Was ESPN Fair To Bruins With Its Ranking Of Top NHL Defense Groups?

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Let’s be honest: The Boston Bruins don’t have one of the best defensive groups in the NHL.

But are the Black & Gold blueliners, collectively, really not among the top 10 groups in the league? ESPN’s Emily Kaplan believes so.

ESPN NHL insider Greg Wyshynski recently ranked the NHL’s best forward groups, with the Bruins slotting in eighth. Kaplan was tasked with ranking the defense groups, and put the B’s at No. 14.

Here’s her explanation:

“It’s a funky group, with plenty of different skill sets (look no further than the top-line pairing of Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara),” Kaplan wrote. “McAvoy had spells of brilliance as a rookie, though his season was hampered by health issues. Most importantly, he showed that he has the capacity to shoulder huge minutes.

“Chara, who turns 42 this season, is entering the final year of his contract but should sign a palatable extension. That a player such as Torey Krug is a second-pairing guy is a huge boon. John Moore’s five-year deal remains a curious signing, if only for the term.”

Hey, she’s not wrong. You could make the case for the Bruins belonging a little higher on the list, but No. 14 feels about right.

Here’s the top 10:

1. San Jose Sharks
2. Nashville Predators
3. Winnipeg Jets
4. Los Angeles Kings
5. Minnesota Wild
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
7. Anaheim Ducks
8. Carolina Hurricanes
9. Calgary Flames
10. Columbus Blue Jackets

That Sharks group, led by Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, should be special.

In other Bruins news: Here’s where NHL general managers and coaches ranked Tuukka Rask among the game’s best goalies.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

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