For most New York Islanders fans, the defensive pairing of Calvin de Haan and Dennis Seidenberg isn’t valuable to the team at all, but that’s where they’re wrong.
In all aspects of the game, this pair of defencemen is actually our best pairing. Night in and night out, they’re our best shot blocking, penalty killing, and all-around defensively minded pairing on the New York Islanders roster.
As most of you could see, the costly mistakes that the Hamonic-Leddy pairing have made have hurt this team in many ways, including a goal that was just given up in our last game against Columbus, where Leddy made a questionable pass that was intercepted by a streaking Cam Atkinson and soon enough wound up behind Jaroslav Halak and in the back of the net.
Things like this rarely happen he becomes Calvin de Haan and Dennis Seidenberg are on the ice, and nobody gives this pairing enough credit for holding down the fort defensively and not letting plays like the one I had mentioned earlier happen.
This pairing makes the best defensive minded decisions out of all of the pairings on our team. Unlike our top pairing of Travis Hamonic and Nick Leddy, the pairing of Calvin de Haan and Dennis Seidenberg has the best defensive awareness out of everyone on the roster and makes a lot less costly mistakes.
Going to the Numbers
As the stats show, Dennis Seidenberg and Calvin de Haan are both first and second in plus/minus with Seidenberg having a rating of +12 and de Haan having a rating of +9, respectively.
You might be thinking, “Why is plus-minus so important?” So let me tell you why. Plus-Minus is the difference between how many goals have been scored while you were on the ice and the amount of goals your team has given up when you were on the ice.
If you’re in the plus, like de Haan and Seidenberg are, that means you’re doing a good job at both producing goals and keeping the puck out of it now net, which is something a lot of New York Islanders fans don’t give this pairing enough credit for.
Both of them are also up there in blocked shots, especially Calvin de Haan who is ranked 3rd in the NHL in the category with 73 and also boasting an impressive 2.8 blocked shots per game.
The amount of times this pairing has blocked shots to prevent goals from being given up is insane, because when you block a shot, you’re preventing the shot from being put on goal, which makes the goalie’s job a whole lot easier.
This pairing is not only good at getting the puck out of the zone, but they’re also not afraid to use their body to keep the puck out of the net.
One last thing this defensive pairing is great at is killing penalties. The New York Islanders penalty kill has been one of the best in the NHL, and this pairing’s defensive play has been a huge part of it.
With their shot-blocking ability that I had mentioned earlier and their defensive awareness, this pair of d-men has played the most minutes on the penalty kill and has helped this New York Islanders team succeed.
Give all the accolades to top pairing of Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic. Or praise the play of the Hickey-Boychuk pairing, but don’t underrate the contributions of de Haan-Seidenberg.