Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Player Evaluations: Defensemen

Player Evaluations: Defensemen
#55 Sergei Gonchar
Season Stats: 62 Games Played, 11 Goals, 39 Assists, 50 Points, -4
Playoff Stats: 13 Games Played, 2 Goals, 10 Assists, 12 Points, +4
Gonchar was the best offensive defenseman for Pittsburgh again this season. He will be hard to replace on the power play if he departs, but his defensive abilities seem to be declining.Grade: B
#58 Kris Letang
Season Stats: 73 Games Played, 3 Goals, 24 Assists, 27 Points, +1
Playoff Stats: 13 Games Played, 5 Goals, 2 Assists, 7 Points, -5
Letang had a season full of ups and downs. During the season, he was expected to provide more offense than he did, but his defense improved. During the playoffs, that switched.   
                    He could not defend many players well, but he scored five goals. Grade: B-
#3 Alex Goligoski
Season Stats: 69 Games Played, 8 Goals, 29 Assists, 37 Points, +7
Playoff Stats: 13 Games Played, 2 Goals, 7 Assists, 9 Points, +4
Goligoski exploded in the first 15 games of the season scoring six goals and thirteen points. He went on to score only two more the rest of the season.
                    He also did not defend other players as well as the Penguins needed. It was his first
                    full season in the NHL. Grade: C-
#4 Jordan Leopold
 Season Stats (With PIT): 20 Games Played, 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 8 Points, +5
Playoff Stats: 8 Games Played, 0 Goals, 0 Assists, 0 Points, -2
Leopold, who came over in a trade from Florida, turned into a decent defenseman during the season scoring four goals in 20 games. After he got injured from an Andy Sutton hit 
                    during the playoffs, he did not seem to be the same player. He is a UFA. Grade: C
#44 Brooks Orpik
Season Stats: 73 Games Played, 255 Hits, 117 Blocked Shots, 25 Points (2G23A), +6
Playoff Stats: 13 Games Played:, 50 Hits, 30 Blocked Shots, 2 Points (2A), +3
Orpik was sixth in the NHL this season in hits and was arguably the best defensive defenseman this season for PIT. He will not score much, but he is a huge part of this team. Grade: B+
#7 Mark Eaton
Season Stats: 79 Games Played, 27 Hits, 135 Blocked Shots, 16 Points (3G13A), +5
Playoff Stats: 13 Games Played, 11 Hits, 20 Blocked Shots, 3 Points (3A), -4
Eaton, who is not a very physical defensman, plays his position very well as he ranked second on the Penguins in blocked shots. He is a UFA this summer. Grade: B-
#74 Jay McKee
Season Stats: 62 Games Played, 59 Hits, 137 Blocked Shots, 10 Points (1G9A), +6
Playoff Stats: 5 Games Played, 4 Hits, 11 Blocked Shots, 0 Points, +2
McKee filled the role he was signed to do: block shots. He led the Penguins in that category in the season but fell out of favor when Leopold arrived. Some think he should have played more 
                    more in the playoffs with the struggling defense. He will be a UFA this summer. Grade: B

          These ratings are based off of different areas as well just like the goaltender evaluations. The offensive defensemen and defensive defensemen are seperated for a reason. They are evaluated in the role they were put into. Offensive numbers do not go into much consideration for defensive players.

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