by PuckStopsHere on 11/11/09 at 02:17 PM ET
At the end of October, I picked Alex Goligoski as the top defenceman in the NHL so far this season. I think this was a good selection at the time, although some commenters disagreed. I think the main complaint was that they did not understand that I was picking the top defenceman so far in a month old season and not the top defenceman in hockey. Lindas1st understood the difference when he said So what you’re basically saying is that Goligoski is the defenseman of the month for October in the NHL. Obviously when October is the only month of play so far, the best player in the season so far would be the player of the month for October.
Not surprisingly, Goligoski did not stay on a Norris Trophy pace for a long time. That would be an awful lot to ask from a second year defenceman in his first full season of NHL play. He has been surpassed by Chris Pronger.
Chris Pronger has 14 points in 14 games (which a low number leaguewide since Philadelphia has only 14 games played, while some teams have as many as 19). Pronger has a very good +11 +/- rating, while playing against the toughest competition of any Flyers defencemen and leading the NHL in minutes played per game Pronger has been a workhorse on the Flyers defence and is a big reason that the Flyers have only four regulation losses so far this year.
Chris Pronger is 35 years old and has not been a serious Norris Trophy candidate since 2007 (when he was nominated and finished 3rd in voting). It was reasonable to think that those days might be gone. Philadelphia might have traded for a Chris Pronger who is no longer among the top couple of defencemen in the game. So far, he has proven that is not true. Let’s see if he can carry this level of play through an entire season.
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