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... but Defense wins championships. The cliché is so trite that it has lost meaning, but there's a reason it was a cliché in the first place. Because it's true. In the NHL, elite defenders win championships.

In fact nearly every Stanley Cup winner of the last 20 years has had 2 elite caliber defensemen patrolling their blue line:


'91 Penguins: Coffey
'92 Penguins: Murphy-Coffey
'93 Canadiens: (no elites)
'94 Rangers: Zubov -Leetch
'95 Devils: Stevens-Niedermeyer
'96 Avs: Foote
'97 Les Ailes: Lidstrom-Murphy
'98 Les Ailes: Lidstrom-Murphy
'99 Stars: Zubov-Sydor-Hatcher
'00 Devils: Niedermeyer-Rafalski-Stevens
'01 Avs: Foote-Blake-Borque
'02 Les Ailes: Lidstrom-Chelios
'03 Devils: Niedermeyer-Rafalski-Stevens
'04 Lightning: Boyle - Sydor
'06 Hurricanes: (None)
'07 Ducks: Niedermeyer-Pronger
'08 Les Ailes: Lidstrom-Rafalski

Sp the key to winning a Stanley Cup is to either:

a) have a goalie get so ridiculously hot that he defies all expectations and nearly single-handedly wins the Stanley cup all on his own, even if he still has a pretty strong defense behind him ('93 Roy, '06 Ward),

b)Have a forward have one of the greatest postseasons in NHL history, and combine that with 1 elite defenseman and the best goalie ever ('96 Avs) or

c) have at least 2 Elite NHL defensemen.

This is why I'm slightly hopeful that Victor Hedman will drop to #3 in the draft (behind Duchene) following this scouting report that has Duchene #1. If the Avs could have a blueline of Shattenkirk and Hedman, I think that would give them an excellent chance to win the cup this season.

Also, your better bets to win the Cup this season: Boston (Chara-Wideman), San Jose (Boyle-Blake), Detroit (Lidstrom-Rafalski), Ducks (Pronger-Niedermeyer), Blackhawks (Seabrook-Campbell). Calgary might be a good pick if there was someone to pair wih Regeher.