Early Defense Combinations Courtesy of NHL 08

TheDriveForFive's picture

Since I got such a good reception from the last article I wrote [thanks for all the E-mails guys], I figured I’d attack the defense today. Just for the record, this has absolutely nothing to with the fact that there’s nothing to report in Islander Country right now or that NHL 09 is coming out in a few days and I’m playing the hell out of this game before it becomes a dust collector later this week.

Here we go:

Defense Combo 1

Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek- Absolute no-brainer here. These guys in my mind are one of the top defensive pairings in the league when it comes to shutting down top lines. They play smart hockey and get the absolute most out of their ability. They had a bit of trouble against some of the faster teams in the league that I played, but with Martinek’s puck moving ability and Witt’s toughness, they were a blast to play with and guys that I know will be solid this season. I wish Martinek was more of an offensive threat, especially on the powerplay, but beggars can’t be choosers right? Overall, these guys were on the ice for 28-30 minutes a game for me and I don’t see any reason why they won’t get that type of ice time this season.

Defense Combo 2

Mark Streit and Chris Campoli- I know I may catch a little bit of flack for this, but I love this combination. Both have offensive ability and Campoli’s toughness and growing ability as a well-rounded defenseman in this league make this work for me. Campoli is ready for more responsibility and I think covering up for Streit on defense will allow him to grow as a player. Streit also benefits by having Campoli around because defenses will also have to watch Campo at the blue line, which gives him more room to skate and create. They were also very solid on the powerplay and it was fun to see them both take shots from the point.

Defense Combo 3

Bruno Gervais and Andy Sutton- Well-rounded and steady. That’s what comes to mind when I think of these guys. Both of these guys have more grit and offensive ability than they get credit for and in the video game world, or in a perfect world ha-ha, this completely shows. They block shots, take the body and can make the first pass out of the zone. They can also kill penalties pretty well too. However, inconsistency isn’t prevalent in the make-believe world of NHL 08 and while I think these guys can and will be solid, they will have to both be on top of their games this season or they’ll be in smaller roles.

Photo by Gamespot.com