angryjay93

Defense Rankings in Review (GENS)

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Defense Rankings

The second of a series of quick reference pages where I recap the team ratings at every position, their ranking, and a quick blurb about the team.

1. Boston (8.5/10) – Don Sweeney is the undisputed champion of ’94 defenders, Bourque, Wesley, and Murphy provide plus skating and skilled defenders despite being heavy.

2 (Tie). Chicago (8/10) – Chelios is a premier two way force, skilled yet heavy Smith, or light and unskilled Russell rounds out pairing.

2 (Tie). Detroit (8/10) – Lidstrom provides steady play with a physical edge, Coffey provides speed and playmaking, plethora of effective 6 weight clones for depth.

4 (Tie). Winnipeg (7.5/10) – Housley provides spark from backline while Numminen holds the fort, Bautin excellent off bench.

4 (Tie). Calgary (7.5/10) – MacInnis and Suter provide excellent mobility and offense, lack true physical edge.

6 (Tie). Buffalo (7/10) – Svoboda effectively carries the load for whatever lackluster, heavyweight defenseman he’s paired with.

6 (Tie). Toronto (7/10) – Gill and Ellett provide classic heavy-light combo, Ellett provides element of offense.

8 (Tie). New York Rangers (6.5/10) – Leetch is as smooth as silk, Patrick brings mobility and offense despite being a fatty.

8 (Tie). Edmonton (6.5/10) – A little hefty, Manson and Kravchuk bring high IQ and skill to the table.

10 (Tie). Montreal (6/10) – Lacking in speed and skill, Schneider, Brisebois, and Daigneault provide light, hard hitting options.

10 (Tie). Pittsburgh (6/10) – Among the headiest duos in the game, Murphy and Samuelsson complement each other well but girth prevents them from being a premier duo.

12 (Tie). Florida (5.5/10) – Murphy is the catalyst on both ends for the Panthers, Hynes crushes skulls but not much else.

12 (Tie). Dallas (5.5/10) – Johnson and Sjodin are solid and each have a plus skill but can be overwhelmed with speed.

14 (Tie). Hartford (5/10) – Burt is an average defenseman, inconsistency of Zalapski dictates the effectiveness of this unit.

14 (Tie). San Jose (5/10) – Wilson is a premier shooter from the back line; Wilkinson provides steady puck moving abilities in support.

14 (Tie). Vancouver (5/10) – A vanilla Lumme is supported by a plethora of heavy slugs.

14 (Tie). Washington (5/10) – Cote is a must start despite lack of skill, Iafrate, Hatcher, and Johansson provide an interesting choice for #2.

18. New Jersey (4.5/10) – Driver is solid, but doesn’t always get the help he needs from Stevens and his savage AI mode.

19 (Tie). Los Angeles (4/10) – Light but stupid, Zhitnik must carry a super heavyweight in Blake to the finish line.

19 (Tie). Philadelphia (4/10) – Hawgood and Yushkevich provide two below average options, Hynes may need to be summoned off the bench.

19 (Tie). St. Louis (4/10) – Brown is blessed with a great shot, lack of mobility limits effectiveness, Butcher can’t be relied on to hold off the counter attack.

22. Quebec (3.5/10) – Abundance of options, most are inattentive to defense, have porous skills, or can’t skate.

23 (Tie). New York Islanders (3/10) – Kasparaitis is a border line starter; the rest of the core is barely useable.

23 (Tie). Ottawa (3/10) – MacIver carries the load, Shaw watches the opponent skate by him time and time again.

25 (Tie). Tampa Bay (.5/10) – Hamrlik and Bergevin are woefully under skilled, at least they aren’t heavy.

25 (Tie). Anaheim (.5/10) – Kasatonov and whatever random piece of garbage gets iced should have no problem bleeding goals against.

Again, lack of science here, some of these teams such as Montreal do truly excel at team defense, but these ratings take only the skill and effectiveness of the defenseman into account.

The two teams I think I overrated were Edmonton and Toronto, I think they should probably get a point deduction each because Edmonton is rather heavy and Gill is under skilled compared to a lot of 6 weight defenders that start.

Again, feel free to post any thoughts down below.

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Again. Underated Quebec D.

Nothing wrong with a Gusarov/Duschene/Foote combo.

Certainly better than fat junk from EDM.

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yah duchesne is a stud--ok not stud but solid

que should def be higher than tms like vancouver

but overall i agree with most of these

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Defense Rankings

Again, lack of science here, some of these teams such as Montreal do truly excel at team defense, but these ratings take only the skill and effectiveness of the defenseman into account.

So is the next step a list showing the "combined abilities"?

Appologies if it's already here somewhere!

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habs gotta be higher that edm. and i totally agree QUE is underrated according to their stats, but i noticed when u play with them, they are terrible, if that makes sense lol

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habs gotta be higher that edm. and i totally agree QUE is underrated according to their stats, but i noticed when u play with them, they are terrible, if that makes sense lol

Agree with you about Edmonton being lower than the Habs, Edmonton probably deserves a 5.5. Montreal has light but rather ordinary defenseman, they get a ton of help from their forwards.

And you pretty much said what I think about Quebec, in a draft league, Gusarov and Duchesne are fairly desirable, Foote is good depth, and Leschyshyn and Tartarionov have their uses. As a unit on Quebec though, they are AWFUL!

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Which is why it's necessary that you must make alternative pairings if you plan to use Quebec regularly. Together, Foote and Gusarov have to be used in order for them to work, so you may have to use either one of them together with Leschysyn or Duchesne since both starters are the most skilled of the d-men corps.

Tararinov gets a bit of use because of his slapshot, but he must be used with caution due to his weight.

Edited by RedWingDevil

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My update on AJ's initial rankings and I noted if the team moved up or down from that initial ranking. This mainly needed an update due to CB-check ability, but I also factored in the 3rd dman. I gave stronger weight to the two starters, but I did take a look at the first sub.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

01. -- : Boston (10.0) : Bourque is even more monstrous with CB. It's a toss up between Sweeney and Wesley as your #2, but both are strong options, and either way a fantastic 3rd!
02. -- : Detroit (8.5) : Coffey is one of the top 3 dmen in the game (Bourque/Housley). Take your pick with Lidstrom or Chiasson.
03. +1 : Winnipeg (8.0) : Housley is one of the top d-men in the game! Numminen gets drafted earlier as the #2. Take your pick between Olausson/Bautin.
04. -2 : Chicago (7.5) : Chelios never gets enough love, but he's very skilled. Smith is now a beast #2 with 11 weight and 4/4 skating. Cam Russell, old school weight bugger rounds out the 3rd option.
04. -- : Calgary (7.5) : The great skating of Suter and MacInnis keep them as 1 and 2, and Petit gives a decent CB option as the #3.
04. +10 : Washington (7.5) : The blast brothers Iafrate and Hatcher! Hatcher is a bit slow, but great CB checker. Johansson is a fantastic backup, or Cote, whatever you prefer.
04. +4 : New York Rangers (7.5) : Highly skilled Leetch and Patrick lead the way. Kevin Lowe subs in most of the time, not biggie.
08. +6 : Hartford (6.5) : ZZ's 10 weight and sweet skating make him a joy use. Burt is more agile, Weinrich's 4 speed and 10 weight is my own preference.
09. -1 : Edmonton (6.0) : I love this Edmonton defense. Manson and Kravchuk will crush back there.
10. +8 : New Jersey (5.5) : Stevens is an animal. Driver usually gets more love, but Fetisov would be my choice. Good 3 selection.
10. +9 : Los Angeles (5.5) : While Zhitnik gets drafted earlier, Blake is the star of this defense. McSorley is a respectable wall back there
10. -- : Pittsburgh (5.5) : Pittsburgh's top 2 guys are Murphy and Ulf, both very strong. Big drop off after that.
10. -4 : Toronto (5.5) : Ellett is underrated, but making more waves in GDL. Macoun is the clear 2. Gill gets more love, but I think Rouse should be in there instead as the 3D.
10. +12 : Quebec (5.5) : Surprisingly effective unit of Duschene and Tatarinov. Leschyshyn is sub.
15. -5 : Montreal (4.5) : Desjardins, Schneider, Daigneault…nothing good, nothing terrible.
16. -2 : San Jose (4.0) : Doug Wilson's canon adds to his great skills, but Ozolinsh and Wilkinson are not great supporting members. Tom Pederson is a mistake to use.
16. -2 : Vancouver (4.0) : Lumme, Lidster, Diduck. Meh.
18. -12 : Buffalo (3.5) : Svoboda is overrated, but still skillful. Smehlik's 10 weight and decent skillset make him the #2, with Bodger filling in as your 3rd.
18. +1 : St. Louis (3.5) : Oooh, love Jeff Brown's shot! However, again Butcher/Quintal are blah. Curt Giles if you're desperate.
20. -8 : Dallas (3.0) : Tinordi gains CB cred with that 9 weight, but Sjodin & Johnson are just boring.
20. +3 : New York Islanders (3.0) : Malakhov has some checking ability at 10 weight, but overall a poor group of Dmen. Kasparitis and Kurvers are your main options.
20. -8 : Florida (3.0) : Gord Murphy is a legit starter, but it falls quickly after that. Not sure if Hynes or Cirella should be there, but either way it's bad.
23. -4 : Philadelphia (2.5) : Philly doesn't get any better with CB. Yushkevich, Hawgood, Galley. Terrible.
24. +1 : Anaheim (2.0) : Kasatonov is a certifiable starter with his nice skating, stick and check. Houlder and Ladoucer can be effective CB checkers with 11 weight, but otherwise terrible.
25. -2 : Ottawa (1.0) : Maciver, Shaw Hammond. Brutal.
26. -1 : Tampa Bay (0.5) : Hamrlik, Beers, Reekie. WOAT.

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My update on AJ's initial rankings and I noted if the team moved up or down from that initial ranking. This mainly needed an update due to CB-check ability, but I also factored in the 3rd dman. I gave stronger weight to the two starters, but I did take a look at the first sub.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personally I think you're overreacting as bad as some initially after the weight bug. You list guys that are absolute trash bags and provide nothing besides C-B checking as a +, Even though skill is the main factor lighter d-men are smoother skaters and that counts for something

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FPB, FYI, my rankings were done on skill alone, with weight accounting for ZERO impact on my ratings. This wasn't an overreaction towards CB, but rather a correction on weight-bugger dominance.

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FPB, FYI, my rankings were done on skill alone, with weight accounting for ZERO impact on my ratings. This wasn't an overreaction towards CB, but rather a correction on weight-bugger dominance.

Lol yeah then why do you list guys like Mcsorley and Tatarinov who bring nothing but weight as positives

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Lol yeah then why do you list guys like Mcsorley and Tatarinov who bring nothing but weight as positives

Okay, please enlighten me and explain what skills Charlie Huddy, Darryl Sydor or ANY other LA defenseman have that are better than Mcsorley?

Also, who is better than Tatarinov? 5/1 shot, 3/3 skate, 4 stk, 4 pass?

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Okay, please enlighten me and explain what skills Charlie Huddy, Darryl Sydor or ANY other LA defenseman have that are better than Mcsorley?

Also, who is better than Tatarinov? 5/1 shot, 3/3 skate, 4 stk, 4 pass?

Why are you so defensive lol I just said it's my opinion. I just think you're adjusting it to your own biases rather than anything else.

I'd rather play Gusarov since he's a better skater even for the pass/sth downgrade considering Duschene is the primary puckhandler back there. As nice as Tatarinov's 5SHP is 1 SHA makes it a lottery at best.

I'd rather play Sydor as well because C-B is more forgiving in terms of weight disrepancy so Sydor can check most players anyway. Think Hatcher is also overrated because he just brings the same skillset as Iafrate while being unbearably slow

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Sydor is easily better than McSorley. McSorley has a better shot (3/2 vs 3/1), but Sydor will score more goals anyway. Sydor will also be faster on the breakout and have better positioning. Sydor has McSorley beat in every category of what makes a defender great.

Gusarov vs Tatarinov is close, with Tatarinov having a very slight edge. I don't think picking one over the other would have any impact.

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If you prefer Sydor over McSorely and/or Gusarov over Tatarinov, etc., it all makes sense depending on your individual styles. However, splitting hairs on who would be your 2nd or 3rd isn't going to move the needle on the rankings. My response was more that FPB suggested I valued CB checking too much, but that really wasn't the case. I think the big moves you see are due to reversing the weight-bug bias, which was in full effect 5 years ago! Guys like Iafrate, ZZ, Blake, Stevens, etc. are MUCH more valued than before, whereas someone like Svoboda loses much of his value as a light-weight puck-carrier/checker .

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Great breakdown,

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Aside from some small preference differences, I do have one question for king. I noticed in another post had buffalo as a tier one team. How do they maintain such status when their defense is worthy of only a 3.5? Sure, Fuhr and mogilny are great but opinions can differ widely on their wings. Just seems like the defense is a huge anchor for a tier one team to carry

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Aside from some small preference differences, I do have one question for king. I noticed in another post had buffalo as a tier one team. How do they maintain such status when their defense is worthy of only a 3.5? Sure, Fuhr and mogilny are great but opinions can differ widely on their wings. Just seems like the defense is a huge anchor for a tier one team to carry

I don't think anyone questions the value of 16 on the #sabres

89/16/31 are elite. 10 is kind of redundant but he's very good independently.

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I don't think anyone questions the value of 16 on the #sabres

89/16/31 are elite. 10 is kind of redundant but he's very good independently.

In a vacuum I don't question the value of 16. I just don't think he and 89 are a great duo that compliment each other extremely well. But that's my take, I can understand why you may argue that they are.

When it comes to tier one teams for me personally I don't think they should have big question marks attached to them. If they do they need to have an incredible strength to counter it. When I look at Buffalo I just see a noticeably less Chicago. At least with Vancouver you get 3 5+ speed guys with comparable skill. That's pretty damn unique and allows them to diversify more than buffalo. That's my take but I think there is plenty of room for both teams in the argument.

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In a vacuum I don't question the value of 16. I just don't think he and 89 are a great duo that compliment each other extremely well. But that's my take, I can understand why you may argue that they are.

When it comes to tier one teams for me personally I don't think they should have big question marks attached to them. If they do they need to have an incredible strength to counter it. When I look at Buffalo I just see a noticeably less Chicago. At least with Vancouver you get 3 5+ speed guys with comparable skill. That's pretty damn unique and allows them to diversify more than buffalo. That's my take but I think there is plenty of room for both teams in the argument.

Honestly don't think Geoff is that useful. I never dressed him on VAN and I think a couple of other people don't. He's just retarded defensively and he's not the guy you'd rather have carry the puck

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Honestly don't think Geoff is that useful. I never dressed him on VAN and I think a couple of other people don't. He's just retarded defensively and he's not the guy you'd rather have carry the puck

That's fair. Vancouver does have some depth in linden, semenov, and Adams. Buffalo has khmylev and maybe errey. I'd give van the edge there in terms of being able to mix and match.

What I learned in the last gdl I was in that speed is useful. Even if it's guys with moderate skill, they can be super useful if deployed appropriately.

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That's fair. Vancouver does have some depth in linden, semenov, and Adams. Buffalo has khmylev and maybe errey. I'd give van the edge there in terms of being able to mix and match.

What I learned in the last gdl I was in that speed is useful. Even if it's guys with moderate skill, they can be super useful if deployed appropriately.

Semenov just bizarro smart. He's always waiting on the door step for that one timer and he's great defensively.

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Aside from some small preference differences, I do have one question for king. I noticed in another post had buffalo as a tier one team. How do they maintain such status when their defense is worthy of only a 3.5? Sure, Fuhr and mogilny are great but opinions can differ widely on their wings. Just seems like the defense is a huge anchor for a tier one team to carry

Fantastic point. I can come up with a few reasons.

First, those tiers are for "general/average" players. Goalies, for example, influence those ratings a lot more than I would for elite players.

Just like Vancouver, Dallas, Montreal, (and conversely Hartford, NJ, etc), the offense has a much bigger impact to game results than defense. I rarely see elite players utilize defensemen as an offensive threat (Freydey does it best, Plabax as well). And that's why you'll notice the top rated defenses are the ones that have an offensive d-man. Most d-men are there to defend...check, poke, get in the way, etc. So even with all these differences, they're not enough to impact the game as much as offense.

This is also why the first 2 rounds of GDL have 4 dmen, 3 goalies and 41 forwards drafted. Forwards are much more important.

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If you prefer Sydor over McSorely and/or Gusarov over Tatarinov, etc., it all makes sense depending on your individual styles. However, splitting hairs on who would be your 2nd or 3rd isn't going to move the needle on the rankings. My response was more that FPB suggested I valued CB checking too much, but that really wasn't the case. I think the big moves you see are due to reversing the weight-bug bias, which was in full effect 5 years ago! Guys like Iafrate, ZZ, Blake, Stevens, etc. are MUCH more valued than before, whereas someone like Svoboda loses much of his value as a light-weight puck-carrier/checker .

Here is the problem: The light guys don't LOSE their value, the heavy guys just gain more. Someone like Svoboda is valued for good skating and checking abilities (two things that don't change with the CB), so it's not fair to say Svoboda loses "much" of his value when he doesn't lose any of it.

A Premium Tip:

Go for a defensive pairing that has good awareness/good skating. Take at least one player with an awareness of 4/6, 4/5, 3/5, 2/4 or 2/3. Make sure both defensemen have at least 4 agility unless you have Coffey or Housley, a case in which it would be OK to have a 3/3 skater as the second defenseman. It really makes a difference!!

My GDL pairings (Coffey/Murphy, Murphy/Lowe, Coffey/Lidster, Murphy/Zalapski) were always the best in the league, whereas my Blitz defensive pairings of Leetch/Sweeney and Leetch/Lidstrom weren't great but my Svoboda/Burt pairing was easily the best.

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It might be semantics, but I feel light (Gord Hynes, Brent Sutter, Curt Giles, etc) DO lose current value from their previous value because their main attraction used to be light weight. Yes, it doesn't change their skill, but the bonus of low weight is gone. You can see that same trend in the last few GDL drafts compared to previous. But I understand your point.

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I know what you mean, but the bonus of low weight would only apply to drafts, not for classic!

Edited by Premium

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I love the Premium tip. I did a little investigating and 10 teams have a combo that meets Premium's requirements

Boston---Borque has 4/6 awareness and both he and Sweeney are 4 or better agility. Easily the best combo in the league

Calgary---Both Suter and Macinnis qualify skating wise and Suter sports 4/5 awareness. Frank Musil also qualifies at 4/4 skating and 2/3 awareness. I personally like Dahlquist and his 3/3 skating and 1/4 awareness. He and Teppo seem to guard the net better than anybody in the game

Buffalo--Svoboda is a 4/4 skater with 3/4 awareness but does a much better job of playing defense than the similarly rated Alexei Zhitnik. Grant Ledyard barely qualifies at 4/3 skating and 2/3 awareness

Montreal--DesJardins and Daigneault both have 4 agility and JJ sports a 2/4 awareness. Most don't use this combo. No other MTL combo qualifies.

Winnipeg--Teppo is 3/5 awareness and both he and Housley sport 4+ agility. They don't really mesh well together even though Teppo is high on my list of defensive dmen

Edmonton--The surprise team on the list. Manson and Kravchuck both have 4 agility and Manson has 4/5 awareness. My personal favorite tandem. For whatever reason, these two play together better than any other combo in the game IMO

Hartford--Another surprise team, they barely qualify with Burt and ZZ both 4 or above agility and Burt with his 2/3 awareness. They are also the only team that both defenders have plus awareness and 4 or better agility with ZZ and his 4/5 awareness. Burt hardly qualifies as a defensive minded dman IMO. He gets lost out there sometimes and I don't believe 2/3 awareness should qualify anyways for this exercise.

NYR---Lowe combined with Leetch or Patrick...ok, so Lowe and Leetch. They both have 4 agility and Lowe sports a 2/4 awareness

New Jersey---Stevens and Slava Fetisov, although Slava has 4/2 skating and 2/4 awareness so he barely qualifies

Chicago also qualifies with Chelios and Smith. Chelios is 4/6 awareness. And both have 4 or above agility but most people sub Smith in favor of Russell which takes them out

Edited by Brass Bonanza

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When you add the goalie into the mix, you get these rankings:

T-1. Boston---Sweeney and Borque form the best defensive tandem and Moog is solid, especially in MC

T-1. Montreal---down the list on D pairing, Roy puts the total defense back at the Top of the list

T-1. Chicago---Belfour and Chelios are the cream of the crop while Smith eats all the cream and the crops.

T-4. Buffalo---Svoboda is a Top 10 Dman with plus skating and checking ability galore. Ledyard is ok, he has games where he cluelessly wanders around the ice. Fuhr is the 3rd best goalie in the game. They would be in that tie for 1st with a decent #2 defenseman

T-4. Edmonton---Manson and Kravchuk form a quick, heady duo in front of the very solid Ranford

6. Calgary--Suter is World class in skating and IQ, while Macinnis is fast but fails to play defense on most occasions. Musil or Dahlquist will cure that ailment and allow Vernon to be serviceable

7. Winnipeg---Teppo is among the best at positioning himself in his zone, while Essensa is very solid, especially in MC. Housley is agile and fast with perfect passing and stick handling. He's also listed as a defenseman, which is about the only time you'll hear the word defense when you play with him.

8. Hartford---I was tempted to put them at #7, but Burke isn't as good as Essensa and Burt really doesn't impress me. I usually leave Weinrich in. ZZ is an excellent skater and plays defense 1st.

9. Rangers---Lowe and Leetch are on the higher end of pairings IMO, Beezer and Richter are on the lower end of tenders

10. Devils---Stevens rivals Borque for AI intelligence and checking and Terrieri is a solid MC keeper but Slava rarely starts and when he does he gets roasted all over the ice with his fat slow self

Again, I'm only taking into account the teams defensive prowess and not the offensive abilities of the defenseman.

Edited by Brass Bonanza

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