Pitts has been borderline amazing, and I'm generally not a fan so it's tough to admit. Pitts won't shoot as much as Faulk and the right handed shot thing are the likely reasons. Pitts loves jokinen for the cross ice one timer, and is otherwise a little too picky generally. Faulk will just let it rip. Coaches obviously like that.
Right now, the only thing that Faulk has going for him over Pitkanen is age, and the fact that Joni is a guarantee to sit out at least 10 games over the season.
Other wise, Joni is a #1 defenseman (unless you use the idiotic HFBoards definition of a #1 which leaves only 6-8 #1's in the League), and Faulk is a #3 PP specialist. But that's right now, and Faulk seems to still be growing by leaps and bounds.
I think the weakest part of his game is the power play. He is a beast at even strength...there is no one better on this team, and you'd have to go way back to find someone as good as he has been this season during 5-on-5 play.
EDIT: Maybe the PP isn't his *weakest* aspect, but the opinion I'm espousing is that his even strength play is where he shines. To define him as a PP specialist is akin to using crayons to paint his portrait.
Justin Faulk is the Ryan Whitney of the Carolina Hurricanes. Someone of mediocre skill who scores a bunch of goals because his coach is ******** and can't come up with anything to do on the powerplay except trying the same backdoor play 400 times a game.
What terrible utilization of players to have Alexander Semin standing around in the slot as a decoy while Jiri Tlusty and Justin Faulk get freebie points because even a horrible play works once in awhile.