clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Get to Know a Penguin: Justin Schultz

As part of the build-up to the second-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Penguins, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Penguins and how they might impact the series.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Schultz

#4 / Defenseman / Pittsburgh Penguins

6-2 |  193 |  July 6, 1990

Kelowna, BC |  43rd, 2008 (Anaheim)

Assets Can often act as a fourth forward on the ice, thanks to supreme offensive instincts and excellent mobility from the back end. A natural with the puck on his blade, he produces plenty of offense.
Flaws Is terribly inconsistent. Has major holes in his defensive game, which somewhat negate his offensive assets. Lacks the physical strength to effectively handle big NHL forwards at the highest level.
Career Potential Talented, inconsistent and defensively-challenged offensive defenseman. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career 25-Game Rolling Five-on-Five Corsi-For Percentage:

Schultz Rolling CF%

2015-16 Even-Strength Usage Chart:

PIT Usage

Why you should know who he is: Schultz is a fifth year pro with his third team since coming over from the Edmonton Oilers in a February 27th deadline deal. He had an impressive 11 goals and 33 points in the 2013-2014 season but has always struggled to defend efficiently in the NHL.

This is Schultz's first year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and he will be looking to put points on the board, especially since he is without a contract after this season. In eighteen regular season games with Pittsburgh he tallied eight points and scored his only goal with the Penguins against Washington on March 20th.

But will the Caps even see him in Round 2? Schultz only played one game in the first round, and that was as a seventh dressed defenseman. Coach Mike Sullivan went back to a more traditional lineup the rest of the way, so barring an injury on the back-end, you might not need to know who Schultz is at all.

How the Caps can stop him: Similar to how we have seen Mike Green neutralized over the years Washington would be best served to afford Schultz time with the puck only on the defensive half of the ice. His best assets as a player only shine in the offensive zone so limiting his opportunities there is the team's best bet.

Generously listed at 193 pounds, Washington's forwards shouldn't have any issue muscling Schultz off of the puck, but they will need to get below the goal line and create chaos. Schultz is a capable puck handler but he struggles to make good breakout passes under pressure, which the Capitals will look to force and follow up with high quality scoring chances.

Previously: Matt Murray | Patric Hornqvist