puck in the D-zone and immediately whipping it around the boards when he'd dig it out. The perfect setup for the other team to grab the puck at the wall and move to the point for a shot. Volchy looked great at D when he'd come flying out of the corner and hurl himself in front of a 100mph slap-shot, but he created that situation himself.

It's also not much help when a defenceman can't keep the puck in the offensive end to save their life, allowing the opposing team to either blow right past with the puck or clear the zone with ease. That puts a team back on the defensive, increasingly the likelihood they'll be scored on. In essence, defensive proficiency is a player's ability to decrease the chance their team will give up a goal.

I still wouldn't put Karlsson on the list, but the argument for ranking more two-way defencemen in the top 20 has some credit.

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