from Kevin Shattenkirk at The Player' Tribune,
I'll never forget playing against Nick Lidstrom for the first time and seeing all the little things he did on the ice that go unnoticed. He was so good at knocking the puck down out of midair whenever teams tried to dump-and-change. It was almost impossible to chip one by him. I remember thinking, “Man, I need to steal that move. That’s a super important thing to master.”
Even though Nick is retired now, I’m still watching guys in the league and trying to steal their tricks and implement them into my game. I really enjoyed Logan Couture’s article on Elite Centers, and I thought I’d try my hand at breaking down the defensive plugs.
Please don’t hate-tweet me that I left someone out. This list is mostly guys I see all the time.
The first name that comes to mind when I think of elite defensemen is Drew Doughty. Drew plays with a confidence and almost an arrogance (I mean that in a good way) that allows him to try things on the ice that other defensemen wouldn’t. He’s obviously a great skater — the way he can weave through defenders in the neutral zone while keeping his head up at the same time is something that’s hard to coach. But his real superpower is his intuition.