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05-27-2011, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
Doesn't matter. The cup could have been powered by excellent goaltending and a powerful offense. You need only look at this year's playoffs - Vancouver and Tampa have gotten as far as they have without an elite #1 defenseman.. I would say that neither of them even have a top-10 defenseman.
no team is going to win the cup without a defense corps that is at least decent - the worst I can think of is Carolina in 2006, and their top guys still deserve that credit for being "the top defensemen on a cup winner".

Tampa Bay and Vancouver definitely don't have a top-10 defenseman. They both have a couple of very good ones. Those that play the biggest roles in getting them this far, deserve that credit.

You play to win, that's the point. Coaches want to win. Coaches play their best players the most. The teams that go the furthest are the most successful, and the players that played the most for them deserve credit. Otherwise, who do we credit for contributing to winning? no one?

To go back to your original point, I know that just being the #1 defenseman in itself isn't a big deal. Ottawa's #1 in 1993 was Norm MacIver, and he was a #4 at best anywhere else. But Ottawa was crap. if you're a good team, you have to have some good defensemen, it's impossible not to. And the best of those good defensemen is your #1. This is the context you're looking for. Just being on a good team doesn't mean anything. Just being the #1 doesn't mean anything. Being the #1 on a good team means lots!

When we are comparing 3rd pairing defensemen in a 40-team draft, we are well past all-star teams and things like that. The last of those tend to dry up with the 2nd pairing defensemen. We need to have other ways to appropriately evaluate them. How much of a contribution they made to winning, is a great place to start, I'd say.

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