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Michalek, Fisher, Alfredsson among top defensive forwards

Our buddy James Mirtle at From The Rink had a great post yesterday on the top 25 defensive forwards so far this year. He measures it by looking at quality of competition at even strength, even strength goals against, and shorthanded goals against. The omissions on the list (no Datsyuk, Kesler, etc) are interesting, but so is the fact that three Ottawa Senators made the list: Milan Michalek (8th), Mike Fisher (13th), and Daniel Alfredsson (19th).

Having three Senators on a list of 25 players is impressive enough on its own. It's even more impressive when you consider that this score does not take into account the offensive capabilities of these players (their goals or shorthanded goals do not factor into Mirtle's equation). Milan leads the team with 11 goals, Fisher is second with 10, and Alfredsson is third with 8. Furthermore, each player has at least two shorthanded points, with Alfie leading the team with three. They also are all within the top four on the team in powerplay points.  Somehow, Ottawa's three most productive scorers on the team aren't just leading the team offensively, they're doing it defensively as well, both at even strength and on the penalty kill.

A chart like this really shows how well rounded these three great players really are, and how valuable each one has been to the Ottawa Senators' early season success.