from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Deciding between Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson is like sitting in a great restaurant and trying to make a choice between the steak and the specialty, the catch of the day. There’s no real wrong decision here: What it comes down to, really, is preference for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman.
The easy votes and the votes too often made by the less educated will go to Karlsson, which is more a knock on the voters than it is on the Ottawa defenceman. Too often in recent years, the Norris has gone to the defenceman with the most points. That worked well when Bobby Orr was in a class by himself, but not so well when you consider Zdeno Chara has won the award the same number of times P.K. Subban has.
Not all defenceman are created equal. Rarely do two play the same kind of game, and too often much of what they do on the ice can’t be measured with any kind of statistics.
Karlsson is a brilliant offensive player on a particularly weak defensive team. He scores a lot and gets scored on a lot. Doughty’s numbers are nowhere near Karlsson’s, except he doesn’t get scored on often - only 48 times this season, and unlike Karlsson he plays significant penalty- kill minutes, which means he plays in all situations. The Los Angeles Kings are among the best teams in the NHL in both goals allowed and shots allowed (Ottawa is last in NHL in goals allowed and shots allowed).
My ballot will have Doughty ahead of Karlsson, and it’s been that way almost every season. The Senators are 2nd worst in penalty killing in the NHL and don’t employ Karlsson to try and change that. That’s a short synopsis of why I’ll take Doughty over Karlsson, this year and most years.
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