That's a two-way street IMHO.... Henke definitely bailed the team out at times when they blew coverages or gave up odd-man rushes, but our defensemen (Girardi in particular) blocked a ton of shots, important ones too. These are shots that could have found their way to the back of the net, could have been deflected by a stick in front of Henke, or could have been saved and led to rebounds that resulted in goals or additional scoring chances. The shot-blocking conducted by our defense is huge, as is our goaltender's performance. I know in watching post-game interviews that Henke has gone on the record complimenting the defensemen for their ability and willingness to sacrifice their body to block shots and keep pucks away from the net.
You forgot about physicality. The d men weren't afraid to hit at all. Like I said imagine having little ***** Rozsival who won't hit a fly and Wade Redden instead of Sauer and McDonagh
Is it just me or does anyone else think that one of Erixon will replace Girardi on the top line with Staal?
I love Girardi but the truth is, you need a faster moving better puck moving D to be on your top pairing and that sounds to be exactly what Erixon is. McD and Sauer is the shutdown pair and Staal and Erixon can be the top pair. Girardi slides down to the third pair where he can cover for MDZ's defensive flaws. Or better yet, move Girardi and let Vtank cover for MDZ's defensive flaws.
You need two highend offensive defenders. I totally agree that MDZ is the more dynamic of the two with pure offensive ability and with the talent to carry the puck better. Both can distribute it fairly well though which bodes well with pointmen controlling the PP. I'm very excited.
Interesting thought. Here's another one -- Stall and Sauer become the true shutdown pair and Girardi slides in next to Erixon for a more offensive second pair.
What does "WITH AGE CONSIDERED" even mean? Is there a stat for that? Can I find it in the standings next to OT losses?
Sorry, but on the subject of perception vs. reality, Im gonna go with actual performance over what these players might be down the road vs. the rest of the NHL.
But even more importantly, we've already established that the 3rd pairing is a huge question mark headed into next year. And when you look at Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, and Sauer can you honestly say that they will be remarkably better than they are now? I think McDonagh is capable of it, Staal is as good as it gets defensively but I dont think he'll ever develop an offensive game - Can you see Sauer and Girardi getting better with age?
I see an adequate defense, and a few nice prospects with some upside. I dont know how that translates to people jumping to the conclusion that we even could have the best defense in the NHL.
You misunderstand my point. Maybe I was too long winded. By "with age considered" I mean I don't believe they are done developing. You may think they are, but how many years have any of them been in the league? 1-4 years? Are you kidding when you think they can't get any better with 1-4 years experience in the NHL? That's insane. There's ALWAYS room for improvement and with the numbers Supersonic Monkey posted...which I was on my way to retrieve (Danny was THE top shot blocker Monkey), I'd say they were one of the best shut down D's in the league and have the potential to be the top shut down D. Especially with the best if not one of the league's best goalies. They are all young enough that they still have the potential to get better and I have to think that if the organization believes so much in them, they have a lot of development left. D doesn't have to score goals to be the top D in the league either. Thus the name "defense". It doesn't mean "scores points". It means, "stops the other team from scoring points".