Cage Match – Alex Goligoski vs. Roman Josi
This week will feature a matchup that was debated a bit in the DobberHockey forums in a thread I replied to. There were some valid points made on both sides so I felt like a deeper look was warranted. So Goligoski vs. Josi it is.
First off, let's just get this out there once more, defensemen are evil and I hate them. Their production bounces around like crazy from year to year because they score so few goals and are thus heavily reliant on their teammates to boost their point totals and unlike assist-heavy forwards they are seldom setting up tap-in goals so there is really not much they can do without good teammates. That means that minutes and situation are absolutely paramount to their production and that's why this makes for a darn good Cage Match.
Both Goligoski and Josi play a ton of minutes for their teams. This season Goligoski skated 22:23 per game with 2:53 on the power play. It's actually a bit disconcerting that Goligoski only skated 2:53 per game on the power play as Dallas received the fifth most power plays in the league this season. His total power play time amounted to only 48.7% of the Stars' total power play minutes, meaning he was hardly being used as the offensive specialist we all think him to be.
This isn't to say that Goligoski was getting the shaft. In fact, no defenseman on the Stars saw more offensive zone starts than Goligoski except Jamie Oleksiak, a 20-year-old rookie who played in just 16 games at less than 15 minutes a night. So this just shows that there's room for either growth or concern here. Goligoski could easily see more power play time but there's also a chance he just doesn't deserve it and could be in for even less. The Stars did just spend the two weeks prior to the trade deadline loading up on puck moving defensemen. Either they think Goligoski needs some help or needs to get replaced. I believe that it's the former and Dallas just wants to build from the net out but you never know. New Stars G