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02-25-2013, 03:19 PM
  #951
calcal798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyThoughts View Post
If he's not a #1 defenseman, who is?

-He's 5th leaguewide in TOI/G
-35th among defenseman in SHTOI/G

-8th in hits among defenseman
-47th in BkS among defenseman

-11th in goals among defenseman
-23rd in scoring among defenseman
-6th in PPG among defenseman
-5th in PPP among defenseman
-9th in SOG among defenseman

He is a jack-of-all trades defenseman. Phaneuf matches up against the oppositions top line at ES/PP/PK with the ability to post offensive numbers while shutting them down. Furthermore, he is a consistently dominant physical force and a shot leader among defenseman.

Moreover, who does Dion Phaneuf play with? Over the past 2 seasons it's Carl Gunnarsson and Mike Kostka. So a 20pt two-way defenseman and a career-AHLer.
It is widely accepted that we are lacking one top pairing defenseman. Phaneuf may not rank among the very elite defenseman leaguewide but he is certainly a #1 defenseman.

Once Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly emerge or the Leafs sign/trade for a top pairing defenseman we will see just how refined Dion Phaneuf can be. I've been saying it for years, Phaneuf is overworked due to how well he can complete the tasks that our coaches give to him. Put him alongside a dynamic, smooth skating defenseman like our 2 prospects or beside a steady veteran like Ryan Suter, Dan Hamhuis, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi..etc and you would really see Phaneuf's value and overall play skyrocket.
Awesome post and I completely agree. I know I posted otherwise previously, but maybe after Gardiner gets back to his old self, a pairing of Gards-Phaneuf is in order. Having that pairing play 23+ mins a night would be really good for this team. And I feel like they could grow good chemistry together over time.

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