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12-09-2009, 08:47 PM
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In sum

Why NJ should win:

1. Better group of defensemen

a) the biggest difference is the top pair

b) but NJ's second pair is slightly better too, because their offensive edge is greater than Tidewater's defensive edge.

c) the third pairs are pretty close - NJ's is better defensively, Tidewater's is better offensively. I personally think Kuzkin > Drinkwater, but it's close enough and a hard enough comparison, that I'll call the pairs even.

2. Better secondary scoring.

a) Maltsev is the best player on either team's second line, and makes NJ's second line better than Tidewaters's. Second line wingers are close.

b) NJ's 3rd line provides more offense on the counterattack than Tidewater's does.

c) Clint Smith and John McKenzie are probably better offensive players than anyone on Tidewater's 4th line.

3. Better playoff goaltending.

-I have Belfour a few spots ahead of Esposito on my all-time list, because of his better playoff record. I think their regular season records are very comparable.

Why Tidewater could win:

1. Better first line.

-In short, Jagr > Malone > Delvecchio > Iginla > (Goulet = Kariya).

Counter-point: NJ's top line will play primarily with Bobby Orr, which should raise their goal totals.

2. Better defensive play from the forwards.

a) NJ has a great checking line, but Tidewater's is even better defensively

b) Tidewater's Top 2 lines both have defensive consciences on them - Delvecchio and Datsyuk. (I think this is countered by NJ's superior defensive corps, but it is still still here).

c) A 4th line that is probably better defensively (Though Ryan Walter is a fine defensive player).

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-09-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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