2011-2012 Washington Capitals Player Profile: Jeff Schultz
If I asked you which NHL defenseman holds the postseason record for most ice time without being scored upon, who would you guess? Nicklas Lidstrom? Chris Pronger? Zdeno Chara? The answer… is Jeff Schultz. During the 2010-2011, he was on the ice for 119 consecutive minutes without being scored on until Steve Downie of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored a goal.
Schultz was drafted by the Capitals in 2004. He was shuffled between the Hershey Bears and the Capitals from 2006 to 2008, and he’s been up for good since the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. He was a member of the Hershey Bears team that won the Calder Cup in the 2005-2006 season.
Schultz is a very underrated and unfairly criticized player in my opinion. Yes, he is horrible at handling the puck, but that’s not his job. His job is to prevent goals, and he has proven that he does that very well. He’s the best penalty killer on the Capitals, and he’s a reliable force on defense. He uses his 6’6″ 230 pound frame to block shots, punish opponents, and basically do whatever it takes to prevent goals.
If you’ve ever seen Schultz play, he has one glaring weakness: He is virtually useless on offense. He has scored a total of ten goals his entire career, and the most points he has in an NHL season is 23. What he brings to the defense outweighs his failures on offense.
Every team needs a shut down penalty killer. Someone who you know won’t allow a goal in. For the Capitals, that guy is Schultz. I’m more than willing to put up with his offense as long as he continues to be the force that he is on defense.
For Jeff Schultz’s career stats, click here.