Re: Best Top 3 Defensemen
posted at 7/21/2014 5:59 PM EDT
Hmmm. Well, to be in the running, you have to have a Norris candidate (say, in the last 5 years) and then two other guys who aren't offensively inept or defensive liabilities and who can play a lot (size/endurance/strength). I think there are only a few candidate teams: Chicago, LA, St. Louis, Minnesota, NYR, Montreal. (Side note: can you believe that Victor Hedman and Marc Giordano received first place Norris Trophy votes??!!?!). I don't think Ottawa is in the running despite Karlsson because they don't have a 2 and a 3 who are remotely close. I probably should include Pitt, but I'll leave that as the one someone can throw in my face. I also didn't include Detroit - but I like Ericsson and Kronwall enough that if someone throws them in my face, I'll listen.
Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson - Better. Sorry. Younger at the high end (Keith is only 31) and more experienced at the lower end (Hjalmarsson has more years in than Hamilton), more offensive skill across the board, and plenty of sound defense.
Doughty, Voynov, Mitchell. - Better. Sorry. Similar reasons. Doughty is much younger than Chara, Voynov can do everything Hamilton can do slightly better, but the Bruins probably win Seidenberg/Mitchell heads up.
Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, Shattenkirk - Better. Sorry. Neck and neck with Chicago. Hard to remember that Bouwmeester is only 31. Pietrangelo has a Norris in his future. As a group, they log the most ice of the candidate trios and are very close to Chicago in terms of offensive punch, but probably should be considered as better offensively because all three have 37+ points. Shattenkirk brings their overall defensive ability down a bit on average, but not enough that you'd think the Bruins are better.
Suter, Brodin, Spurgeon - Win, Bruins. Brodin and Hamilton are a wash. Seidenberg over Spurgeon all day and all night. Chara over Suter on sheer power alone, and he still contributes enough offensively to make that side of the game a wash.
McDonagh, Girardi, Stall. Win, Bruins. If this year was the Year of Bergeron, next year will be the Year of Ryan McDonagh. Mark my words - he is the guy who will get the kind of amped up respect next year that he didn't get amid all of the polite admiration he's received to date. But he's not the force Chara is. Girardi probably deserves a win head to head over Hamilton, but Seidenberg over Staal in my eyes, and overall the package deal goes to the Bruins.
Subban, Markov, Emelin (was actually Gorges by ice time last year, but he's gonzo). Win, Bruins, but it's probably closer than I'd like to admit. Despite seeming like he couldn't fail to score on the PP vs. the Bruins, PK actually had 7 fewer goals than Chara last year, and his 13 more points was balanced off by his being a minus player for the year - about what you think of when you think of Subban. And Chara is just so dominant in the defensive zone, the difference in their offensive totals overall is mroe than offset. Markov, though, is better than either Hamilton or Seidenberg. With experience, Hamilton should surpass him as an all-around player, but not now, not yet. Seidenberg doesn't have the offensive chops, but he's better defensively. Conversely, I think both are better than Emelin, who isn't as consistent as Seidenberg or as good offensively as Hamilton.
So that puts the Bruins in 4th in my estimation. Not bad.
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