Best Defencemen in the League
The Carolina Hurricanes have two of the best defenders in the league.
It is hard for me to only say a few words about the combination of Dougie Hamilton and Jacob Slavin. Both players excel not only in defense but also as a dual-threat with plenty of offensive production. Both men are leaders on the team, and Slavin only improved with Hamilton’s injury absence this season.
The dual-threat of each player is what makes both players crucial to the Hurricanes backline. Hamilton is also key to the Cane’s power play, and I believe this will provide a boost to the unit when he returns for the postseason.
This line has a second chance to make waves with the 2020 playoffs after a stunted season for Dougie Hamilton, and I have no doubt this line will be the talk of Canes media in the games to come.
Slavin has already surpassed his prior seasons in scoring with 36 points. I think without the regular season-ending injury that he suffered, Dougie Hamilton would have also surpassed his prior seasons’ numbers.
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The Rangers top defencemen are Jacob Trouba and Brendan Smith, who both have plenty of experience in the league. This is Jacob Trouba‘s first season with the Rangers, and although this season’s numbers fall as average among his past years, he still has recorded 27 points.
Smith has been with the Rangers for four years, and he is on the way to exceeding his points total from last year.
Like many teams, the Rangers’ backline seems to struggle with traffic in front of the net. Players like Justin Williams who excels at getting to the net to produce goals will be key in dismantling the Ranger’s defense.
I won’t speak about the goalie match up very much because I have spoken about it extensively prior. However, I will mention that Petr Mrazek’s goaltending was one of the reasons for Canes’ success in the 2019 playoffs. Bill Masterton trophy nominee James Reimer has excelled this season, and I believe the goalie duo will excel in the playoffs as well.
The more I watch the footage and go over statistics from the regular season, the more my excitement for this match up grows. While the Rangers will be challenging for the Hurricanes, I believe the Canes will exceed expectations and move one step closer to the Stanley Cup.