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06-24-2014, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Blooded View Post
Strålman's elite possession stats actually come from shot suppression, not shot generation, which is surprising considering that he is a small, skilled defenceman. A good breakout is likely part of that, i.e. not getting hemmed in your own zone, but I think a big part of his game is neutral zone D. He is likely good at forcing dump-ins and breaking up plays before they even reach the Rangers' zone, while a guy like Girardi likely allows a ton of carry-in's (his breakouts are usually terrible as well though). Looking deep into the numbers Strålman and Girardi generate about as many shot attempts for vs expectation (slight edge to Strålman, both players are positive) but Strålman blows Girardi out of the water in shot attempt suppression vs expectation.

I think NZ defence is usually the #1 reason where eye-test and stats differ when evaluating defencemen as it is subtle and not usually something you look for. Andrew MacDonald looks like a good defenceman in most aspects, yet has some of the worst fancystats in the league - because he has no idea how to defend in the NZ and opponents are allowed to carry in the puck at will.
Good post, I agree. Neutral zone play is often overlooked when judging d-men. Strålman defends his own blue-bline very well (he's also very good at holding the offensive blue-line) making it hard for opponents to enter the offensive zone.

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