About the defense ...

Discussion in 'Carolina Hurricanes' started by theekevinc, Oct 7, 2013.

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  1. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    I'm sure nobody who knows my post history will be surprised, but I'm not all that eager to get Tim Gleason back in the lineup. He's still got no timetable to return, but I heard he's traveling with the team, so it could be any day. Unfortunately, I don't see how his return helps us. My take on the group so far is that our defensive IQ has gone up about 50 points going from Pitkanen, Gleason, Corvo, Sanguinetti, McBain to Sekera, Hainsey, Bellemore and Murphy. Individually:

    Sekera: However you pronounce the guy's name, he's simply a very good hockey player. He plays angles well, is very decisive, very aggressive with his stick, sorts things out well. He also plays a lot more physically than I thought and is very hard to play against. To me, he's been better than advertised. Very smart, very quick.

    Faulk: It sure looks like he's ready to take "the leap." Very similar player to Sekera except younger, right-shooting and with a higher offensive upside. As the two of them get more time together, I think we could have a legit No. 1 pairing.

    Hainsey: Again, this guy has been a lot better than I expected. He's just a solid all-around guy. He's not flashy, not overly physical. If you can get past what Frank Kaberle became toward the end of his career and think back to 2006, I think Hainsey brings a lot of the same things to the table. It's hard to describe how he's effective, he just is.

    Bellemore: To me, this guy replaces Gleason and is better almost across the board. I'm shocked at how good he is. He'll never be a scorer, but his offensive instincts are very good. He uses his body well, skates well, and seems to understand how the play the man. He may not be as physical as Gleason, but sometimes, Tim just loses his mind thinking he's got to stir things up. Keep in mind that Bellemore was a sixth-round nepotism pick from Plymouth in 2007, and is now playing a regular shift and establishing himself as an NHL-level defender. This doesn't excuse all the draft and develop mistakes, but it's nice to have a "win" every now and then.

    Harrison: Happily back in a third-line role, Harry has been Harry. It's kind of amazing how much better third-pairing Harry is than second-pairing Harry.

    Murphy: I think he's starting to get adjusted to the speed of the NHL game. I've also got to give Muller some credit here for seemingly carving out a perfect role for Murphy. And I think as he gets more comfortable, his offense will start to come around. He may be focused entirely on defense to make sure he's not a liability, but as he gains confidence that he belongs here, the offense will come. So far, he doesn't seem like an "offensive specialist" to me and if he can play regular minutes, we win.

    I don't know about anyone else, but it's been great not having our goalies screened by defensemen all game long, and not having defensemen rolling around on the ice trying to find the puck, instead of tying up offensive players.

    In short, the *only* thing I'd do differently right now is swap Murphy and Faulk on the power play, getting Justin out with the first unit, but I'm sure Gleason is in as soon as he's healthy. Maybe we'll dress seven d-men? Either way, Timmy will get his 22 minutes and our defense will get worse. Mark my words. I don't know what the answer is. The guy has a long-term deal with a no-trade and he wears an "A," but I don't think he makes our team any better than they are right now.
     
  2. Zombie Mike Murphy

    Zombie Mike Murphy Registered User

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    The one thing I'd add is that Murphy seems to have found his niche offesively - playing the point on the PP, even double shifting at times. He's looked pretty good at it too...cycles the puck well.
     
  3. Blueline Bomber

    Blueline Bomber From the Blueline

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    I think Gleason has become underrated by some people of this board.

    Having him back in the lineup will only help. It may take some adjustment, but I don't see how having another defenseman in the lineup can hurt this team.
     
  4. sheriff bart

    sheriff bart 'scuse me while I whip this out

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    Then which one of the six current defensemen do you make a healthy scratch to insert Gleason?
     
  5. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    Actually, I kinda just made the argument that having him in the lineup *will* hurt the team. What is your argument that it won't? When Gleason returns, either we go with seven and a couple guys get their minutes cut massively, or one guy comes out. How would you run it with Gleason healthy?

    The *only* guy I'd consider sitting entirely to get Gleason back in the lineup is Harrison. If you'd sit Bellemore, then I'd say that you're more concerned about the names on the back of the jersey, because he's simply been too good to take out of the lineup.
     
  6. La Huracanista

    La Huracanista Registered User

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    The Faulk-Sekera pairing has been so solid at shutting down the opponents' top lines and creating a bit at the other end. Hainsey and Bellemore have been great in their own end.

    By the eye test, the Harrison-Murphy pairing has been a total liability from my perspective. They are always chasing it in their own zone. Murphy's shown a few positives here and there, but basically the pairing's been a turnover machine, guaranteeing zone time to whatever line the other team sends out.

    I think Harrison will probably end up the #7 when Gleason comes back. Gleason's a solid second-pairing defenseman (I'm not sure why people believe otherwise), and the Canes can't replace Murphy on the PP.

    Sekera-Faulk 24 minutes
    Hainsey-Bellemore 18 minutes
    Gleason-Murphy 18 minutes

    ^more or less seems optimal to me. One proper first pairing and two other useful pairings.
     
  7. Zombie Mike Murphy

    Zombie Mike Murphy Registered User

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    The reason I don't like Harrison coming out is Murphy - Harrison has a history of being a good partner for rookies.
     
  8. jeromeo87

    jeromeo87 Registered User

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    This is good. And I agree with everything. Oddly enough, Gleason's return kind of worries me a little. I don't really want to mess with our d right now.. I really like what I'm seeing..
     
  9. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I like Bellemore, but he is not better than Gleason across the board. Did it not stick out last night that he fumbled the puck every time he touched it? That he got burnt on the OT goal against Detroit?

    Bellemore is a nice option to have with Gleason out, and I hope that he take a Harrison-like career arc going forward. But come on, what "offensive instincts" are we talking about here?
     
  10. Blueline Bomber

    Blueline Bomber From the Blueline

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    1. You didn't make any argument as to why it'll hurt the team. You simply listed off how everyone has played thus far, then said "Gleason will ruin this...because I said so".

    2. The argument for why having Gleason back will help is simple. By "massively cutting the minutes" (an exaggeration if there ever was one) of the others, we'll have fresher defensemen throughout the game and throughout the season. Somehow, you believe having too many good defensemen playing for us is a bad thing.

    3. As for what I'd do: Run 7 D, send Lindholm back to the A for another year of conditioning. It doesn't really hurt the team and it'll help Lindholm in the long run.

    4. You also assume the defensemen on this team will continue to play like this throughout the year. A little optimistic, don't you think?
     
  11. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    Not looking forward to that pairing, although I agree with your thinking on what's likely to happen. I personally don't feel that Gleason is a solid, second-pairing d-man because he doesn't have any hockey sense. I think his skills are second-pairing worthy, but he just simply doesn't understand how to play defense. Seriously, when he comes back, count the number of times when a goal is scored that he ends up on the ice playing second goalie instead of tying up the guy who scored the goal. It's infuriating. My kid's mite team gets this.
     
  12. jeromeo87

    jeromeo87 Registered User

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    I definitely understand what you're saying. I think Bellemore is our weakest link on our D; however, he has still been extremely impressive. I think the whole d has been better than it has been in years..

    Its more than just adding Gleason; by adding Gleason, someone who has been playing on the left side is going to have to switch to the right. Who knows what that may do to their game.. Unless, of course, Gleason is the one moving to the right..
     
  13. La Huracanista

    La Huracanista Registered User

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    Gleason is our second-best defenseman. Well, maybe Sekera is now, but I'm not sure.

    He started out in the defensive zone and moved it into the attacking zone, while facing the opponents' top lines. His Corsi isn't stellar, but that's what happens when the coach throws you to the wolves in terms of matchups and zone starts.

    I don't know how this Gleason hate became a meme, but it's concerning. He is a bit overpaid for a guy with little offense, but he gets the job done.
     
  14. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    I guess I didn't come right out and say it, but I made the argument that each player deserves his current ice time and brings something more and/or different to the table than Gleason. Maybe you had to read between the lines a bit more than I intended when I started the thread, but I was definitely saying it will hurt the team when he comes back and going into detail as to why.

    I don't disagree with any of these. I just hope the seven d-men get ice time based on what they deserve and not based on their last name, and I have concerns that it will happen that way.
     
  15. golfpro827

    golfpro827 Registered User

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    Gleason coming back has 7 D-men written all over it.
     
  16. Boom Boom Apathy

    Boom Boom Apathy Eat cookies, get fat, watch from the couch

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    Kev makes a lot of good points, but we are probably over thinking this. The chances of all 6 defensemen remaining healthy for a long stretch of time when Gleason returns isn't that great. Look at their history.
     
  17. La Huracanista

    La Huracanista Registered User

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    While I'm being an obnoxious contrarian: seriously, Harrison and Murphy have blown so far:
    http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?pos=D&team=car
    I probably don't need to tell you guys that Muller's giving them the easiest minutes he can. Well, it's not enough. Not sure if it's Murphy or Harrison or both, but that pairing is going to lose us a game or two.
     
  18. Hayley from paramore

    Hayley from paramore Registered User

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    When Gleason backs the defense will fall apart due to him spending every shift in the defensive zone alternating between screening his goalie and swatting at the puck along the boards hoping that it magically ends up on the stick of a teammate. Gleason is terrible defensively. All you have to do get any room against him is to pull up and he'll get caught in the dust because his skating is so bad that he can't adjust to any quick, unexpected movement. When there's a cycle going he switches "shotblock mode" AKA "screen Cam Ward mode", trying to flamingo-block every point shot while his man stands in front of the net uncontested banging at rebounds after Gleason inevitably fails to block the shot.

    http://www.shutdownline.com/hurrica...sis/can-tim-gleason-still-carry-the-load.html

    "What all of this numerical mumbo jumbo means is that Gleason wasn't exactly shutting anyone down because the Hurricanes were trapped in their own zone whenever he was out there. "

    "How this is relevant to Hurricanes fans is that Gleason ranks as one of the "20 Worst Shutdown Defensemen" in the NHL over the last six years according to this index. Meaning that he has performed below expectations and has struggled to keep play out of his own end even when taking usage into account. His numbers are comparable to the likes of Bryce Savlador and Scott Hannan, who are both known as stay-at-home defensemen but they are near the end of their respective careers and aren't nearly as good as they used to be"
     
  19. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    OK, that doesn't say that Gleason is our second-best defenseman. It says he *was* according to one statistical measure, our second-best defenseman last year. This year, we have two NHL regulars (Sekera, Hainsey) and two young players continuing to establish themselves (Bellemore, Murphy). Again, I just don't want anything handed to anyone. It's been a pleasure so far this season watching the Hurricanes do things that are decidedly un-Hurricanes, like a mismatched second line that showed chemistry instead of slotting guys based on salary. Obviously, being on the third line hasn't hurt Jeff Skinner. I just want to see this continue. That's all.
     
  20. La Huracanista

    La Huracanista Registered User

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    I can't dispute the numbers, but the conclusions you're drawing from them are wrong.

    Gleason is still clearly better than Harrison and Murphy (so far). It seems like we have a legit #1 in Faulk and a #2 in Sekera. 3-5 get mushy, and no-one saw Bellemore coming, but Gleason easily has a place on any team in the NHL.

    (edited for grammar)
     
  21. Blueline Bomber

    Blueline Bomber From the Blueline

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    So I guess the idea that Gleason might improve this defense is a foreign concept?
     
  22. Anton Dubinchuk

    Anton Dubinchuk aho

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    Certainly possible.
     
  23. Unsustainable

    Unsustainable Antagonist

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    Sekera / Faulk
    Gleason / Hainsey
    Harrison / Murphy

    Bellemore / Komisarek

    We are loads better then last season, Beiga would be the first call up in case of 3 at once down I would think.
     
  24. theekevinc

    theekevinc Registered User

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    I would freakin' love it if Gleason easily had a place on any (other) team in the NHL. Look, we overrated the guy because we had nobody else. We overrated Pitkanen because we had nobody else. Now that we have other guys, we can see what we've been missing. A healthy Gleason *could* make our team better, as long as he's used properly and doesn't get minutes/assignments based on what we think he is as compared to what he actually is.

    Having said that, he's got a few tendencies that make me absolutely crazy. They're so fundamental, that if my 8-year-old did them, I'd stop practice and have a "teaching moment." In two games, I haven't seen any of this from any of our guys. I'm just not looking forward to Tim Gleason's return. That's all.
     
  25. Hayley from paramore

    Hayley from paramore Registered User

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    The stats actually don't even say that. All it says is that Tim Gleason played the second toughest minutes. It also says that the team did very, very poorly with him on the ice. Faulk and Hainsey performed better in terms of Corsi despite playing tougher minutes than Gleason last year.

    Going purely by stats on the linked page, what makes Gleason's performance last year better than Pitkanen's? Pitkanen played almost as tough competition as Gleason and had a +1.1 Relative Corsi compared to Gleason's -11.5. He did start in the offensive zone significantly more often than Gleason, but even adjusting for zone starts he still comes out better.

    I don't get the myth of Tim Gleason. The team gets consistently shelled with him on the ice and yet he gets lauded because he plays "shutdown minutes", as if poor performance is somehow excused by having to play against good players. Harrison was laughably bad when he was in that role last year and everybody knew it and talked about how he was way over his head, but with Gleason he can just suck as much as he wants and he's still some great shutdown defenseman because he plays the tough minutes.
     

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