Interesting take. No way do I call Pilut a solid top 4 defenseman at this time. He is making rookie mistakes so I can let that go for now but he shows little ability to keep the front of the net clear, or to even try. He can move the puck, he can pass, decent in the offensive zone but a work in progress. Heavy teams will give him trouble, he needs to get stronger.
We have played 10 different defensemen this year, using countless combinations. The defensive parings are not settled or consistent and we have a lot of youth, both leading to inconsistent play. Two months ago we were gushing about our defense, now we are saying they are a problem. Overall our D is much better than last season thanks to the addition of Dahlin and Pilut and the health of Bogo.
Our top 4 performers this season are Risto, Dahlin, Bogo, and McCabe - in that order. As of today I think the best 5 and 6 are Pilut and Beaulieu. I would be sitting Scandy right now. Nelson and Hunwick are next and both played no worse than Scandy this season. Guhle is not ready. Tennyson needs to never come back. Borgen needs to stay in the AHL for a year.
Phil was noted as a very good defense coach referring back to his days in Nashville. They also have Steve Smith. I do not think coaching is the problem. Experience, familiarity and consistency are.