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Midseason Report Card: Defensemen

Midseason Report Card, Part 97: The Electric Bugaloo Strikes Back (aka The Defensemen).

Brett Clark

#5 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Dec 23, 1976

One of the reasons I defended Brett Clark's extension two summers ago was the fact that Clark would provide decent offense while still being responsible defensively. Well, the offense has dried up - he's on pace for just 14 points, by far his lowest total as an Avalanche. How much of that is system and how much is Clark is debatable, but the numbers are the numbers. Defensively, Clark has been blocking a boatload of shots (as usual). Other than that, he's been his normal old relatively-solid-but-still-prone-to-getting-beat-too-often-self. Certainly a useful guy to have, but not one who isn't expendable (hint, hint). Oh, and what is the point of the fucking mouthguard if you aren't going to have it in your mouth?

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 41GP 2G 5A 7P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: 41GP 4G 10A 14

2008-2009 Projection: 82GP 4G 10A 14

Grade: C+


Kyle Cumiskey

#48 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Dec 02, 1986

Cumiskey hasn't played enough to evaluate, but I'm such a nerd about completeness that I have to include him.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 3GP 0G 0A 0P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: 30GP 0G 5A 5

2008-2009 Projection: 82GP 4G 10A 14P

Grade: INC

Adam Foote

#52 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Jul 10, 1971

Foote has been a bit of a disappointment so far this year. He's had some good stretches, but also some terrible stretches (such as the last few games he played before his latest injury). And, geez, I know we didn't get him for his offense...but 4 points? That's awful even by his standards.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 30GP 0G 4A 4P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: N/A

2008-2009 Projection: 60GP 0G 8A 8P

Grade: B-

Scott Hannan

#22 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Jan 23, 1979

Hannan has very quietly put in a solid first half of a season. He's faced the other team's top forwards a lot, and has generally done a good job. Offensively, he's been worse than Foote, which is really saying something. Could Foote and Hannan be the lowest scoring defensive pairing in history? Beyond the offense, I think the first 41 games this year are exactly what the Avs thought they were getting two summers ago.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 40GP 0G 2A 2P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: 41GP 1G 12A 13P

2008-2009 Projection: 81GP 0G 4A 4P

Grade: B+


Jordan Leopold

#44 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Aug 03, 1980

If he doesn't slip in the shower or something, on he Thursday he will play in game number 44 - tops for him in an Avalanche uniform. Leo is off to a good start offensively, and could conceivably get to career highs in goals (9) and points (33) and perhaps even assists (24). Somehow, Leopold's goals always seem to come at opportune times.  Although he only has one game winner (suck it, Osgood), so maybe that's just my imagination. For the 2nd year in a row, Leopold got off to a very shaky start defensively but has gotten better.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 41GP 5G 9A 14P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: 14GP 3G 1A 4P

2008-2009 Projection:82GP 10G 18A 28P

Grade: B


John-Michael Liles

#4 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Nov 25, 1980

McDreamy is off to a fine start offensively and, barring injury, should get back to the 40-point level this year. While I kind of thought he'd be putting in 50 or 60 point seasons by now, that disappointment is tempered a bit by the fact that Liles is so much better in his own end these days. A couple of years ago, Liles had 31 hits in a season. He has 41 already, and the only defenseman on the Avs with more is Ruslan Salei (think about that one for a second). Maybe it's my hormones talking for me, but I think he's been terrific so far this year.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 39GP 5G 14A 19P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: 40GP 2G 14A 16P

2008-2009 Projection: 80GP 10G 29A 39P

Grade: A-

Ruslan Salei

#24 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Nov 02, 1974

Disappointing. His hits are down, his scoring is down and too often he seems to be mailing it in. He's still been our most physical defenseman in the first half, but overall it's been a "meh" 41 games.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 39GP 1G 9A 10P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: N/A

2008-2009 Projection: 80GP 2G 18A 21P

Grade: C

Daniel Tjarnqvist

#29 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche



Oct 14, 1976

Tjarmin Ultra has been solid and unspectacular in a limited role this year. Not that there's anything wrong with that; that's the kind of stuff you want to see from your 7th defenseman. He's had a couple of defensive gaffes and a few big offensive plays. Other than that, there isn't a lot of noteworthy stuff, other than the fact that Tjarnqvist seems to be 100% comfortable with his role.

2008-2009 1st Half Stats: 13GP 2G 1A 3P
2007-2008 1st Half Stats: N/A

2008-2009 Projection: 26GP 4G 2A 6P

Grade: C+


So, there's your defenseman as I see it through 41 games this year. To summarize:

  • Liles: A-
  • Hannan: B+
  • Leopold: B
  • Foote: B-
  • Clark: C+
  • Tjarnqvist: C+
  • Salei: C
  • Cumisky: I brought my pencil.