The following artcile was posted by www.nhl.com on Monday, September 24 featuring former Union standout Shayne Gostisbehere.
By: Adam Kimelman
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Shayne Gostisbehere doesn't want to be viewed as just an offensive-minded defenseman.
His goal is to be considered a top defenseman who can be used in all situations for the Philadelphia Flyers. It's something he felt he began to show last season and looks to continue this season.
"If they watched at all last year, I think I rose my defensive game to another level," Gostisbehere said. "You're not putting me out there the last minute of the game, but I think I'm most reliable playing against the top guys. I showed that last year. You don't want to be labeled as just an offensive guy. I know what I am, I know I'm a good two-way defenseman."
Gostisbehere was fourth among NHL defensemen with 65 points (13 goals, 52 assists) in 78 games, but he's equally proud of his improved defensive play. He was on the ice for 1.89 goals-against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 last season, compared to 2.54 in 2016-17 and 1.89 in 2015-16. What makes his 2017-18 season more impressive is that he averaged 17:46 of even-strength ice time last season, his highest NHL total, compared to 15:59 in 64 games in 2015-16.
Gostisbehere always has been a willing defensive player but raised his effort level when he was put on the top pair with Ivan Provorov for a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 23, 2017.
Playing with Provorov means playing against the oppositions' top players, and Gostisbehere knew he had to step up to keep up.
"It's unreal to play with [Provorov] and against the top guys," Gostisbehere said. "I think I just said I'm not going to worry about my offense and worry about strictly defense and play as hard as I can. It really worked for me. … I think it really put a fire in me to play the best defense I could and battle as much as I can."
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