Now that Tom Poti has been officially cleared for an injury exemption, it's presumably only a matter of time before the Capitals recall someone from Hershey to take his place on the roster. We're thinking there's a good chance it's going to be Karl Alzner, as it's reasonable to think he has a realistic shot at helping the team in the playoffs and the team will want to see him against NHL competition to know for sure. If Alzner isn't quite ready now or a week or two from now, it's also possible Brian Pothier, who has been cleared for contact and is on a rehab stint in Hershey, could provide a late season boost. The bottom line is this: while it's not a sure thing, there's a pretty good chance another defenseman will be added to the Capitals roster between now and the end of the regular season and that it will result in a shuffling of the defensive depth chart. The question we ask today is, assuming that happens and the Capitals are in a situation where they have to dress either John Erskine or Milan Jurcina, but not both, who would you take?
There doesn't seem to me much to choose between the two. Erskine plays with more of an attitude, has the best 4-on-5 GAON/60 on the team and the second best 5-on-5 GAON/60 though he generally plays against weak competition, while Jurcina is a bigger body and has slightly higher offensive upside. Both are more than willing to hit, and each has seven games of NHL playoff experience from last spring, no more, no less.
Here's how they stack up by the numbers:
|John Erskine||Milan Jurcina|
|ES GF On/60||1.73||2.30|
|ES GA On/60||1.52||2.05|