Originally written on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Carolina_hurricanes_v_e229
With about 7 minutes left in the first, Brooks Orpik redefined the term FREE CANDY.
Brandon Sutter unwraps a Tootsie Roll Orpik left for him, and he beats MAF on a crap backhand. 1-0.
 
  That is from our recap on October 24, 2009, Brandon Sutter scored his first NHL goal that night:

What seems like a million years later, Brandon Sutter is now a Penguin.   Here are his stats the last three years (click to enlarge):   Solid NHL citizen who has his best hockey in front of him.   Pens may go all-in with Crosby the next few seasons, since they are now entering the traditional primes of their careers.  Sutter may hover around his career average in TOI.  Staal played 20 minutes a game last season.   Hockey Analysis broke it down:  

 

  Sutter Staal GA20 0.644 0.692 TMGA20 0.898 0.803 OPPGF20 0.814 0.802 HARD+ 1.223 1.120

The above table measures defensive ability by looking at the players GA20, the players teammates GA20 and the opposition players GF20 and HARD+ is my all inclusive defensive rating.

Both players come out looking like good defensive players, but the edge clearly goes to Sutter.  He plays with weaker defensive teammates, against stronger offensive competition and despite that produces a lower GA20.  In fact, evidence suggest that Brandon Sutter is one of the best defensvie forwards in the NHL.  Over the past 3 seasons he ranks 7th in GA20 and 6th in HARD+ among the 221 forwards with with 2000 minutes of 5v5 zone start adjusted ice time. This compares to Staal who ranks 91st and 86th in GA20 and HARD+.

  That **** is confusing, but it isn't untrue. Sutter's offensive game isn't near Staal's, but he is more sound in the faceoff circle and maybe a better penalty-killer.   ::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Some big-time stats via DobberHockey:  
  • Brandon Sutter led the Canes forwards in blocked shots with 85. The leading Pens forward in blocked shots was Craig Adams with 45. Jordan Staal had 23.  Blocking shots may be illegal in the new CBA, so who knows.
  • Last season, Malkin led the Pens with 52 takeaways. Sutter had 61.
  • Sutter won 654 faceoffs, clicked at 50.5%.  Staal was 51%.

Other stats:

  • Numerically speaking, Sutter took only one penalty every 4 games last season.  We started calculating how good of a percentage that is when matched up against 17 minutes of ice time per game, and then we stopped.  Eyeballing the stats, it looks pretty good.
  • Sutter averaged 26 seconds per game on the Canes' PP unit last season.   Averaged 2:20 per game on the PK, highest among Canes forwards.  Carolina's PK unit ranked 23rd last season at 80.5%.
  The one player the Penguins had to get in the Jordan Staal deal with Carolina was Brandon Sutter.  It was the first name that immediately popped into Pens fans' minds when news of Staal's rejected contract offer broke. And that is exactly who they got. And this is what we know about him.   As for Brian Dumoulin, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.  
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