Washington Capitals Mailbag: Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Crosby Vs. Ovechkin, Johansson

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Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This Schmidt-uation Is Serious

This one comes from Bob from Arlington (Virginia).

"Trotz has been using both Schmidt and Chorney this season. Which one do you think should be getting more playing time?"

The answer to that question is pretty simple. It’s my opinion that Nate Schmidt should be playing more than Taylor Chorney. Schmidt can do a lot of things than Chorney can’t do. Don’t get me wrong. Chorney has been playing fairly well. He’s a safe guy. He brings a physical presence. There is something to be said for that. However, what Schmidt does better than Chorney is more important than that physical presence.

Schmidt drives possession better than any Washington Capitals defenseman. Sure, he allows a few more scoring chances than some defensemen. That’s because he generates more than most. Schmidt has the highest even strength CF% of any Caps defenseman right now. When he’s on the ice, the Caps generate more shot attempts for and fewer shot attempts against. Schmidt is one of the Caps best defensemen at leading the rush up the ice.

Chorney has been fine so far. However, Schmidt is better. I wish I could know why Trotz doesn’t trust Schmidt. All of this said I refuse to get upset over third pairing defensemen. If Schmidt was a top four defenseman, I’d have an issue. But honestly? This isn’t even worth the energy to get upset about. Chorney isn’t hurting the Washington Capitals. As long as that remains true, it’s not worth getting mad about.

Next: Crosby vs. Ovechkin