Monday

Shawn Chambers

Pretty much everybody has the same mental image of Shawn Chambers, whether they realize it or not. That's because he was the Minnesota North Stars defenseman Mario Lemieux deked to the ice back in game 2 of the 1991 Stanley Cup final. It is one of the most famous goals in all of hockey history:



Chambers should not feel too bad. Super Mario made quite a few players look silly in his career.

Chambers was actually a pretty solid defenseman over the course of his 625 NHL game career with Minnesota, Washington, Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Dallas. As he matured he learned to play within his limitations, the true sign of valuable depth defender.

He was not a top line defender, but he was pretty under-rated as a depth blue liner. After all, in his time in New Jersey he paired with the great Scott Stevens, and that pairing shouldered the load against the opposition's top lines night after night.

Chambers had a reputation as not much of a physical player, which was unfair. He was average sized for a NHL defenseman at 6'2" and 200lbs but he didn't shy away from throwing clean bodychecks. While his hits may not have rattled the glass spectacularly, he played with enthusiasm, especially when getting lots of ice time.

That said, Chambers was probably best described as intellectual defender. He had great anticipation and sense of positioning. He understood the game and could read on-coming attacks expertly. With little fanfare he would diffuse attacks with a quick stick and short breakout passes.

Offensively Chambers was best described as efficient. His skating would not dazzle anyone. He would rather safely pass the puck out of the zone than lug it. His shot was nothing special though because he could get his soft wrist shots pass shot blockers and to the front of the net, he would often eat up 2nd unit power play minutes.

Chambers played in 645 NHL games, scoring 50 goals, 185 assists for 235 points. Mario Lemieux may have ruined his Stanley Cup dreams back in 1991, but Chambers does have two Stanley Cup championship rings - with New Jersey in 1995 and Dallas in 1999.

2 comments:

Hallwings January 14, 2015 at 5:08 PM  

I don't know if you're aware of this, but Shawn Chambers has the unfortunate distinction of being the lowest rated athlete in a sports video game. In NHLPA Hockey '93, as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, his overall rating was 1. That's right. ONE! He has naughts in the following categories--Agility, Speed, Offensive Awareness, Defensive Awareness, Shot Power, Shot Accuracy, Pass Accuracy, Stick Handling, and Fighting, though he did have a rating of 13 for both Endurance and Checking, and a 66 for Aggressiveness.

Anonymous,  August 8, 2016 at 8:14 PM  

Cracks me up. An 81 rating maybe. 2nd line pairing on a TB Stanley Cup winning team. Nearly got a second cup in NJ as Scott Stevens other side. Got the second cup on a Dallas team with about 12 NHL d-men. Nice typo on EA sports. No wonder the NHL didn't sign off on the game... sheesh

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