I think it has been mentioned before, but do we all realize how much bigger & tougher our top 6 defense has gotten this year?
Hedman 6'6, 230 lbs
Walker 6'3, 215 lbs
Ohlund 6'2, 225 lbs
to go with
Smaby 6'5, 225 lbs
Meszaros 6'2, 220 lbs
Ranger 6'2, 210 lbs
I love it!! Last year was so frustrating with the lack of hitting (no offense to 150 lb soaking wet kids like Quick, somewhat offense offense intended for wet noodle Krajicek, and absolute offense to the jolly green giant Marek Malikmyballs).
If Smitty is as healthy and stellar as he was the beginning of last year, woooo.
I like that we have size on the blue line. My only concern is that they aren't very fleet of foot, specifically Walker, and Smaby. Though I think Ranger and Hedman can make up for that.
Reading that thread on the 'Hawks board wasn't reassuring. At all.
No need to worry. Walker isn't flashy... but he makes sound decisions in his own end and does very well down low and in the corners. He's a blue-collar type defenseman. Without a doubt an upgrade over the following
Koci, Krajicek, Petiot, Malik (my dog is a better defenseman), Melichar, and Welch
Blackhawks fans are a negative bunch. Nothing and no one (minus home slice Chris Chelios) is ever good enough for them and it's the same across all the major sports teams here.
Were not that negative
Walker is a bottom pairing dman. He has positives and negatives
-Will drop the gloves
-Will protect teammates
-Plays with heart
-No offensive upside
-struggles with faster skaters
-struggles with his defensive positioning
Walker was signed with the intention of him being our #7 dman. But when Mike Grier hurt Aaron Johnson, Walker was thrust into D full time and Coach Q kept him there.
Walker was disastrous paired with Brian Campbell for about a month and half. Campbell needs a defensive dman to play with and Walker and him both are bad in there own end. Plus Walker was too slow to play with Campbell.
Near end of year after Wisniewski was traded we brought up Hjalmarsson who replaced Walker as Campbell's partner. Campbell-Hjalmarsson worked great together.
Playing with Cam Barker was a better fit for Walker but both are a bit slow and have struggles with there skating. Sometimes a disaster, sometimes there size worked out well together.
Walker made a lot of mistakes throughout the year. We may have been a bit spoiled considering our defense consists of great defensive dman such as Seabrook, Keith and Hjalmarsson while having solid guys like Barker, Johnson and Hendry.
But Walker just really didn't add anything aside from his toughness to our team. His lack of speed hurt us also.
Maybe he will fit in better in Tampa but he is overpaid and nothing more then a #5 at best.
Sorry for being so late and bumping an older thread but I dont come to TB board that often