Kevin Shattenkirk vs Erik Johnson
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01-30-2013, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Originally Posted by
I'm not denying he is a #2 on a lot of teams. But he is the Avs #1 defensman. If you would rather have Shattenkirk, fine. For what the Blues need, I think they probably would rather have Shattenkirk. He is an excellent defensman. For what the Avs need, we would rather have Johnson. Without him, we easily have the worst D in the league. He is really our only top 4 defender. Playing with scrubs like Hunwick and O'Brien is certainly not helping him statewise. Nor is having an idiotic coach like Sacco, who gives Matt ****ing Hunwick more PP time. The Avs are happy with the trade, and so are the Blues. Why certain people have to bash EJ so much is beyond me
What's important to emphasize here is that he's Colorado's
#1 defenseman. He's their best penalty killer and he's their dangerous situation tied/one-goal game player. In actual responsibility, he doesn't face the toughest competition or play the most even-strength minutes - since the beginning of last year, guys like O'Brien, Hejda, O'Byrne, and now Zanon, have had harder defensive assignments.
However, the overall defensive responsibility on the Avalanche is very much a shared load, which makes that moral leader defenseman even more important, even if that guy does not get the same amount of responsibility you'd expect from a top-pairing defenseman.
And while I do think Shattenkirk's overall impact is superior, this is where I can really agree with Colorado fans that Shatty wouldn't be able to perform that role for them. He wouldn't be the guy you put out there to kill off a penalty late in a game or to keep a line of 220lb forwards from walking all over you. That steadiness can be vital to a team that's otherwise not so hot.
One of the often-repeated criticisms of Shattenkirk from Avs fans when the trade went down was that he got shoved off the puck in his own zone fairly often. That situation basically never happens with the Blues. He's obviously improved defensively, but I mean it's just rare as hell that a Blues' defender has the puck in his own zone while under pressure for long enough that he can get physically abused. They support each other and make quick passes to defuse the pressure and leave the zone unscathed. On a team that doesn't have that kind of support and structure, Erik Johnson's tools are going to shine in a way that they might not elsewhere.
If I were building a team from scratch and I had to choose one guy, it'd be Shattenkirk, but this really is a situation in which EJ performs a role for the Avalanche that was harder to come by and, due to their particular make-up, was at least as important. There is no such thing as value in a vacuum.
Last edited by rumrokh: 01-30-2013 at
. Reason: grammar
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