Editorials

NHL Power Rankings: Top Western Conference Defensemen

By Matt Barbato
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Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) scores during the second period of game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

1. Duncan Keith 

Doughty and Keith are essentially interchangeable at this spot. Doughty was probably the best defenseman in the West last season, but Keith takes back the throne with his unprecedented playoff campaign en route to a third Stanley Cup and his first Conn Smythe trophy.

Keith’s regular-season numbers were pretty typical for the two-time Norris Trophy winner. He scored 10 goals with 35 assists and a plus-12 rating. Yet, he was truly a workhorse in the postseason for the defensively deprived Blackhawks.

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Keith averaged 31:06 of ice time in the postseason, scored three goals and tallied 18 assists and easily secured the overall MVP accolades. It figures that Keith was a plus-16 in the postseason, as good things always seemed to happen when he was on the ice.

Three Stanley Cups, two Norris Trophies and now a Conn Smythe award. It’s tough for Keith to pad his resume any more, but he will be expected to keep up this form for years to come for the ’Hawks.

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