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08-23-2013, 12:10 AM
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3rd Pairings

Streit and Eldebrink are clearly the puck-movers of these pairings, but they're difficult to compare. Eldebrink played a short time in the NHL at a young age and struggled, and left. Had he stuck it out or come when he was older, things would have been much different(much like Streit). Put 21-22 year old Streit in the NHL and he wouldn't be able to hack it either. Eldebrink has some impressive finishes internationally, being what looks like the second or third best offensive defenseman from ~1985-90 behind Fetisov and with Kasatonov. From 1984-90 in Canada Cups/Olympics/WC/Rendezvous their point totals were:

Fetisov: 96 points in 80 games(1.2PPG)
Kasatonov: 56 points in 76 games(.737PPG)
Eldebrink: 41 points in 66 games(.621PPG)

That's the vast majority of Eldebrink's international resume, and the entire productive part of it. To believe Eldebrink is better than Streit, you would have to think that there were only ~15 better offensive defensemen in the NHL at the time(I include 15 because of the depth at offensive defensemen in this era compared to Streit). Those names include Coffey, Bourque, MacInnis, Housley, Murphy, Wilson, Suter, Howe, Babych, Stevens, Chelios, Larson, Ramage, Carlyle, Patrick, Reinhart, Robinson, Bodger, etc. So he'd have to be something like the 17th best offensive defenseman(being pretty generous) of his day to equal Streit, and I don't think that's the case given the names above. Over Streit's 6 year peak(really 7 total years for everyone else as he missed an entire season during that span) he's still 11th in points by defensemen. I think Streit is the superior offensive defenseman.

That brings us to Hillman and Murdoch. For being known as defensive guys, they put up some respectable point totals, with Hillman having the better offensive resume. He's got two AS finishes of 12th and 14th with a Norris finish in a third separate year(which I've always found odd) of 11th. Murdoch has one AS finish of 11th. With an advantage in voting and offense, Hillman comes out as the better player.

With advantages for both defensemen over their St. Louis counterparts, Philadelphia has the advantage in 3rd pairings.


Edwards was voted the second best goalie in the draft, and Cude wasn't mentioned, although I think I had him somewhere on my ballot. Cude has two 2nd team AS finishes, Edwards has two also but 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishes on top of that. Goaltending advantage Philadelphia.


I'm not sure coaching is going to play much into this matchup because we typically aren't big fans of line matching, but the left-wing lock system used by Starsi and Pitner was used to successfully neutralize the speedy Soviet wingers, and we think this strategy should prove useful against St. Louis' wingers who possess a good amount of speed.

If I've got time, I'll do special teams at some point, but I'm not banking on it. Expect my responses to start flooding in Sunday night.

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