Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Michael Ryder
Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Jason Pominville
Gabriel Bourque - Darren Helm - Nathan Gerbe
Drew Miller - Justin Abdelkader - Adam Hall
Ryan Suter - Niklas Kronwall
Francois Beauchemin - Ian White
Kyle Quincey - Chris Butler
Nyquist - Datsyuk - Ryder
Suter - Kronwall
Franzen - Zetterberg - Pominville
Quincey - White
I'm on my phone so I'm not going to go through line by line like I did last time. I will make a few points though. Good luck to the Canucks.
The Canucks offense is absolutely elite, not going to deny that. It's probably the best in this besides maybe edmonton's. Our offense isn't far behind at all though. We have a much inproved first line from last year with datsyuk having a 35 goal scorer on his right instead of the basically useless Bertuzzi. I don't think it's out of the question Ryder hits 40 with Datsyuk. Datsyuk is on a completely different level than Ribeiro. Franzen was already a 30 goal a year guy. Now that he's not the only shooting option on that line 35 - 40 is definitely possible. Our second line is also really good. Zetterberg is much better than Kesler who's really only had two good years in his career. Eberle was near a ppg last year but pominville wasnt far behind that. Pominville is also playing with Zetterberg now instead of Roy so he could easily produce a lot more. Eberle is better than Nyquist. No way I can deny or argue that. His top six is probably better, I just don't think ours is far behind at all.
On defense we have a huge advantage both offensively and defensively. Suter and kronwall is a much better pair than Hamhuis and Bieska. Both of my players are better than his here. Our second pair is also better than his second pair. Beauchemin is better defensively than both of them. Edler is a good player but Pitkanen only played 30 games last year and consistently misses 10-20 games a year. He almost never gets even close to a full regular season. I just don't see him being able to stay healthy in the much more physical playoffs especially after missing more than half the season last year. When/if he goes down who takes his spot? I'm going to assume it would be Salo who is also made of glass. Between the two you can almost guarantee one will be injured and there is no seventh dman shown. Regardless of injuries I would still take our third pairing over Vancouver's. They have two third pairing guys there, which is fine, but I don't. Our third pairing consists of Quincey and Butler who are both capable of being in our top 4, especially Quincey. Our defense from top to bottom is much better than Vancouver's. We have the better defensemen on every pairing and we don't have the huge injury concerns that Vancouver has with Pitkanen and Salo.
In goal he has Luongo and I have Howard. I'm not going to call Luongo a choker because he really isn't outside of a couple games in the finals. Regardless, for both goalies the teams in front of them played awful when they lost. I don't really see either team having an advantage here.
So Vancouver has a slightly better top six and we have a much better defense. The last two years great defensive teams have won the Cup with Boston and LA. Especially this year where LA, New Jersey, New York, and Phoenix were the top 4 teams.