Quick WC update: Landeskog and the Swedes advanced to the gold medal game. Johnson, Stastny, Palushaj, and Hunwick lost in today’s semifinals and will take on Finland for the bronze medal.
Statistics: GP 43 G 0 A 6 P 6 PIM 16 +/- 4 Hits 40 BS 59 Giveaway/Takeaway Differential +8
Matt Hunwick seemingly secured his spot in the top six for the Avs this year, after a really tough 2011-2012 season. I think for the most part he was one of the better players in the defensive zone. Hunwick was one of the leaders in time on ice this season, and despite the fact that the team allowed way more goals than they scored, he had a positive plus-minus rating. He was one of the few players on the team with a positive plus-minus. He also improved in his one on one play, and had a positive differential between his giveaways and takeaways. I know that it has been common among Avs fans to trash Hunwick, ever since he joined the team, but people need to stop judging him based on his first poor 20 games with the team, and instead look at the good he’s done in the past two seasons. Hunwick isn’t a particularly aggressive player, and he’s probably the smallest defenseman on the team, but he can still play pretty strongly along the boards. I was also impressed this season with how many shots he blocked. In the past that hasn’t really been a part of his game, but he really stepped up and added that to his play this year.
Hunwick has been billed as an offensive defenseman, and yet he only had six points (all assists) this year. This was obviously an off year for pretty much everyone on the blue line, especially offensively, but Hunwick didn’t do himself any favors with his low point production. He had the same number of points last season (in 10 fewer games) and three of those points were goals at least. Plus, there’s just the general fact he was a part of a team that ranked 27th in the league in goals against.
Hunwick’s main goal is to work on his shot I think. He should prepare similarly to how he did last summer otherwise. He has scored a couple of goals in the World Championships, which should help his confidence, and will hopefully lead into a more offensive season next year.
Hunwick has one year left on his $1.6 million contract. I expect the Avs will wait to see how this season plays out (not just for Hunwick, but for the other defensemen as well), and then decide whether to renew him or let him test the market.