The Hurricanes are off to a mediocre start on their West Coast swing, and despite optimistic predictions the defense really stunk it up last night in a 6-3 loss to the Ducks of Anaheim. Canes fans had the predictable (on both sides of the coin) response to a -5 night from DEFENSEmen Dimitry Orlov, and a -3 showing from Tony DeAngelo. But I think it needs to be definitively said: IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS that brought out the vitriol towards them, particularly DeAngelo.
I can repeat myself, IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS!
Just to make sure you understand. IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS!
My objections to DeAngelo rest solely on
1) His inability to play his position effectively
2) His lack of production on the Power Play
3) His overall lack of goal scoring at even strength.
After all, are those not the reasons we were given for his re-signing?
There are far more talented Hurricanes sitting in the press box and DeAngelo is the problem. Plus, the power play is actually worse, with a limited sample size, than it was last year.
Exhibit A: Jalen Chatfield.
Anyone who has been around the Hurricanes has heard the murmurs of Chatfield’s politics. They are rumored (Chatfield is not as open with them) to align more with DeAngelo’s, YET I am a proponent of Chatfield starting over DeAngelo.
So yet again, IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS.
To prove the fact that this has nothing to do with DeAngelo’s politics let’s look at the occasionally flawed but still measured +/-. As it is understood, +/- is the closest measurement of “mistake free” hockey. You can say it is a report card for defensemen.
Having laid aside politics (because IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS), let’s stack +/- stats side by side with the Carolina Hurricanes defenseman who was a healthy scratch last night.
DeAngelo’s absolute worst season in the +/- column was 2013-14 in the OHL with Sarnia. -34 was the mark and he only belted 15 goals in 51 games. His second worst season? Last year with the Flyers. -27 was the tally there.
His very best season was in the OHL as well. With Sault Ste. Marie, he was +33. DeAngelo’s second best year, and the best he has had in the NHL was two years ago with the Hurricanes. That was a +30.
That alone out to tell you a lot, (his worst season is worse than his best) but let’s dive deeper.
DeAngelo has finished the season in the positive 6 times over the course of his career. 11 times the defenseman has finished in the negative. 7 of those 11 times have been in the double digits.
In comparison, Jalen Chatfield’s worst season is a -13 with the AHL Utica Comets. He has been in the minus after the final horn just 4 times. Once in the double digits. His very best season was last year’s +23 with the Canes. Chatfield’s best is 10 points higher than his worst, in case math isn’t your thing.
Exhibit B: The Hurricanes Power Play (So Far)
Without DeAngelo, last year’s Carolina Hurricanes PP sat at a paltry 19.8%. It is worth noting that Philly’s, with DeAngelo, was dead last.
This year the Hurricanes, after three games, that number is 18.8%. Jogging your memory, that is with DeAngelo (on the ice and not writing political treatises) who was brought in to revamp and revise the powerplay. The Flyers, again a side note worth noting, have lifted themselves off the bottom and risen to 11.5%
Yes, 2 of DeAngelo’s 3 points have been on the power play but he has not exactly set the woods on fire. Or at least as was expected.
Exhibit C: Brent Burns, Jaccob Slavin, and Brady Skjei
The top line of Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin have a combined 4 points in 3 games. Skjei alone has 4 and is +4 to boot. These defensemen are the offensively minded producers DeAngelo is not. Or at least the goal scorer we were sold. That DeAngelo’s only goal so far into this tour was against an AHL team fielded in the preseason say something.
Jalen Chatfield is an all around better option than Tony DeAngelo. Period. You do not have to make 500k a year, or gone to Randolph Macon to see that, or maybe you do. I don’t know. They have the same (rumored) politics, which I admittedly do not agree with, but as I have attempted to point out IT IS NOT DEANGELO’S POLITICS that I have a problem with. His lacking the defensive capabilities needed for a bottom pairing DEFENSEmen, his inability to produce at the rate expected, and actually dragging down the power play that he was brought in to invigorate is why I feel DeAngelo needs to be in the press box.
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS POLITICS!
If you have read this and still think it is about politics that is on you and only you. I have pointed it out as clearly as I can. The rest on you.