Roman Josi, P.K Subban, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm are without a doubt the strongest defensive unit in the league currently. The playoffs have proven to be the perfect stage for this team to emerge at the forefront of hockey analysis.
Josi averages almost 26 minutes per game, playing on both the penalty kill and the powerplay. He has recorded 5 goals and 5 assists, with 3 powerplay points, and one game winning goal. He is running the successful powerplay and has proven to be incredibly successful offensively while providing the backbone of the D core. Josi recorded 49 points in 72 regular season games, and has adapted well without Shea Weber’s presence in Smashville. He was tied for 10th in points for defenseman, and remained a +7 over the season while maintaining over 25 minutes of ice time. Roman Josi is a prime example of a #1 defenseman on an incredibly stacked D core.
P.K Subban has not missed a beat after shocking departure from Montreal over the summer. Recording 40 points in 66 regular season games, in a year where he struggled with nagging injuries, and still averaging 24 minutes per game. ANY team where P.K Subban is on the second D pairing is a stacked team. P.K has 8 points in the playoffs and more shockingly has a Corsi Rating of 54.4 at even strength while still maintaining over 25 minutes per game.
Ellis and Ekholm are equally as impressive posting 10 and 7 points respectively. Their supportive roles as well as offensive prowess have shown the league the importance of strong defense. Ekholm is plus 10 in the playoffs and is playing at the top of his game. Ellis, following an impressive regular season has continued to get quality shots on goal.
The 4 D have combined for 45 points in the playoffs, with Josi and Ellis recording 10 a piece. Not too bad considering super hero Erik Karlsson has recorded 13 points in more games. All in all, if Nashville advances, you can thank their top 4 D men.