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12-06-2009, 05:52 PM
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Why NJ should win:

1. Better top defensive pairing (by a good margin), and better defense overall (by a smaller margin).

Harvey is probably the closest guy to Orr in terms of a guy who can do everything, but he isn't Orr. Savard complements Orr perfectly, whereas Watson is pretty unspectacular on the top pair. Both teams have fairly strong bottom 4s. Seibert is probably the best overall guy in the bottom 4, but he's not good enough to make up the difference between the top pairs, especially considering NJ's top pair will play half the game.

2. Much better 3rd line.

Even with Doan a potential weak spot, I think NJ's 3rd line is much better than Inglewoods. Lewis and Mosdell are the two best third liners in the series IMO.

3. Better goaltending.

Why Inglewood might win:

1. Better first line.

Malone = Nighbor, though they have difference strengths. Mahovlich is the best winger on either team. Iginla is a better all-round player than Dye, but the difference between Mahovlich and Kariya is definitely larger.

Basically, I see it as (Mahovlich = Malone = Nighbor) > Iginla > (Dye = Kariya). Dye was probably a bit better than Kariya offensively, but his laziness and lack of defense makes them more or less equal IMO.

Once again, keep in mind Orr's abillity to elevate the offense of the forwards who play in front of him.

2. Better second line, at least defensively.

Honestly, I think the second lines are pretty equal offensively. Roughly, Maltsev = Bentley, Petrov > Hodge, Naslund > Gare at the offensive end. But Bentley and Gare are much stronger defensive presences than anyone on NJ's second line. I think it's quite likely that Maltsev was pretty good defensively, but I don't have proof of it.

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