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Discussion Starter #1
A look at each team's special units on the blueline -- the defensemen coaches feel most comfortable with on the power play and shorthanded units... by The Hockey News.com

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Power Play: Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Francois Beauchemin, Ryan Getzlaf

Shorthanded: Pronger, Niedermayer, Vitaly Vishnevski, Sean O'Donnell

X-Factor: It will seem like one of Pronger or Niedermayer will be on the ice every minute of the game.

CALGARY FLAMES

Power Play: Dion Phaneuf, Roman Hamrlik, Andrei Zyuzin, Andrew Ference

Shorthanded: Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, Rhett Warrener, Hamrlik

X-Factor: All Phaneuf -- all the time!

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Power Play: Adrian Aucoin, Brent Seabrook, Cam Barker, Duncan Keith

Shorthanded: Aucoin, Jassen Cullimore, Jim Vandermeer, Keith, Barker

X-Factor: Barker looks to make a Dion Phaneuf-like impact.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Power Play: John-Michael Liles, Jordan Leopold, Joe Sakic, Patrice Brisebois, Brett Clark

Shorthanded: Karlis Skrastins, Liles, Brisebois, Clark, Ossi Vaananen

X-Factor: This will be Liles'year to shine.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Power Play: Bryan Berard, Rostislav Klesla, Ron Hainsey, Aaron Johnson

Shorthanded: Adam Foote, Duvie Westcott, Klesla, Ron Hainsey

X-Factor: If Berard can make it through a full NHL season, he looks to be 65-point defenseman.

DALLAS STARS

Power Play: Sergei Zubov, Philippe Boucher, Janne Niinimaa, Jaroslav Modry

Shorthanded: Modry, Boucher, Jon Klemm, Darryl Sydor

X-Factor: The acquisition of Modry really solidifies the Dallas "D".

DETROIT RED WINGS

Power Play: Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Mathieu Schneider, Chris Chelios

Shorthanded: Lidstrom, Chelios, Danny Markov, Andreas Lilja

X-Factor: Lidstrom will play 90 percent of all special team minutes.

EDMONTON OILERS

Power Play: Marc-Andre Bergeron, Ladislav Smid, Steve Staios, Danny Syvret

Shorthanded: Jason Smith, Steve Staios, Daniel Tjarnqvist, Matt Greene

X-Factor: Smid has big shoes to fill, replacing Pronger's spot on the roster.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Power Play: Rob Blake, Lubomir Visnovsky, Brent Sopel, Mattias Norstrom

Shorthanded: Blake, Aaron Miller, Norstrom, Visnovsky.

X-Factor: Blake will be the leader on a young team.

MINNESOTA WILD

Power Play: Kim Johnsson, Nick Schultz, Kurtis Foster, Martin Skoula

Shorthanded: Schultz, Keith Carney, Johnsson, Brent Burns

X-Factor: Schultz is slowly becoming the No. 1 guy on the Minnesota blueline.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Power Play: Marek Zidlicky, Kimmo Timonen, Dan Hamhuis, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter

Shorthanded: Timonen, Weber, Suter, Mikko Lehtonen

X-Factor: This defense corps could rival the best in the NHL.

PHOENIX COYOTES

Power Play: Ed Jovanovski, Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton, Zbynek Michalek, Derek Morris

Shorthanded: Jovanovski, Michalek, Ballard, Morris

X-Factor: One of the best groups of Top-6 defensemen in hockey?

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Power Play: Matt Carle, Christian Ehrhoff, Patrick Marleau, Josh Gorges

Shorthanded: Kyle McLaren, Scott Hannan, Rob Davison, Doug Murray

X-Factor: Carle will quarterback a lethal power play this year. Not bad for a rookie!

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Power Play: Doug Weight, Dennis Wideman, Christian Backman, Eric Brewer

Shorthanded: Brewer, Jay McKee, Barret Jackman, Backman

X-Factor: With no proven power-play quarterback, you could see a lot of forwards man the point.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Power Play: Mattias Ohlund, Lukas Krajicek, Sami Salo, Yannick Tremblay, Luc Bourdon

Shorthanded: Ohlund, Willie Mitchell, Salo, Kevin Bieksa

X-Factor: Krajicek could finally blossom offensively in Vancouver.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A look at each team's special units on the blueline -- the defensemen coaches feel most comfortable with on the power play and shorthanded units... by The Hockey News.com

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTA THRASHERS

Power Play: Niclas Havelid, Steve McCarthy, Braydon Coburn, Greg de Vries

Shorthanded: Havelid, DeVries, Andy Sutton, Shane Hnidy

X-Factor: Rookies Coburn and Mark Popovic should both crack the lineup this year.

BOSTON BRUINS

Power Play: Brad Stuart, Paul Mara, Zdeno Chara, Nathan Dempsey, Milan Jurcina

Shorthanded: Chara, Stuart, Mark Stuart, Andrew Alberts

X-Factor: There's no question the Boston "D" is much improved for 2006-07.

BUFFALO SABRES

Power Play: Jaroslav Spacek, Brian Campbell, Dmitri Kalinin, Teppo Numminen

Shorthanded: Numminen, Toni Lydman, Henrik Tallinder, Nathan Paetsch

X-Factor: Veteran Numminen is ol' reliable for the Sabres.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Power Play: Frantisek Kaberle, Oleg Tverdovsky, Anton Babchuk, Bret Hedican

Shorthanded: Kaberle, Hedican, Glen Wesley, Niclas Wallin

X-Factor: Babchuk has the ability to surprise with his offense. Will we see it this year?

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Power Play: Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Van Ryn, Ric Jackman, Jozef Stumpel

Shorthanded: Bouwmeester, Ruslan Salei, Bryan Allen, Branislav Mezei

X-Factor: Bouwmeester looks to be the next big thing in the Norris Trophy race. Maybe this year?

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Power Play: Andrei Markov, Sheldon Souray, Mike Komisarek, Craig Rivet

Shorthanded: Komisarek, Markov, Souray, Mathieu Dandenault

X-Factor: Komisarek is slowly taking on a more and more responsibility.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Power Play: Brian Rafalski, Paul Martin, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brad Lukowich

Shorthanded: Colin White, David Hale, Richard Matvichuk, Lukowich

X-Factor: The salary cap keeps New Jersey's options limited on the back end.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Power Play: Alexei Zhitnik, Chris Campoli, Tom Poti, Bruno Gervais

Shorthanded: Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Zhitnik, Campoli

X-Factor: Gervais has nice offensive upside, in the not-to-distant future.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Power Play: Karel Rachunek, Fedor Tyutin, Sandis Ozolinsh, Michal Rozsival

Shorthanded: Marek Malik, Rozsival, Darius Kasparaitis, Aaron Ward

X-Factor: Rachunek and Tyutin will battle it out for "Top Dawg" on the power play.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Power Play: Wade Redden, Tom Preissing, Andrej Meszaros, Joe Corvo

Shorthanded: Redden, Chris Phillips, Meszaros, Anton Volchenkov

X-Factor: The loss of Chara means there is more ice time to go around on the Ottawa blueline.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Power Play: Joni Pitkanen, Lars Jonsson, Freddy Meyer, Nolan Baumgartner, Sami Kapanen

Shorthanded: Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje, Denis Gauthier, Pitkanen.

X-Factor: An 80-game season out of Pitkanen could see him garner over 65 points.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Power Play: Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney, Noah Welch, Mark Recchi

Shorthanded: Whitney, Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Josef Melichar

X-Factor: Whitney is already starting to show his vast potential.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Power Play: Dan Boyle, Filip Kuba, Brad Richards, Paul Ranger

Shorthanded: Cory Sarich, Luke Richardson, Kuba, Boyle

X-Factor: Boyle is gradually rounding out his game at both ends of the ice.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Power Play: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White

Shorthanded: Kaberle, McCabe, Staffan Kronwall, Hal Gill

X-Factor: McCabe will get every opportunity to match his career year.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Power Play: Brian Pothier, Steve Eminger, Jamie Heward, Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green

Shorthanded: Eminger, Pothier, Bryan Muir, Shaone Morrisonn

X-Factor: Not a whole lot of options on the Washington blueline.
 

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Though Toronto does still look a little weak in the defencive zone, I at least expect the Leafs to have one of the best PP units in the league again.

Kaberle-McCabe, and Kubina-Colaiacovo. Not bad for offence.
 

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u gotta think buddy did they give carlo much playin time last year? They honestly did not give him a chance i think he could be the next scott niedermeyer by the way he plays. I mean who knows maybe our new coach will let him play. im still gunna miss big patty
 

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I think he'll get his chances. The new Coach (Paul Maurice) is claiming to be willing to give the younger player ore of a chance to play this year. I guess we can't guarantee that he'll stick to his word, but with Aki Berg finally gone, there should be a little more of a chance to have him (or Ian White) in the line-up more often.

He played 27 games last season, but then the concussion took him out just when it looked like he finally solidified a spot on the roster for himself.
 

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Meszaros gonna make Sens' fans to forgot about Chara. No doubt about it.

I am so looking forward to Pronger-Niedermayer unit. Pronger should be able to defend the fort while Niedermayer executes more offensive attacks around the net. My bet is on S Nied for Norris Trophy.
 
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