Earlier this season I examined which players had recorded primary points on the highest percentage of their team’s goals. It was a meaningful exercise highlighting the players who could generally be relied upon to score regardless of the fate of their team because for the most part, these were the guys driving the bus. You may have noted that the list was comprised entirely of forwards.
What can I tell you? Defensemen simply do not drive offense as directly as forwards can. Rare is the defenseman who scores 10 goals, let alone the 20 or 30 that an average top-line forward might. When defensemen notch assists, half of them are of the secondary variety. They start the breakouts, rather than finishing them. This puts defensemen into an awfully precarious position. They cannot be relied upon to drive offense for a team the same way that forwards can. Even in the age of the offensive defenseman it’s forwards who are driving the bus.
Still, there are some defensemen who do a better job of driving things than others. Here are the defensemen who have recorded points on the highest percentage of team goals (before last night’s action):