I am sick and tired of all the comparisons between the stats of Luke Schenn and James van Riemsdyk, especially since they all make Luke look like the worst player ever to play the game of hockey. The two main things being said around twitter is that: 1. JVR is number one on the Leafs in goals and Luke is number one on the Flyers in giveaways, and 2. Luke Schenn has 3 goals in the last 2 years to JVR’s 3 goals in the last week. Now I’m not saying that all this isn’t true I’m saying that comparing their stats like that is not the accurate way to tell who is better. In fact there is no way to tell who is better one is a forward and the other is a stay-at-home defenseman, their contributions to the team are completely different it’s like comparing apples and oranges.
Let’s look at the first comment more closely. Luke Schenn is tied for first (with Nicklas Grossmann) in giveaways on the Flyers as of now with 5. That’s 2 less than the top guys on the Leafs and only 4 more than James himself. James van Riemsdyk is tied for first (with Matt Frattin) in goals with 4, he is however 4th in points with 5 (Nazem Kadri is first with 7). Doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
Now let’s take a look behind curtain number 2. You do not have Luke Schenn on your team to score goals. When I say top-scorer you do not think of Luke. Luke Schenn is a stay-at-home defenseman the real gauge of how he is doing is plus/minus and currently he is tied for first on the Flyers with +2 (currently JVR has a -2). When I think of Luke Schenn specifically I think of hits. To date he has 923 career hits. He was number one in hits for his team 3 of his 4 past years in the NHL with an average of 64 hits between him and the player in second (for 2 years in was Dion Phaneuf). He is currently number 1 in hits for the Flyers with 23 (in second is Brayden Schenn with 19, must be in the genes). Overall I think it’s safe to say Luke is doing his job.
There is one last thing that separates Luke Schenn from others that nobody ever mentions (and it’s my favourite thing about him), and that is his willingness to throw down and defend his teammates no matter what team he is on. The two videos below are examples of this one is from this season and one is from his rookie season (I dare you to watch them and not want that guy in your corner).