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The Puck Stops Here

Erik Karlsson’s Defence

Erik Karlsson is the best offensive defenceman of the current generation.  Nobody would make a serious argument that he is the best defensive defenceman of the current generation.  Therefore his defence is a weakness.  That is the simple-minded way some people judge him. 

Erik Karlsson is a good defensive defenceman and that aspect of his game is continuously improving.  He will never be the best defensive defenceman in the league.  However I would argue that he is the best defensive defenceman on his team.  Because his talents are better served playing an offensive role but when the chips are down he is the defenceman the Senators turn to in an important defensive situation.  Ottawa isn't the only team in the league where Karlsson would be the best defensive defenceman.

People are noticing that Karlsson leads the NHL in blocked shots so far this season.  That is evidence of defensive play.  It is also evidence that Ottawa often plays without the puck as it is impossible to block a shot when your team has the puck.  Karlsson is seen by many as a newfound success in shot blocking.

The reality is Karlsson has been a good shot blocker in his career but never at league leading levels.  Last year, he finished 11th in blocked shots.  His blocked shot numbers have been continuously increasing throughout his career.  This i evidence of ever improving defensive play.

Erik Karlsson is the best defenceman in a generation.  He has won two Norris Trophies.  Last year he was the first defenceman since Bobby Orr to lead the NHL in assists, yet the Norris Trophy voters gave the award to Drew Doughty.  Doughty is a good defenceman but their defensive differences were not as big as their offensive differences.  Likely Karlsson will be in the Noris Trophy running this year.  Will voters be able to deny him the award for defensive issues if he leads the NHL in blocked shots?

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com