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Norris winner Karlsson has a new partner on defense

Jan 9, 2013, 5:11 PM EDT


Marc Methot is a happy guy.

On Tuesday, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean confirmed Methot — acquired from Columbus in exchange for Nick Foligno in July — would pair up with reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson when the Senators begin the regular season.

“It’s awesome,” Methot told the Ottawa Sun. “I had a talk with [MacLean] right after I was traded. He sat me down, told me what was expected and there was a little bit of a layoff since then.

“I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Methot will replace Filip Kuba, Karlsson’s defensive partner from a year ago (Kuba signed with Florida this summer.)

Those are some big shoes to fill — the veteran Czech blueliner was a steadying influence, playing the kind of complimentary, defensive game that proved vital to Karlsson’s 78-point explosion.

Methot said he knows what he’ll need to do to keep Karlsson producing offensively.

“You could compare to the way the Kings played when they had [Drew] Doughty paired with [Rob] Scuderi or [Matt] Greene or whoever [Doughty’s] partner was,” he explained. “You make sure you watch his back in terms of jumping up into the play.

“Really, I’ve just got to keep my game pretty simple and let him take care of the rest.”

Related: Pens to audition linemates for Malkin and Neal

  1. shoobiedoobin - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    “Norris winner Karlsson” still makes me feel queasy. I don’t know much about Methot but here’s hoping for Karlsson’s sake that he’s a stay at home solid responsible type.

    • rsl22 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      I agree. I don’t really understand that. I know a lot of people hate numbers, but Mike Green is/was one of the most criticized players in the league, and I think it’s a bit unfair. If we compare his numbers from 2009-2010 when he was healthy and the Caps won the President’s Trophy, and last year when Senators barely made the playoffs….I’m still confused why Green gets such dirt.

      Karlsson – 2012 Norris Winner – 81 games – 19 goals – 59 assists – +16
      Green – 2010’s Overrated Player? – 75 games – 19 goals – 57 assists – +39

      Plus, Karlsson was playing with Filip Kuba (a former all-star), Green was playing with Jeff Schultz (the worst defender in the league).

  2. nygdriveforfive - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Karlsson will be in the mix for the norris for the next 10 years. The guy is a stud. So get used to it. I like this pairing as well.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      He won’t be a stud until he stops looking lost in his own end. Until then he’s just another Mike Green.

      • rsl22 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        And there ya go, you did make the obligatory Green reference. Green, if healthy, is a damn good player. The reason the Caps couldn’t score last year was because he wasn’t there being their one-man-breakout-machine.

  3. nygdriveforfive - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Please don’t mention Green and Karlsson in the same sentence. Karlsson has gotten better every (defensively) and his +- blows away green. Karlsson also is able to stay in the lineup.

    • rsl22 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Mike Green is a career +62.
      Erik Karlsson is a career -19.

  4. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    they say they haven’t seen a defensemen that can skate as well as Karlsson since Bobby Orr. Yes I realize nobody is a Bobby Orr, but they are just comparing skating ability as a D man. I guess we will see if he keeps it up over the next year or two.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      To be fair, a ton of defensemen skate well. Someone like Brett Lebda would probably skate around Karlsson. But it’s more than skating that makes him acquire points. But Green and Karlsson aren’t far off. Karlsson plays better D but that doesn’t mean he’s anywhere near the Norris. Chara and Weber were both jobbed last year in favor of a guy who racked up assists and couldn’t play adequate defense and it’s a damn shame.

  5. nygdriveforfive - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I wouldn’t say Chara and Weber were robbed. Norris is not awarded to the best defensive Dman. It’s not given to the best offensive dman either. Best overall D man gets it and that was and still is Karlsson aka Alfie jr.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      Chara and Karlsson could assist on offense while locking down the D. Karlsson can put up assists but can’t play D. Hell, even his own team kept him out of critical defensive situations. That alone should’ve kept him as a nominee as a formality. Weber and Chara were robbed.

      The whole “best all around” argument Karlsson fans try to use is invalid when you stop and remember that the key word is DEFENSEMAN. We don’t award the Hart to the Selke winner, do we? So why award the Norris to the highest scoring defenseman who can’t play D?

      • bigbadbruins77 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        I agree, they were robbed. Valid point with him not being used in critical defensive situations. Chara plays a ton of PK time. Chara’s PK time and plus/minus alone should have won it for him. Weber was a close second.

  6. nygdriveforfive - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Saying Karlsson can’t play D is simply not true. you can’t play the minutes this plays without being out there for critical defensive situations. Its just not possible. Also you guys might have missed the 7 game series against nyr last year I guess. Karlsson was playing on the pk/pp and made sereval critical defensive stops as you like to refer to it as. Just cus he is not 6/3 and a mauler does not mean he cant play D. Deserved the Norris and will be winning many more.

  7. pone27 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Its difficult for me to put Karlsson among the top Dmen in the league.

    Guys like Keith, Doughty, Suter, Shattenkirk, Edler just bring a much stronger all around game to the table.

    You can’t take away Karlssons skill at all, but to say he plays solid defense is highly questionable. He is very small for dman compared to the other premier dmen in the league. When i see Karlsson start laying out the body and take a guy like Lucic out of a play, he will get my nod.

    To remain on topic, I have watched a lot of Methot, and he is a great stay at home blue liner, but I am not too sold on him getting first line minutes that he will get with Karlsson. Should be interestingto see

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