Derek Zona of Copper and Blue recently looked at the Oilers blocked shot leaders in a new way, which shows how many shots a player blocked relative to how many he was on ice for. Why is there a need for this? Because while blocking shots is a skill, it also shows that a player has been on ice long enough for the opposing team to have a shot attempt, which does not speak well of their defensive abilities. A better skill would be the ability to suppress shots and prevent chances because that allows possession to go more in favor of their team. Blocking shots is also a necessary skill but it does not always indicate that a player is good defensively because it shows that they are also spending too much time in their zone and have to resort to desperation plays. So yes, shot blocking is a necessary attribute but there are a lot of players who are blocking a lot of shots because they are getting pinned in their zone too much and need to make plays like that.
Players on the Canes who are lauded for blocking shots include Tim Gleason, Patrick Dwyer and Brandon Sutter...but neither of them are blocking the most shots relative to the amount they give up. Who leads Carolina in that category? Find out after the jump.
To figure out who really is the best shot blocker on the Hurricanes, we're going to take shot data from Behind The Net and find out how many even strength blocked shots each player has. After that, we'll add up the shot metrics from BTN (SF/60 + MS/60 + BK/60 + GA/60) and compare how many even strength blocks they have compared to that. This way we can figure out who is blocking most of the shots they face.
I'm going to divide it up between forwards and defensemen.
GA/60 = goals allowed per 60 mins., SA/60 = shots allowed per 60 mins., MS/60 = missed shots allowed per 60 mins., BK/60 = blocked shots allowed per 60 mins., ES BLK = even strength blocks, ES Shots = even strength shots, Block% = blocked shot percentage
Okay, so I lied in the opening statement. Patrick Dwyer is leading forwards in blocked shot percentage but he isn't leading the team so I wasn't completely off base. I didn't think Dwyer would project more to be much more than a fourth liner because of his limited offensive skills but he has evolved into a terrific defensive player this year and that's earned him a spot in the top nine. He's been giving up less shots than most of the team's top-six forwards and is out-performing linemate Brandon Sutter by quite a bit when it comes to shot and chance prevention.
Jussi Jokinen has proven to be very underrated defensively. He is still taking less than 45% of his draws in the defensive zone, is allowing less shots per 60 minutes than any other forward and is blocking shots at a pretty high rate compared to the rest of the pack. He is going through a bit of a dry spell with goals but if he can get 40 points this year and continue this great defensive play then I will consider it a very successful season for him.
Here's the defensemen:
No, the leader isn't Jaroslav Spacek either because he's only played 20 games this year and eight of them were with the Hurricanes. Still, he's been very good in his own zone even with the limited playing time. The team's blocked shots leader is technically Jay Harrison as he's blocked 48 shots and has given up less in his own end than Bryan Allen but he's also missed 10 games and has given up more shots on goal relative to his ice-time. Allen could easily be considered the team's best shot blocker as well because he has blocked the most shots overall and while he's given up over 500, he hasn't allowed over 10% of them to get through. Gleason, on the other hand, is getting pinned in his own zone a lot more and has been forced to get in the way of more rubber as a result.
This is more evidence of Allen being the team's best defenseman this season.