When Alex Goligoski takes the ice tonight at 10pm you will be seeing the guy that made it easy for the Penguins to trade away Ryan Whitney. Goligoski in two short seasons has become the breakout playmaker that the Penguins were expecting Ryan Whitney to be with one little added bonus, Goligoski leads the entire NHL (not just defensemen) in plus minus. For a guy who is supposed to be an offensive defenseman that is quite impressive.
GP G A PT +/-
Goligoski 14 5 7 12 +12
Whitney 12 1 6 07 +03
Both defensemen have great skill, but confidence is the one thing that separates the two. Goligoski is not afraid to skate the puck all the way up the ice and shoot while Whitney is more apt to dish the puck off and have someone else work it. If you remember, Whitney’s best year was the year he was partnered with Gonchar at the point on the powerplay. He had 14 goals, 45 assists and was a one trick pony – get the puck to Gonchar, you can rack up a lot of point that way.
In the last two seasons, Goligoski has played 59 games, has 32 points and is a plus 17. Whitney has played 60 games, has 30 points and is a minus 11.