Taking a look at the Washington Capitals‘ defense.
ALZNER VS. LANGWAY
Through three NHL seasons, the stats favor Langway except for penalties, which showcases Alzner’s maturity:
Gms | Goals | Asst | PIM
• Langway 202 | 21 | 67 | 331
• Alzner 133 | 3 | 19 | 34
Mike Gartner on Rod Langway
“Rod was a guy that came and I never saw Rod have a bad practice, let alone a bad game. He brought it to the rink all the time. He brought it to the rink for practice, he brought it for games. He played a very sound defensive game didn’t get himself into a lot of trouble at all, was not a fancy player by any stretch, was a very difficult guy to play against.”
Bob Woods on Karl Alzner
“Alzy’s just one of those guys that as a coach when he’s on the ice you feel pretty confident that he’s going to make the right plays all the time. As a coach that’s a good feeling to have.”
THE ALZNER TIMELINE
Sept. 24, 1988: Alzner born in Burnaby, British Columbia. By then Langway already had won the Norris Trophy twice, captured a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens and made the All-Star Game six times.
June 22, 2007: Capitals select Alzner with the fifth pick in the 2007 draft after three full seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
Nov. 26, 2008: Alzner makes NHL debut against the Atlanta Thrashers at Verizon Center, playing 21:06.
Dec. 6, 2008: Alzner scores first career NHL goal vs. Toronto. He also assisted on the game-winner.
June 13, 2009: Alzner, Hershey Bears beat the Manitoba Moose in Game 6 to win the Calder Cup. A year later, Alzner and the Bears beat the Texas Stars to make it back-to-back championships.
April 28, 2010: Alzner makes his NHL playoff debut in Game 7 against Montreal, which the Capitals lost to complete their first-round exit.
Analyzing the Capitals‘ projected defensive pairs
• Karl Alzner and John Carlson
With a nickname like “Carlzner,” they have to be good. And they are. When the Caps want to shut down an opponent’s top line, Alzner and Carlson get the call.
• Jeff Schultz and Mike Green
Schultz and Green are better when together than apart because they know each other’s tendencies almost as well as Carlson and Alzner.
• Roman Hamrlik and Dennis Wideman
This was a pairing coach Bruce Boudreau envisioned in July. Hamrlik can be the rock while Wideman roves around the ice creating offense and turnovers.