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Why Joe Corvo is Better Than Brian Pothier

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by mwalle1

When puck moving defenseman Brian Pothier and Joe Corvo swapped teams at the trade deadline, the Caps filled a need that went largely unnoticed. 

The team was criticized for not getting a higher caliber defenseman, but Corvo is just what the team needed.  He controls the puck better than Pothier did, and is able to move the puck out of the defensive zone quickly and accurately.  Also, Corvo has the ability to quarterback the power play and step in for Mike Green if needed, something Pothier could never do.

Mike Green was burnt out by the time the playoffs rolled around last year from playing over 20 minutes a game in nearly every situation and was injured most of the post season.  Corvo is able to take Green’s spot on the power play at times and is able to give Green time to rest, regroup, whatever.  Corvo is a minute eating defenseman and that helps conserve the energy of other defenseman such as Green because they’re not relied on as heavily.  Sometimes the best contributions don’t show up in the box score.

A stat that helps to illustrate the fact Corvo is a better puck possession defensman than Pothier is at even strength Corvo has blocked 32 opposing shots compared the Pothier’s 70 blocked shots.  One could argue Pothier is a better shot blocker, sure, but if Pothier has had so many more chances to block shots, odds are its related to the fact he couldn’t hang onto the puck.

Finally, and perhaps the most important stat in comparing Corvo to Pothier is the amount of giveaways each of them have.  The Caps are constantly giving up odd man rushes due to the style of hockey they play, so limiting turnovers is very important.  Since joining the Caps 12 games ago Corvo has just 2 givaways compared to Pothier’s average of 0.5 a game, the equivalent of 6 in the same span, and even worse is John Erskine’s 0.75 a game, ouch.

So, while the debate of did the Caps do the best they could as far as defenseman at the deadline, one thing seems pretty clear, the Caps improved and gave themselves a better chance to win.