So we're a fifth of the way through our "rebuilding" season, and we're still rotating defensemen. The injury to Van Ryn will (sadly) free up a roster slot for the immediate future. Wilson's clearly not putting guys in for development purposes, so I guess he's putting in the guy he thinks will help us win. None of the defensemen we've currently scratched have managed to blow us away, as if they had they probably wouldn't be scratched anymore, so I wanted to look at how the Leafs have fared with each of them in the lineup:
(note Ian White isn't on the list as we've never dressed him as a defenseman this season, plus look up Chara's goal last Thursday for an example as to why forward suits him better anyway)
(for the record, I know this isn't actually a great indicator of performance, especially given small sample size, and the team record has more to do with the rest of the guys than it does an individual defenseman)
Team Record: 2-3-1
Stats: 0-0-0, -2, 6 PIM, 5 shots, 4 missed shots, 8 hits, 7 blocked shots.
Team Record: 2-2-1
Stats: 0-1-1, -4, 6PIM, 3 shots, 1 missed shot, 25 hits, 14 blocked shots.
Team Record: 3-2-4
Stats: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 1 GWG, 15 shots, 3 missed shots, 6.7 Sh%, 8 hits, 8 blocked shots.
Some things worth noting:
Despite Frogren being our "shutdown" Swede and Stralman being our "soft" Swede, they've traded spots in terms of +/-, Frogren having the worst rating of the three. Frogren however has a monstrous hit count, second only to Luke Schenn on the team (despite the fact that he's only played 5 games!).
Frogren and Cola are averaging about a penalty minute a game, whereas Stralman has an astonishing one penalty in 9 games played.
Cola needs to find a way onto the scoresheet if he wants to stick around. We're all behind you dude, but you have less shots registered than games played, and almost as many missed as taken. Stralman has played 50% more, but he has triple the shots.
Stralman is the only player batting a game record of over .500, but as a technicality rather than a selling point (three of those OT losses are shootouts btw). Still, the Leafs have points in 7 of the 9 games he's played.
Stralman has the only goal of the group and it counted for something too, sealing a comeback against the Bruins. The 6.7 shooting percentage is down significantly from last year, for a player known for his accuracy he needs to make his shots count for more.
Carlo has the lowest shot block totals, one below Stralman, but has also played 3 fewer games than Stralman. Frogren, once again, puts them to shame.
It doesn't show it up there, but they're all tied with 2 giveaways, and have almost tied for two takeaways (Frogren adding one and Carlo losing one). They also all have almost the same time on ice per game, shifts per game, and shift length per game.
Play the Swedes. Stralman and Carlo are close, but Stralman has produced, is a plus player, doesn't take bad penalties, and the team so far has done well with his presence. Frogren's a completely different animal altogether, but his defensive stats speak for themselves. In this group, Carlo's the odd man out, not enough offense to warrant an offensive role, not enough defense to play shutdown.
Also, can we please sit Kabby for a game? He hasn't looked bad, just... disinterested in his own zone.
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