Popular Post Rindiculous Posted January 3, 2022 Popular Post Share Posted January 3, 2022 (edited) So recently, I've taken it upon myself to try and watch a good amount of Avalanche games because there are people on the internet constantly trying to stick it all down our throats that Cale Makar, Devon Toews, etc. are all the best defensemen in the world should finish 1/2 in Norris voting and there is absolutely no argument that can be made to counter that. However, there is a problem with this argument as in it doesn't show the whole picture. Yes, players like Makar and Toews are great players, Toews being an analytical darling posting two years in a row with a 60% expected goals and Makar not far behind while also being a goal scoring machine. However, with Makar standing out in how many goals he is scoring this year I was wondering why does he score so many goals? Watching Canucks games all season it be miffed me how any defenseman could be on a 30 goal clip. Our defense is shooting from the point the whole time and our entire defense this season has 7 goals scored, just over half of Makar's season total alone. I then decided to look at the rest of Colorado's defense core. Almost their entire defense are goal scoring machines relative to how many goals defensemen usually score in their position. Cale Makar is obviously the unprecedented one with 13 goals in 24 games. However, Devon Toews has 5 goals in 17 games. Bowen Byram has 4 goals in 14 games. Even their defensive defensemen in Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson have 3 goals each in 26 and 28 games respectively. So I'm just left thinking, does Colorado's entire defense core just have better shots than any defenseman on our defense core? I couldn't believe that could be true so that is where I started watching games. That is where I found the answer. I've watched about 5 Avalanche games in the past month and right away I see the reason why the Avs defensemen score so many goals. They have this one set play where a player like Rantanen or Mackinnon or Landeskog drive from the boards straight to the middle of the slot just inside the top of the circles. From there it looks like they could shoot it however it could probably be blocked. So what they do is drop it off in the open space behind them and there is always a defenseman there to take the pass whether it is Makar, Toews, Byram, Girard etc. Therefore, 3 defenders all seem to get drawn in by the forward meanwhile the defenseman has all the open ice in the world to skate into the slot and snipe from the perfect sniping position unblocked. Colorado runs this exact same play about 10 times a game and almost always score a goal, usually two, sometimes three from the exact same play in the same game. It's a super effective play performed by three of the best play driving power forwards in the game. So yes, Makar has a good shot to be able to score that many goals, however I realize now that while they are good, they are definitely being overrated as most of the play driving goes through the forwards. We usually see the Canucks gain the zone by one of our defenders either passing it from our zone to center ice with a good breakout pass or in Quinn Hughes case sometimes go end to end entering the zone and then passing it off, however the majority of the time what happens for Colorado is that Makar or Toews make a short pass to a forward and then the three forwards are the sole players responsible for skating and passing among themselves to break into the zone. It's a lot different than how the Canucks operate because it seems like that is mostly run through the defensemen while Colorado is mostly run through the forwards. Now this thread is not to say that Makar or Toews are bad players. They are very good. Toews was one of the NYI best defensemen for 2 years when he played there, however Colorado plays a game where it runs a lot of it's playmaking through it's forwards and it's defenders seem to reap the benefits a lot getting a lot of chances to pick up points and score goals. However, when a player like Tyson Barrie goes from scoring 14 goals a year with Colorado to only 16 goals in the three years since he left or for Toews to score just as many goals in Colorado as he did on the NYI in half as many games, this tells that Colorado runs a different, but very productive system that no other team in the NHL seems to run while showing how good their top forwards actually are to be able to do this game in and game out. Edited January 3, 2022 by Rindiculous 6 4 1 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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