Blues Year-End Report Card: Defense

Drew Hallowell

It's the end of the season, and we've all had time to sit back and evaluate the team. Who made the mark? Who needs to be held back? The answers may (not) surprise you.

We've looked at the top six and bottom six forwards yesterday; today we'll be taking a look at the Blues' defensive corps. This is the section of the team that tends to get the highest amount of praise from the media, but let's see how our writers rated Ian Cole's press box sitting skills, shall we?

Donut King:

Alex Pietrangelo

  • Regular Season Numbers: 81 GP, 8 G, 43 A, +20
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, +1
  • Analysis: The young cornerstone defenseman didn’t do much to dispel the notion that he’s a future Norris Trophy candidate for years to come. While he doesn’t have the same tenacity, not since the days of Chris Pronger have the Blues had a defenseman combine defensive prowess and offensive skill like Pietrangelo. And he hasn’t even peaked yet. He won gold in Sochi, too. That was cool.
  • GRADE: A-

Kevin Shattenkirk

  • Regular Season Numbers: 81 GP, 10 G, 35 A, +1
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 1 G, 4 A, -1
  • Analysis: Defensively, Shattenkirk did not overly impress this season. Offensively, though, the numbers speak for themselves. He’s not very big for a defenseman but tends to be more physical than the top pairing combined, which gets him in trouble sometimes. We’ll see what happens with him this offseason.
  • GRADE: B+

Jay Bouwmeester

  • Regular Season Numbers: 82 GP, 4 G, 33 A, +26
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -1
  • Analysis: His Iron Man streak continues, and he was the only Blues player to play all 82 games. He won gold in Sochi on a pair with Pietrangelo, and he played well on the same pairing in St. Louis. Surely, he’d like his point production to be better, but overall, he didn’t embarrass himself out there. Playing with Pietrangelo helps that, I suppose.
  • GRADE: B+

Barret Jackman

  • Regular Season Numbers: 79 GP, 3 G, 12 A, +11 (!!!)
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, -5 (???)
  • Analysis: He’s still a badass. He’s still steady in his own end. He still doesn’t produce offensively because he shouldn’t need to. He’s still probably my favorite Blue this side of David Backes. And he’s starting to get up there in age, which concerns me, especially with his injury history.
  • GRADE: B

Roman Polak

  • Regular Season Numbers: 72 GP, 4 G, 9 A, +3
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -3
  • Analysis: He’s 27 now, which means he should be close to his prime. He may be the team’s best skater. He is definitely the team’s most fit player, and probably the team’s most hard-working player. He didn’t look particularly good in the playoffs, though. All-in-all, he’s got a lot of career ahead of him. And his non-selection by Team Czech Republic is STILL baffling to me.
  • GRADE: C+

Ian Cole

  • Regular Season Numbers: 46 GP, 3 G, 8 A, +15
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Coach’s Decision)
  • Analysis: Hitch sings the praises of Ian Cole so much that I’d think at some point he’d get some regular playing time. Yet, he never does. I’m starting to wonder if that’ll ever change. I’d like it to, because he’s big, strong and seemingly responsible with the puck. With this defensive corps, though, I’m not holding my breath.
  •       GRADE: B-

Jordan Leopold

  • Regular Season Numbers: 27 GP, 1 G, 5 A, +1
  • Postseason Numbers: 6 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -1
  • Analysis: What an unlucky bastard Jordan Leopold was this year. Every time he was ready to come back to a regular role on the team, he’d get hurt again. I want to give him an incomplete grade, but I just can’t, so since he was pretty average when he played . . . that’s what I’ll stick with.
  • GRADE: C

Carlo Colaiacovo

  • Regular Season Numbers: 25 GP, 1 G, 3 A, -4
  • Postseason Numbers: DNP (Coach’s Decision)
  • Analysis: He started the season without a job. He ended the season in the press box. In between, he didn’t get injured, which is an accomplishment in and of itself for Coco. When he filled in (even the one time he played wing . . . remember THAT?!), he did so admirably. He won’t be back next year, I’d bet.
  • GRADE: C

CCR:

 

Alex Pietrangelo

B

good rebound season,with good offensive #, but pushed around at times

Kevin Shattenkirk

B+

career year in points, not the most physical, but handled puck well

Jay Bouwmeester

B

best in 6 yrs, ironman streak lives on

Barret Jackman

B

consistent, 2nd most hits/blocks in career

Roman Polak

B

solid/consistent, everything that we ask for in that role

Ian Cole

B+

best year yet. shows a lot of value

Jordan Leopold

B

injuries makes it tough, was solid w/out anything spectacular

Carlo Colaiacovo

B

little was asked, did what was needed very well. probably earned a roster spot elsewhere with his play

RobbTufts:

For defense I am taking a different approach.  I am looking at their Corsi For% (meaning the % of corsi events in favor of the Blues when the player is on the ice) and their on-ice save % (5v5). Granted the on-ice save percentage is influenced by the goalie, but in my opinion the defense share some responsibility and contribute to this stat (more so than offensive players would).  

I mapped them out on a scatterplot and created a grid with four quadrants based on the team average (for defense players) for each of those stats.  Players with above average possession (52.49%) and above average on-ice save % (92.66%)  is ideal in my opinion.  Unfortunately only one player falls in that category:  Jordan Leopold.  He only played 27 games however.  So I will give him a B (if I was using +/- grading it would probably be a B-).  Otherwise, I am giving preference to players with above average possession and then looking at their on-ice save %.

Pietrangelo:  A -- One of four players with above average possession (54.9%) and out of defense who played most of the games, had one of the higher on-ice save % (92.3%).

Shattenkirk:  A -- His on-ice save % (91.7%)  is not as good as Bouwmeester or Pietrangelo but he has the highest possesion for defense (55.1%).

Bouwmeester:  A -- He rounds out the top three players with possession numbers of 53.8% and an on-ice save % of (92.3%).

Barret Jackman:  B -- While Jaxx has above team average possession for defense (52.9%) he also had the lowest on-ice save % (90.2%).  If I was giving +/- he could easily be a B- or C+ but I’m not so he gets a B.  Remember I am favoring possession over save % and that is his only saving grace.

Carlo Colaiacovo: B -- Below average possession (51.7%) and barely below average save % (92.6%).  His possession is below team average for defense, but still above 50% warrants a B in my opinion.  That and his borderline average save % bolsters this grade.

Roman Polak:  C -- Has the 2nd lowest possession (49.4%) and 2nd lowest save % (91.7%). Enough said.

Ian Cole:  C -- Highest save % with 95.8% but lowest CF% with 49%.  He also has the highest PDO for 5v5 out of all the other defense.  Cole is lucky his poor possession numbers didn’t catch up with him.  And it is his poor possession numbers that earned him a C.

CanesAndBluesFan:

As a group, I would give the defensemen an A. The Blues were 3rd in total shots against,
3rd in 5v5 Corsi/Fenwick/Shots against, 3rd in Goals against, 2nd in PK%.

Individually, Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, and Shattenkirk all deserve A. There are some discrepancies in the
on ice shooting and save percentages. Shatty had the best Corsi but a poor +/- as a result.

Jackman I would give an A. He's not going to quarterback the power-play, but he did his thing
and did it well.

Polak I would give a B. Same reasoning as Jackman.

Cole I would also give a B. His +/- is skewed by an on-ice shooting percent of 9.09% and
an on-ice save percentage of 0.958. Must not have played much in front of Miller. The only
defenseman who faced a significantly below-average competition (-1.575).

Leopold I would give an incomplete. His numbers probably warrant a B, but he only played 27 games.

Colaiacovo I would give a C. Basically, he was a good as any other guy making the league minimum.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join St. Louis Game Time

You must be a member of St. Louis Game Time to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at St. Louis Game Time. You should read them.

Join St. Louis Game Time

You must be a member of St. Louis Game Time to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at St. Louis Game Time. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker