I think overall they're better than most people give them credit for. It wouldn't hurt making an upgrade, but after some inconsistencies this year, they're all playing well (or at least decent) right now. I'm not at all worried about going into the playoffs with Markov-Rivet-Souray-Komisarek as our top 4.
And how many teams can say this: all of Montreal's defensemen could quite easily hit their career high for points this year. Except for Dandenault, but he doesn't really count.
Markov = 33 pts (37 career high)
Rivet = 26 pts (previous career high 25)
Souray = 23 pts (35 career high)
Bouillon = 17 pts (18 career high)
Streit = 7 pts (rookie)
Komisarek = 1 pt (4 career high)
I disagree whit Carolina. Imo it's average.. I'dd even take our defense before thers..
I'dd say you have Ottawa, Calgary, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Nashville and Vancouver (when healty) that have a better defense for sure.
Then the habs are more or less equal to other teams like Tamba Bay, Boston, Toronto, Colorado, Los Angeles, Edmonton, San Jose... I'dd say we could easely say that they've got a top 15 defense.
Hard to compare straight-up because all these teams have different systems, forwards, goalies, but Carolina's D moves the puck very well and they are well-rounded. They're definitely not average. Carolina is one of the best transition teams and probably the best defensive team in the East. I would definitely not take our defense over theirs.