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12-19-2012, 10:30 PM
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Maybe on paper those defenses seemed average, but in practice they were actually pretty good.

The 1997-98 team was 7th in GA at 2.39. Buffalo was 3rd at 2.28 (NJ and Dallas were both under 2.1).
The 2001-02 team was even better at 4th in GA at 2.28. Edmonton was 2nd at 2.22 (Avs were at 2.06).

Not dominant defenses, but I'm not sure they were just merely average or below average either. It's hard to call a top 5/top 10 defense in the entire league no better than average for that season. What exactly is your bar for an average defense if the #7 team in the league is considered below average in your eyes? The 2007-08 Cup winner was only a 2.18 GA (1st). Really the Cup winning teams had good to excellent defenses. If you want to point to a team with an average defense you really need to focus on the 2008-09 team. Lost in Game 7 to the Pens with the 21st ranked defense (2.93 GA).

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