Hardest Players to Score on in the NHLPosted by: Mike Davis
In order to find success in hockey betting, fans have to know which teams are capable of neutralizing an opponent’s offense. While a big part of that responsibility falls upon the goalkeeper, an even bigger portion falls upon the defenseman. The goalkeeper is the last line of the defense and the earlier you can stop a team’s offensive play, the better. That’s why good play from your defenseman is vital to halting your opposition, and even more important to finding success in the playoffs. Knowing which teams have the best defensemen in the NHL, and knowing which teams don’t, can lead to very successful future predictions. So, keeping that in mind, where do the best defensive players reside in the NHL?
It can be hard finding the metrics to measure defenseman across the league, but whatever statistic you look at Marc-Edouard Vlasic shines brightly. In fact you’d have an easier time finding a stat that he doesn’t excel in than finding a fault in his game. Some have even started to consider Vlasic as an image of what an ideal defenseman looks like, especially after Vlasic upped his scoring in last year’s season. The Sharks postseason success can largely be attributed to Vlasic, and while they don’t rank atop hockey betting sites as favorites, their position would severely drop without Vlasic.
One great way of measuring a defenseman’s performance is by looking at the number of mistakes he makes. In that department, and every other, Oliver Ekman-Larrson reigns supreme. Simply put Larrson’s makes no mistakes when he’s on the ice, instead, he capitalizes on the opponents mistakes. OEL’s performance is often overlooked one, because he’s a defenseman, and two, because the western market just isn’t thriving in the NHL department. The great thing about OEL’s play is that it is subtle, yet it’s that same subtleness that helps the Coyotes win their games. Arizona may not be hockey betting favorites, but a large part of their success can be attributed to their defenseman, particularly OEL.
Third on this list is another defenseman who is in contention for being ranked the best defenseman in the world, Erik Karlsson. Karlsson may not have gotten the memo about great defenseman having hyphenated names, but his play is just as exemplary as the two other names mentioned before. Karlsson separates himself from others on the list by the numbers he is able to put up offensively, scoring 82 points last season. What enables the 26-year old to put up those kinds of offensive numbers is the amount of time he spends on the ice. Karlsson’s known for his offensive contributions but when you compare it to his time on the ice, his numbers aren’t overly impressive. If Karlsson wants to rank higher on this list then he better improve upon his points-to-time ratio.
Next on this list is Mark Giordano. Giordano is one of the league’s best defenseman who is often underrated due to both the team he plays for and the market in which he is in. Giordano is arguably the best 5-on-5 defenseman in the league with offensive capabilities that rival that of Karlsson. If Giordano works on his PK stats he’ll definitely be able to garner some recognition across the nation. It’s either that or leaving the Flames for a team worthy of being your pick for the bet on NHL futures.