In the third edition of theScore's Norris Trophy Power Rankings, one blue-liner takes a sizable step ahead of the pack. You can read November's rankings here.
ATOI = Average time on ice
SCF% = Percentage of scoring chances generated while player was on the ice at 5-on-5
HDCF% = Percentage of high-danger scoring chances generated while player was on the ice at 5-on-5
During an up-and-down season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Letang has been a rock. He's on pace for one of his best offensive campaigns, but is playing perhaps his most responsible defensive hockey ever. The 31-year-old has more takeaways (32) than giveaways (24) for the first time in his career.
Anyone who thought Karlsson was done after a slow start to his tenure with the San Jose Sharks probably feels foolish right now. The slick Swede has really hit his stride, picking up 17 points over his last 12 games. He's also excelling at both ends of the ice while suppressing shots and scoring chances at some of the best rates of his career.
While Karlsson may be tearing it up lately, Burns has been the Sharks' most consistent player from the start of the season. He's on pace for another near point-per-game year, and is doing that while drastically cutting down on his turnovers.
Giordano has been one of the past decade's most underrated blue-liners, but he's finally gaining the recognition he deserves during a career year at age 35. Even as Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and others enjoy stellar seasons in Calgary, it's clear Giordano is the Flames' MVP.
Even with all the offensive firepower surrounding Rielly on the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's still unfathomable that he's on pace for 93 points nearing the midway mark of the season. He may not be as elite defensively as some other players on this list, but threatening to become the first blue-liner to reach 90 points since Ray Bourque in 1993-94 gives him the edge.
(Advanced stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)