Sac Fly

March 29th, 2016 at 7:56 PM ^

I've seen a few shrugging it off but the line chart is razor thin on the left.

You have two open spots at LD1 and LD2. Returning are two guys who have never handled more than 3rd pair minutes, a freshman and Nolan De Jong.


March 29th, 2016 at 10:18 PM ^

I'm hoping that De Jong is ready to be the #1 LD (note he's a lefty, but had been playing the right side this season because of Michigan's depth on the left).  We can scrounge up 2 more LD among Cutler Martin, Sam Piazza and Niko Porikos, who could move back to the blue line unless we also have huge numbers of departures at forward.

On the other hand, our RD will include Luke Martin, Nicholas Boka, Kevin Lohan and Joe Cecconi.  Assuming Lohan comes back healthy next year, it's possible that one of them ends up playing at LD next year, because they are all top-6 quality blueliners.

Possible pairings:  De Jong & Boka, Piazza & Cecconi, C. Martin & L. Martin.  That's not too panic-inducing, all things considered.

Wolverine Devotee

March 29th, 2016 at 10:36 PM ^

Piazza is the best defensive defenseman on this team. Mind boggling that he sat during the NCAA Tournament.

Notice when Downing or Martin were suspended and Piazza was in no defensive disasters i.e turnovers, stupid plays took place. 

Could've used him against UND. 


March 30th, 2016 at 10:36 AM ^

I forgot completely about Griffin Luce.

Wait...why were we worrying about the blueline again?  It seems that Michigan could have 8 Big Ten quality blueliners, and probably 4 or 5 of at least marginal NCAA tournament quality by the end of the season. 

Really the only concern with me will be whether they play up to their skill levels.

Pepto Bismol

March 30th, 2016 at 10:35 AM ^

I don't know what to tell you. 

DeJong, Werenski & Downing have all played both sides this year alone.  The Red Wings have at one time had Kronwall, Ericsson, DeKeyser, Quincey & Smith all active, and all are lefties.  At least two of the three Detroit defense pairs had lefties playing on the right.  Left and Right side does not matter. They're interchangeable. 

Those are just top-of-my-head examples from this season alone from the two teams I follow closely.  It happens everywhere, all the time, at every level.

I'm curious what you're basing this opinion on.

No defenseman cares what side they play.  Lefties will go to the left by default, and the same with righties to the right, because you're more often on your forehand.  But there are also advantages to playing the off hand, mainly in the offensive zone.  Any defenseman worth his salt can play one-on-one defense down either board.  And once you begin defensive zone coverage, left and right go out the window.

If Luke Martin comes in and is clearly the 6th best defenseman, they'll pair two righties together and one of them will play the left side.  It's not a big deal.

If you need one more piece of evidence, go look at any NHL or college roster.  Just Google the first team that comes to mind.  If you can find one single team that specifies LD or RD, I'll give you a cyber high-five and an upvote.  You won't.  Everybody just lists defensemen as "D".  There is no Left or Right.  Why? 

Because L or R doesn't matter.  Defensemen are interchangeable. 

You can pair any two together at any time.