People put their hatred for Subban first and his talent second.
I hate Subban but I'd be excited to have him on my team any day.
That's why EJ blows him out of the water in each and every single poll that's taken?
If you want flashiness, then Subban is definitely the choice. He is a very good player as well.
However, EJ just does all the little things if you pay close attention. Rarely does he make a bad pass or lose a board battle. Granted, he had a horrid start to the season, he was -16 with like 8 points or something a couple months in. But when he came back from injury, he was a whole new player for the remainder of the season. Plus his partner was either Shane O'Brien or Matt Hunwick for a large chunk of the season. Colorado really lacks a #2 guy to pair up with him.
Erik Johnson isn't even close, his 5th in PK ice time, 3rd in Even strength ice time, 1st in PP ice time, and he doesn't play the other teams best. Johnson managed all of 26 points and a -7 despite clearly playing an offensive role, not #1 defenseman production. Johnson barely plays on the PK, unlike any other so called #1 defenseman. Johnson didn't even play 1st pairing minutes at even strength, what #1 defenseman doesn't? Let's face it the guy is unlikely to live up to his potential. He looks like a solid two way top 4 defenseman, not a #1 guy. He has the chance to become a very good player, but Subban unlike Johnson already is.
Subban is a #1 defenseman, people hate him for some reason but there is zero tangible evidence Johnson is better than Subban.
I've asked Colorado fans for something to post in his favor over and over, but they never do. All i get is, Sacco is dumb, anybody who watches knows Johnson has godlike ability despite his results and usage, and i know nothing about the Avalanche as i foolishly post facts to prove my points. Anybody who knows anything wouldn't use facts, and would state their apparently irrefutable opinion that Johnson is a future Norris winner. Go Avs Go!
Within the context of determining if he's a No. 1 defender in the making, I find Johnson to be underwhelming. Does he do the little things right? To an extent I agree. But I take Subban for the future. I'm not going to bother to use stats, I could care less about the fact that Subban was a plus-9 and Johnson was a minus player. I'm judging this only on what I see.
Subban did not have a good first half this season, but he was nothing short terrific in the second half. The main difference between the two halves was how he simplified his game and stopped forcing plays that weren't there, non-plays that turned against him. When he keeps his game simple, he's rock solid at both ends of the ice, far more than he gets credit for. If he learns to do this over a full season, then I think he can be a true No. 1, maybe not a Pietrangelo or a Doughty but just a cut under that, and considering he's only a sophomore I think he has a good shot of doing so soon.
Long story short, I find Subban tends to have more impact in more games than Johnson. Whenever I look at Johnson, I remember back to when I read Future Greats and Heartbreaks when the Blue Jackets scouting staff were listing the pros and cons of the top players of the 2006 draft. They listed his strengths, which were numerous, but the one con they had for him was "lack of killer instinct." I think they were right on the money: the physical tools are there, the awareness is good, but he lacks the "it" factor, which is fine if you want him to be a no. 2 or 3, but perhaps not quite good enough to be a no. 1, at least not for me.
Erik Johnson is the better Defensman right now. People who are saying he isnt, and are saying he's a #2/3 Defensman right now clearly have not watched him play. He and Landeskog were the heart and sole of the Avs down the stretch, the two of them took the team on there backs and were the reason the Avs had a chance down the stretch.
Ill take Johnson anyday, though you cant go wrong with either really.