PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!
Jason Brough: This one is easy. It’s Erik Karlsson, who has 38 points in 35 games. That’s the most points of any d-man, and it’s good for sixth in league scoring among all skaters. Yeah, yeah, playing defense involves a lot more than scoring points. But you know what? It also involves a lot more than playing defense. If you can’t move the puck after a change of possession, what good are you? If you can’t contribute to the attack, then you’re just standing around half the time. And besides, it’s not like Karlsson refuses to defend. He leads with the Sens with 71 blocked shots, tied for 18th most in the NHL.
Mike Halford: I’m going with Drew Doughty. Is Karlsson deserving? Yes. But he’ll be 26 years old in May, and winning three Norris Trophies by 26 is insane.
Here’s a list of people that have accomplished the feat:
END OF LIST.
So if we all agree this is too much, too soon for Karlsson (shut up, you’re agreeing), then this seems like the perfect time to make up for past transgressions. We could totally rectify the times Doughty got boned, like in 2011, when he got the same number of first-place votes as Matt freaking Carle. We could also mercifully put an end to the innumerable “Doughty deserves a Norris” think pieces, which you can read here and here and here and here and here.