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Well, We’re Waiting – The Committed Indian.com’s Season Preview: The Rest Of The Defense (Part 2)

Ok, let’s keep going.

Johnny Oduya

2011-2012: 81g – 3G – 15A – 18P – -6 – 3.3 SH% – -0.22 Behind The Net Rating

Oduya quickly became the apple of Quenneville’s eye, which led to its share of problems. Oduya showed up proclaiming that he wasn’t a power play player, and yet after one goal against the Rangers he found himself QB-ing the second unit. He got a lot of minutes. It seemed like he was expected to carry the mail at times more than Leddy was.

And then it all crumbled against Phoenix where he got his head kicked in.

Things should straighten out this year with lower expectations (and a kind of silly contract). Oduya is simply in the mix behind the top pair, and won’t be on the power play. He’s going to play with a far more conservative partner, who would be more predictable than Leddy was. While that won’t mean Oduya is suddenly going to become a rusher, he can at least cleanly take care of the Hawks in their own zone in a sort of third-pairing role. Basically, Oduya will be having a good year if you don’t notice him.

Sheldon Brookbank

2011-2012: 80g – 3G – 11A -14P – +11 – 6.1 SH% – 0.95 Behind The Net Rating

Brookbank is kind of a weird study. Last year in Anaheim, he had the best Behind the Net for Ducks d-men and yet their worst CORSI. He skated the least minutes. He was their second best penalty killer behind Francois Beauchemin.

What does that mean for the Hawks this year? As Chris Block would tell you, remember Matt Walker. It’s the same kind of guy. A smaller version, probably a better skater, but the kind of lunk that can do stuff for you but that Q will roll out there too often because of “toughness” and just might get exposed. Rozsival would be the far better second-pairing option, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s going to be Brooksie here that is eating up those minutes. We’ll just have to see. Whatever, far better than John Scott.

Steve Montador (aka Dizzy Gillespie)

2011-2012: 52g – 5G – 9A – 14P – +4 – 8.8 SH% – 0.23 Behind The Net Rating

We spent a lot of time bemoaning the use of Montador behind John Scott, as Q immediately decided he didn’t want any part of him. He saw time at forward at both even strength and on the power play. He even made the power play role work a bit by actually getting to the high slot, a spot on the ice the Hawk forwards acted like they were allergic to. Then he got dinged, and that was it.

Monty was more effective when he did play than he got credit for. He had the best CORSI for Hawks d-men by some margin. Yeah, his decisions could get goofy in a hurry, but that was always part of the package. He has a massive shot that he actually got on net that we never got to see on the power play, simply because.

But now? Not sure it matters. If Monty did indeed have a setback just skating with his teammates during the lockout, you really have to wonder if he’ll ever play again. It might be wise if he didn’t. Monty’s only contribution this year will be on LTIR, it looks like. Even if he was healthy, it’s hard to see how he’s going to be anything other than #8 on the depth chart.

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