FanPost

In defense of Adam Foote

"Foote has lost a step"

"Foote is slowing down"

"Foote is great as a leader but hurting us on the ice"

OK, I get it.  My favorite Avalanche player is a seasoned veteran on the youngest team in the NHL.  But I'm here to tell you, Foote is still the best defenseman on this team.

Let's talk about this whole mantra in the media and continued in the blog world, "Foote is slow".  In a sprint from goal line to goal line I will grant you, Foote probably doesn't beat out many on his own team.  But let me ask you something, when was the last time Foote got beat on the edge?  When was the last time Foote got blown by on the rush for a scoring chance?  Now, in contrast apply those same questions to Liles and Quincey.  Two defensemen who are "faster" than Foote.

Guess who else is "slow"?  Chris Pronger, Ken Daneyko, Al MacInnis, Nicklas Lidstrom, and younger examples like Books Orpik or Jeff Schultz.  Look, I'm not saying that Foote is comparable in all skill sets to these guys.  What I am saying is that none of those good defensemen I mentioned have great straight-away speed.

Contrary to popular opinion, Adam Foote is a brilliant skater.  His skating has been his biggest asset in the NHL, not his ability to throw a forearm shiver along the boards.  His transition skating, edge work and posture are really amazing.  If you have the inclination just watch Foote on the point of the offensive zone.  Like Hejduk (another amazing skater) rarely do his feet ever stop moving.  He glides and effortlessly transitions to break out of his zone before the rush starts, not after.  He always, always, always takes away the middle of the ice and you will even see him skating past the mid-line of the ice to support his D partner when a single forward to trying to rush the zone during a line change.  He's got zero head-bob (compare and contrast his transitions to Wilson for example) and fantastic balance as he doesn't over-lean or do many of the cheats skaters can take.

Another thing to watch with Foote is his blind-side awareness.  If he has duty on the weak side he knows where that backdoor player is....always.  He checks his "six" constantly and rarely gets caught staring at the puck.  Some fans will complain that when a play happens on the strong side and the puck releases for a scoring chance, that Foote isn't fast enough to attack the puck and make a play.  That's not his job.  There's glory in throwing your body in to a blocked shot here.  Some have even gained high praise for leaving their assignment and making this play.  I can only imagine Patrick Roy  turning in to The Predator and ripping out Clark's spine for that move.  As Iceman and many goaltenders would tell you, you never leave your wingman Maverick.   Watch Foote in front of the net and contrast that with some of this fellow defensemen.

In the end, Foote may not be rushing up the ice to carry the puck out of his own zone.  Foote also isn't going to jump up in the play between the circles for scoring chances.  Foote has "lost a step" when it comes to pure foot speed when it comes to shadowing a player with a lot of side stepping on the boards and he has limitations on things he can do when the puck is on his stick.  However, when the puck is on the opposing man's stick in the Avs zone he's still the best we have.

MileHighHockey.com is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of MileHighHockey.com.

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 Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. 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