And we’re going to interrupt your lovely Friday afternoon by bringing you this thought from the criminally insane:
Watching Dustin Byfuglien’s game-winning rush Wednesday night is a reminder of his game when he was a defenseman.
Given the puck in his own end, a few steps and a head of steam, Byfuglien’s a force.
It’s something he did a lot as a defenseman, which he was until the previous Blackhawks regime moved him up because of a logjam on defense two years ago.
Byfuglien was far from perfect as a defenseman, but he had value as a puck-carrier with a heavy shot, something teams pay a lot to find.
Who knows how he might have developed by now. Maybe he’d be a defenseman who can’t play defense but can move north and south for a lot less than $7.1 million a year.
Maybe he would have continued to star as he did in the AHL, or maybe he would have been terrible.
Problem is, we’ll never know.
Now, I won’t even bother trying to compare how Dustin Byfuglien would be as a defenseman in comparison to Brian Campbell. Only a truly certifiable person or someone who has been tripping on acid for the last six months can do that.
What I will say is, we know exactly Dustin Byfuglien would look like as a NHL defenseman because we saw it on full display in the overtime on Wednesday night.
A big, lumbering player with below average foot speed. Sounds a lot like Matt Gilroy, the guy Byfuglien blew out of the water.
While Byfuglien’s shot is a ‘thing’ and his size makes him a physical force, there is no way the Hawks made the wrong move when they shifted him to forward. Byfuglien’s lack of foot speed on defense would have made him a liability of Adrian Aucoin-like proportions.
That’s without taking into account the below-average hands he sports on his wrists. Because nothing says future Norris Trophy winner quite like a big guy who can’t skate backwards well and can’t handle a pass.
But go ahead and keep dropping acid. You’ll be amazed at the things you can imagine.