Anyways, for whatever reason hf seems to consistently disrespect Phaneuf, saying he isn't a #1 defensemen and even going so far as to say that he sucks defensively. This just plain isn't true. I can't help but feel like the extent to which a lot of people here have analysed his game is watching him miss a hit on Sportcentre or something. The guy can do more than hit and slap pucks into the boards.
I know '#1 defensemen' is a term often debated here, but really what it boils down to is being able to be depended upon by your team to play at a high level defensively and offensively. I believe Phaneuf more than fits the criteria, especially after his excellent (yes, excellent) 2011-2012 campaign.
Dion Phaneuf had the 3rd highest quality of competition in the league among defensemen (behind Gorges and Seabrook) this season, and he was top 10 in the league among defensemen in Corsi Rel QoC. He had more points than anyone else in the top 10 (the two other than Phaneuf with the most points, Seabrook and Lidstrom, had 10 less points than Phaneuf). Source
On top of all this, he was also 12th among all defensemen in points this season and tied for 6th in goals.
Now, I'm not saying Corsi Rel QoC is the be-all-end-all stat for determining defensive ability, I'm not saying he's better defensively than Chara or Weber just because he had them beat in this particular statistic this season, what I am saying is that it's time for Phaneuf to start getting some respect for his defensive game.
You can't blame Phaneuf for the Leafs bad goaltending, you could've replaced Phaneuf with any other defensemen in the league and the Leafs would've still been in the bottom 3rd in the league in goals against.
The Leafs looked to Phaneuf to be the go-to guy offensively and defensively from the blueline, and he succeeded in all situations, if that's not a #1 defensemen I don't know what is. If Phaneuf really isn't a #1 defensemen, than I think the list of them must be pretty damned short.
As a Maple Leafs fan I have no problem referring to Phaneuf as a #1 Defensman and if people could take off their Toronto hate glasses I think a lot would agree on any other team he is a #1 Defensman. However the problem is people only foucs on who he plays for and will never appreciate him, although I'm happy he's on the Leafs and that's all which counts in the end.
Except Ottawa, Florida, Boston, St. Louis, Nashville, Vancouver, San Jose, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Montreal, Chicago, Phoenix. Did I miss anyone?
I don't concede these teams as ones Phaneuf wouldn't be a number one defenseman on. Brian Campbell has had up and down years just as much as Phaneuf the past few years and is not really that well rounded that I'd refer to him as a stellar example of a number one defenseman. His complete lack of a physical game is also something to downrate him. It's debatable that Niklas Kronwall is a better number one, since he's never held that position. Who are you referring to in Montreal? A busted Andrei Markov? Or the inferior PK Subban?
imo he is pretty easily a #1 defenseman. How good of a #1 is highly debatable but hopefully there can be a consensus that he is a #1 defenseman because he doesnt have to beat out Weber or Karlsson to be a #1.
Kronwall is more or less equivalent to Phaneuf in Detroit, wouldn't say he'd be their number 1.
A healthy Markov is ten times the defenseman Phaneuf is. On top of that, Subban is more or less equivalent to him right now, and he's bound to become superior to him as well.
That doesn't make Phaneuf a bad defenseman. I think he gets too much crap around here as well, and that's coming from a Habs fan. However, he's not as good as some Leafs fans make him out to be. He's a weak number 1, and ideally a number 2 if the Leafs ever want to become a legit contender in the near future.
Think of it this way, if Gardiner OR Rielly reach their full potential, do you believe Phaneuf would still be your number 1 guy? Most likely not. That's what we call a weak number 1.
I guess technically he is a #1 defenseman because he's the best d-man on his crappy team?
Don't think anyone here would argue that he should be the best defenseman on a championship-contending team. If you were expected to be competing for a Stanley Cup at any point during the season, would you really be comfortable with having Phaneuf as your definite #1 d-man?