We’re big fans of Mike Green here at Pro Hockey Talk. We’ve talked
about how his numbers compare to some of the greatest all-time
defensemen, and the PHT readers all agree that Green is the best
offensive defenseman currently playing in the NHL.
But is it
enough for a Norris Trophy?
Brophy of Sportsnet.ca asks the question.
With 17 goals and 71 points in 70 games, Green certainly has the
offensive credentials. Not only that, his plus-33 is second best in the
NHL amongst defenceman. Only teammate Jeff
Schultz‘s plus-37 is better. How much of a defensive liability can
you really be at plus-33?
Also boding well for Green is the fact he also led the NHL in scoring
among defencemen last season, with a whopping 31 goals and 73 points in
68 games. Zdeno
Chara of the Boston
Bruins edged Green out for the Norris Trophy last season, but it is
easy to imagine voters looking at Green’s body of work over two seasons
and deciding he has earned the honor this year.
Brophy acknowledges that Green not being named to Team Canada hurts
his chances, but the arguments about his defensive liability seem to be a
bit overdone after seeing what he’s done two seasons in a row.
Duncan Keith is most likely Green’s biggest competition, as there’s
no doubt he’s becoming the most complete defenseman in the NHL. But is
he there yet? It’s a great argument over whether raw numbers will
outweigh the public perception that Green is soft on defense. If you
just watch him play game after game, it becomes obvious how dangerous he
is on the ice and just how important he is to the success of the
Hopefully Green’s acting ability isn’t used against him. It’s not his fault he has the on screen charisma of a rock.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.