â†µSan Jose @ Anaheim:
â†µThe second half of a home-and-home series between these teams, this game has all the hallmarks of a potential slugfest. I'm sure that when the schedule makers put this game on the calendar, they anticipated these two fighting for the top spot in the West.
â†µInstead, the Ducks are fighting for their playoff lives in what might be the last season for what ought to be considered one of the most intimidating defensive combinations in the history of hockey: Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. â†µ
â†µUnless something changes pretty radically in the offseason, one of these guys will probably be headed elsewhere -- with Niedermayer perhaps considering retirement, and Pronger and his salary possibly being shipped in exchange for some bodies to replenish the farm system.
â†µIt's almost impossible to overestimate how powerful a pairing Pronger and Niedermayer can be when they’re both in the lineup during the playoffs. Both guys are in the sort of shape that allows them to pile up close to 30 minutes of ice time per night. Of course, that helps make the rest of your lineup fresher, as they only have to log 15-17 minutes per night with those two playing ahead of them. â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.