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For defensemen to succeed on the big, Olympic-sized ice you have to look for a few main tools- A smooth, fluid skater who is mobile at both ends of the ice so if he makes a mistake he an high tail it back to make up for it- You have to be smart and have good vision to see developing plays and attacks as well as having the ability to break out of your own zone with a blink of the eye; you have to smart with your actions too, due to the fact that the man advantage can make or brake a team- Be able to shut down any player, any where, any time- PHYSICAL BUT NOT OVERLY PHYSICAL, where players may end up lost in the dust -Be able to contribute on the pk or pp- Doesn't give many turnovers - Finally , put the puck in the damn. As of now the invitees look a little something like this, Alzer, Bouwmeester, *Boyle, *Doughty, Green, Hamhuis, Hamonic, *Keith, Letang, Methot, Phaneuf, Pietrangelo, *Seabrook, M.Staal, P.K Subban, Vlasic, and of course *Weber(*=returnees from 2010 squad) Out of the 17 d-men the 8 most appealing to me in my criteria are Weber, Doughty, Subban, Pietrangelo, Keith, Seabrook, Hamhuis, and Boyle. I wouldn't include Letang in this list because I've watched in closely the past 2 years and his style of play leaves him stranded half the time, too much offence not enough defense, Staal is a great defender and could easily take Hamhuis' spot but his health is a question mark and I see an edge in Hamhuis, Phaneuf and Bouwmeester are considered by many to have too many holes in their game I chose these 8 players for very specific reasons ,Boyle- Age is always a factor but his skill is still high-quality and brings lots of leadership and experience to a young squad, Doughty- After an off year there is no question he will bounce back into his rugged, smooth skating, dynamic style of play, Keith- A proven winner at every level has a boatload of offensive ability but backs that up with a shutdown element; one of the best at breaking out of his own zone and makes picture perfect plays, Seabrook- Many question Seabrooks overall play but his chemistry with Keith is undeniable and I don't know if you have watched last years playoffs but he can be a beast if he needs to,Weber- Best defenseman besides Chara in the world is the whole-package, shuts down anyone , playmaking, huge shot, leadership, size with an edge, the magic touch, there's no one who wouldn't want this guy on their team, Hamhuis- Many people would question this choice but watching 50 of his games a year you begin to realize he keeps the Canucks d-core motor running with a sense of where to be at all times, solid checker, stable, vision and offensive abilities. The two up and coming stud defensemen in Pietrangelo and Subban pack a huge punch. Pietrangelo with his sleek and simple offensive game and a stable, get the job done defensive element to his game. Subbans impact on his team is similar to the dodgers Yasiel Puig , Subban is all about flash, big hits, sharp shooting, living on the edge type of game, speedy, just hope he doesn't take so many penalties and minimizes on turnovers. Future combos weber-Subban,Keith-Seabrook,Doughty-Pietrangelo,Hamhuis-Boyle. Who would you pick?
August 21, 2013 12:15 AM ET | Delete
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