Including Erik Johnson, the Avalanche blueline is manned by three new guys this season. Add in Kyle Quincey, who was out for most of 2010-2011 because of an injury that turned out to be way more serious than any of us thought, and you've got 2/3 of the d-corps that is different from last year.
Putting aside the discussion of how the team is performing as compared to how you expected them to perform, evaluate the defense and, especially, the individuals that make up the corps. Who's doing well? Who's bombing? Who's the most consistent? Forget about potential vs. output; compare each man equally with the other. Now ask yourself, "Who's the best?"
*Matt Hunwick has not played enough games to be considered, and nacho eating is not a criteria in the voting.