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Carolina Defense Rates Among League's Best

Defense by committee.  It's not the first time you have heard the term, especially when talking about the Carolina Hurricanes blueline.  But this "committee" is starting to make a name for itself. 

Recently, Scott Cullen, of wrote an article rating each defensive unit in the league.  As his basis, he uses a complicated formula which takes into consideration a plethora of information.

The Player Rankings are generated using a statistical formula that includes the following stats: goals per game, assists per game, plus-minus, power play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals, shots on goal, blocked shots, hits, giveaways, takeaways, faceoff won-loss and penalty differential (drawn - taken).

The method used probably has it's faults, for instance Dennis Seidenberg is rated higher than Tim Gleason, although Seidenberg does have better offensive numbers and is one of the NHL leaders in blocked shots.   Regardless, as long as the method is consistent, it should provide a valid comparison of the league's defenses. 

According to Cullen's report, the Hurricanes blueliners are ranked sixth best in the NHL.   Since the results are weighted toward the top four, I took the results one step further and added in each player's average salary, from that grouping.  Guess which team is getting the most bang for the buck?


1.  Boston 

  • Chara 7.5
  • Wideman 3.9
  • Ference 1.4
  • Ward 2.5
  • TOTAL 15.3 million

2.  San Jose

  • Dan Boyle 6.7
  • Vlasic 1.1
  • Ehrhoff 3.1
  • Blake 5
  • TOTAL 15.9 million

3.  Detroit

  • Lidstrom 7.4
  • Rafalski 6
  • Kronwall 3
  • Stuart 3.7
  • TOTAL 20.1 million

4.  Chicago

  • Keith 1.4
  • Seabrook 3.5
  • Campbell 7.1
  • Barker 2.7
  • TOTAL 14.7 million

5.  Pittsburgh

  • Gonchar 5
  • Orpik 3.7
  • Letang .8
  • Scuderi .7
  • TOTAL 10.2 million

6.  Carolina

  • Corvo 2.6
  • Pitkanen 4
  • Babchuk 1
  • Seidenberg 1.2
  • TOTAL 8.8 million

Credit must be given to the players for their outstanding performance, especially during the past two months.   But Jim Rutherford is once again looking like one of the better executives in the league. We will take a closer look at that a bit later.