Oh boy, this is gonna get ugly....Leaf fans like their group, and we like ours...hard to be objective.......we went through this last year, and the Leaf fans really thought they not only had a better group than ours, but they had the best in the NHL......we all know what happened there ( they blamed it on their goalies ) Both teams have a good D corps...I think they have too much $$$ tied up on the back end, which shows in their forward group...
Outside of Markov and maybe Subban, our D isn't very sexy on paper. But we saw last year in the playoffs how well they work as a unit, and that's all I need to know I'd take them over the Leafs' ten times out of ten.
I think the Leafs defense is definitely stronger on paper as Spacek, Hamrlik and Gill are past their prime and Beauchemin and Komisarek should just be entering their prime. Their bottom 2 is young but has a lot of potential.
I still like Montreal's defence though...a good combination of youth, skill and veteran experience.
1) Subban has all the tools to be better than Phaneuf.
2) Markov already is better than Kaberle.
3) Hammer and Gill are UFA next year meaning we could sign a person whose better than Komi, Beauchemin, and personally I think Spacek is very underrated and misused on our team.
I would pick ours hands down just because losing Subban would be a very bad thing and losing Markov would be too.
You just don't swap a top 6 that has Markov/Subban in it for one that has Phaneuf/Kaberle even if the rest of the D corps is better/more chemistry etc. It's just not a good move. You can always replace a Gorges, a Gill, a Hammer, a Spacek, a Phaneuf, a Beauchemin, etc.
Guys like Markov, Kaberle and PK (unless he's a total bust) only come along maybe once in a decade if you're lucky.
We have 1 of them and another potential one. They have Kaberle who is impending UFA we could probably snatch off the market to replace Hammer with. Then we keep Spacek and voila:
This becomes our top 4. Not to mention we have Weber whose near NHL ready as we speak and O'Byrne who already is. Not to mention Gill could be re-signed.
They may have the better D on paper and right now, but we have the potential to be far greater, top in the NHL even in terms of balance. Why would I want to trade for something that is already set in stone and doesn't have that potential?
Phaneuf is a great player don't get me wrong, but he's no Kaberle/Markov and Subban to me is a guy who might be able to reach that potential.
I think Schenn is overrated personally so that doesn't help either.
Beauchemin and Komi (when playing well) are absolute beasts though. I still wouldn't want to take on 8 mil in salary for Komi + Finger though, would you?
I'd say their D is better overall mostly because it's much younger (and expensive). Outside of Markov, Gorges, Subban we don't really have much we can say will be there in 1-2 years. IMO We have a better coach to use a D core much more effectively so I think in execution we'll end up better. Give Wilson our D core and Martin their D core imo Wilson will manage to screw ours up while Martin will use theirs much more effectively.
The leafs issue is they have to many stay at home d-men- Komisarek-Scheen are the same type of players- and Beauchemin and Phaneuf are also same type, I'm not saying they are as good but they are all pretty much the same type, the only real puck mover is Kaberle. The Leafs D looks amazing on paper but just like last year it doesn't work as good as one would think. As for the Habs D, I think its step up right expect Hamrlik and Spacek are not as effective as you need them to be. If somehow next year the Habs can use the Hamrlik money and find a taker for Spacek and replace them with D stay at home D-men like Scott Hannah it would be perfect,
Although I like our D, I think the Hamrlik/Spacek pairing is outdone by the Komisarek/Beauchemin pairing. That being said, the two Czechs have been more durable than those two over their respective careers.
I don't think you'd get many people across the NHL though that would take Montreal's defence before Toronto's - but then again, Phoenix's defence wasn't supposed to be anything special last year, and look what happened there.
You bunch of Leafs fans!
Meh I think its pretty even. They have a few known names in their D. But we have a lot good D ourselves. Georges, Markov are the biggest pilars imo. Soon we can officially add Subban, many already have after his playoffs. Gill, Spacek and Hamrlik are underrated. They aren't the best neither. But people don't seem to be able to value all that they've contributed last year, regular season and playoffs. People only seem to see their contracts... I'd say its almost even. They may have a bit better defensive D. But we have better offensive D.
Gorges is seriously underrated. I'd take him on my team before Beauchemin and it's not really close, IMO.
I absolutely agree, which is one of the reasons I started the thread. Our D outside of Markov & Subban dont look sexy on paper but are arguably more effective in their roles then the Leafs D. The Leafs have to many of the same style of player which makes half of the D-corps redundant. Not to mention I think Komi and Beauchemin are way overated, and the Leafs helped reinforce that with their cheque book.
I believe our corps is more well rounded and better suited to a teams needs, and last year's playoffs was indicative of that.
Time for the mainstream media to wake up and recognize.
P.S The Markov & Subban duo may prove to be one of best in the league by years end.