Thursday, April 30, 2009

Capitals and Penguins Defense: Doppelgangers?

Let's look at this objectively, without our Black and Gold or Red, White, & Blue sunglasses on. Line up the bluelines between the Pens and Caps, do you see much of a difference? Cause I don't.

1. Offensive Machines


Sergei Gonchar - 6'2" 211 lbs.Mike Green - 6'2" 208 lbs.

Here's one of the obvious comparisons; Green and Gonchar. Both run the powerplay, both have great point shots, both create quick breakouts, and both play high minutes. Pens fans will say Gonch is more responsible in his own end, Caps fans will say Green is no slouch either. Can you statistically measure that? I can't, but the Online Sports Betting people might be able to.  Gonchar was a +6 (in only 25 games), while Green was a +24 (in 68 games), so take that for what it's worth. Where they differ? Green is more apt to carry into the zone, while Gonchar will dump it in. But seriously, these guys are uniquely similar.

2. The Big Men


Hal Gill - 6'7" 250 lbs.John Erskine - 6'4" 216 lbs.

These two giants are stalwarts in front of their own nets. Why? Well, because they're both too slow to move anywhere on the side wall, zing! But seriously, these guys rarely get out of position, play the body, and do a good job clearing out the crease. They definitely aren't the quickest fillies in the race, but good positioning and active sticks can make up for that.

3. The Other Offensive Guy


Kris Letang - 6'0" 201 lbs.Tom Poti - 6'3" 210 lbs.

Tom Poti and Kris Letang play very similar games, both run a secondary powerplay, both join the rush, and both execute a solid, but not great, breakout. They both have been known as liabilities in their own end, but both are proficient enough to make plays.

4. Steady As She Goes


Rob Scuderi - 6'0" 218 lbs.Shaone Morrisonn - 6'4" 210 lbs.

Has there been a more dependable defensive player for the Pens than Rob Scuderi all season? Has there been a defensemen that you didn't notice on the ice (because he wasn't screwing up) more for the Caps than Shaone Morrisonn? Maybe, but you catch my drift. Both these guys lay down in front of shots, play the wall hard, and are generally dependable in their own end. What more can you ask? Pens fans absolutely love the Scud Missile, don't know if I can say Caps fans have the same affection for Morrisonn, perhaps they should.

5. The Boom Stick


Brooks Orpik - 6'2" 219 lbs.Milan Jurcina - 6'4" 233 lbs.

Brooks Orpik broke a guys back for God's sakes. Milan Jurcina plays a steady physical game in front of the net. They both are apt to pitch in offensively as well, Orpik had 19 points and Jurcina had 14.

6. The Injury Prone


Mark Eaton - 6'2" 204 lbs.Brian Pothier - 6'0" 200 lbs.

Brian Pothier just came off the IR, he was out 14 months with a concussion. Mark Eaton played 68 games this year, only 3 less than the prior 2 seasons, combined. These guys can both pitch in and both are steady. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, they get beat up.


Now here's the conundrum. Who would you rather have? To me, it's really a toss up. Is Pothier healthy? Which Letang shows up? Is Mike Green still hurt/sick? Is Eaton dependable enough right now? Lot's of questions dot both blue lines, looks like we'll find out on Saturday.

18 comments:

Denson said...

Mark Eaton is slowly becoming just as dependable as Scuds in the shot blocking category...I actually think he's more skilled at it. Ask Flyers fans about that.

Eaton just needs to stop dying.

Vance said...

Looking at those pictures, wow, kinda picked on the Flyers without even knowing. haha.

Libey said...

Eaton is a very good defenseman. I'm still mad the Flyers let him go years ago. If there was a cap back then, and it wasn't just "buy whatever player you want" I'd bet he would've been a Flyer much longer.

Vance said...

Easton goes in spurts, sometimes he looks fantastic (the last 2 years before getting hurt, both times) but other times my God is he bad.

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