Jeff Petry is making some nice progress toward becoming a legit NHL defenseman. It’s such a difficult process and often injury or lack of a veteran partner can send a young defender into the abyss. Petry still has his moments of chaos, but there’s a player there.
Last night the TOI for the defense went like this:
- Whitney 23:03
- Petry 20:39
- Potter 18:51
- Barker 17:40
- Smid 17:09
- Gilbert 16:04
They all seemed to get a turn on the PK and Whitney spent much of the night on the PP, and as it turns out Petry led the group in even strength minutes. Dennis King scoring chances has Petry’s even-strength night at 4-3. Now, we know Gilbert is just coming back and his minutes will increase, but I think you can make a case for Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert as the top 4 in this group.
Meaning Potter, Barker, Sutton and Peckham are also-rans and any of them could probably be had at the deadline. More and more, Jeff Petry is doing the things required to play top 4 NHL minutes in this group. You may say that’s not a big deal on such a bad defensive club, and that’s true.
However, he is showing well by eye and the behind the net stats show:
- mid-pack zone start
- #2 Qual Comp
- #4 Corsi Rel
This is a young player and we should be prepared for setbacks and injuries and locusts and the plague. He does look like a winner from here. Good arrows.