NHL Finals 2011: Kevin Bieksa and 5 Best Defenders in the Bruins-Canucks Series

Melissa Bauer-HerzogCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2016

NHL Finals 2011: Kevin Bieksa and 5 Best Defenders in the Bruins-Canucks Series

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 26: Alexandre Burrows #14 of the Vancouver Canucks jumps out of the way of a shot as the puck sails over the head of goalie Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins during the third period in NHL action on February 26, 2011 at Roge
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    After almost two hard months of playoffs, the series we've been waiting for is finally here, the Cup Finals.

    The Bruins and Canucks start what promises to be excitement until the last game is played tonight in Vancouver (8PM EST on NBC).

    But who should we look for to sacrifice body and stick in order to stop the other team? This slideshow gives us three of the best defenders on each team that look to stop the puck from reaching the net, maybe even scoring a few of their own, starting tonight.

Kevin Bieksa

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 20:  Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks and Devin Setoguchi #16 of the San Jose Sharks collide near the corner in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 20, 2011 in S
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Bieksa isn't only a great defenseman. He also has nine points this postseason, including the series winning goal against the San Jose Sharks on May 24.


    But don't think of Bieksa as only a goal scoring defenseman. He uses his body to get things done and isn't afraid to drop the gloves if needed.

Zdeno Chara

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins checks Nate Thompson #44 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 27, 2011 in Bost
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    There's not much to say about the 6'9 giant Slovakian except that he can skate and he's one heck of a hockey player. If he hits you, you'll know it and he's definitely not shy about using his size to his advantage.


    Chara is definitely one to watch when he's on the ice because he'll zero in on the puck and do nearly whatever needs to be done to stop the other team from getting it.

Dan Hamhuis

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 03:  Matt Halischuk #24 of the Nashville Predators skates against Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 3, 2011 i
    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    If you want a player with hard checks that can score and assist on goals and even spend time as an unofficial goalie, Hamhuis is your guy.


    Hamhuis blocked a shot for Luongo in the closing seconds of the second round against Nashville to take the Canucks to the Western Conference Finals. He also had a huge hit on Blackhawks player Marcus Kruger in the first round and scored against the Sharks last round in addition to racking up five assists and six points.

    He's definitely one of the best players the Canucks have.

Johnny Boychuk

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Johnny Boychuk #55 of the Boston Bruins knocks Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ice in the first period of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 2
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Boychuk is another hard hitter on the Bruins team that can also rack up points if needed.


    The defenseman has taken hits on Steven Stamkos and Simon Gagne among others this postseason, proving that he's not afraid to stop whomever has the puck. But he's also not afraid to shoot if he has the puck in his possession with three goals during the playoffs.  He was definitely a good pick up for the Bruins in 2008.

Alexander Edler

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 24:  Jamal Mayers #10 of the San Jose Sharks moves the puck along the end boards against the San Jose Sharks Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the play in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 201
    Harry How/Getty Images

    It was hard choosing between Edler and Christian Ehrhoff for this last spot but Edler won out, although I am giving Ehrhoff honorable mention.


    Edler isn't as big of a point earner as Ehrhoff (nine points for Edler, 11 for Ehroff during the playoffs) but his hits are pretty awesome to watch. Elder knows how to get the job done while staying clean and has seven assists during the playoffs, proving he is a team player and can get points.

    The Canucks once again proved they can make magic with a Swedish player in Edler, this time doing it with a d-man instead of a forward. If you see him on the ice, watch him closely because the Bruins player that has the puck has a huge target on his back to the No. 23.

Dennis Seidenberg

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 19:  Dennis Seidenberg #44 of the Boston Bruins checks Blair Jones #49 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 19, 2011 in Tampa, Flor
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Seidenberg is an all around man this year, scoring seven goals during the season and one in the post season but his biggest asset on the point side is probably his assists with 32 throughout the regular and post season.


    But on the non-points side, Seidenberg is what a defensive player should be. He hits hard and is there at the net to assist his goalie if his hits fail to stop the puck. His biggest save during the playoffs (and maybe even this whole season) was playing an unofficial second goalie in game six against the Lightning, when he kept the puck from going in right at the net.


    Seidenberg may not be the flashiest player out there on the ice but he's probably the biggest team player out there.