In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the best defense pairing in the Metro Division.
Seth Jones and Zach Werenski is the first duo that comes to mind. They didn't have a great season together, though. Not even a good one. They controlled less than 50% of the expected goals at 5v5 and were out-scored by 10 when paired together. Not great results, especially considering they were on a playoff team.
Based on last season's results, Jaccob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton would be a more appropriate answer. They posted a ~57 CF% and 57 xGF% over nearly 1,000 minutes at 5v5. They tilted the ice in their team's favor as much as any pairing in the league. It took a while for it to show up on the scoreboard – early in the year the Hurricanes routinely outplayed teams but couldn't finish – they really started getting some deserved results down the stretch and in the playoffs.
(data via NaturalStatTrick.com)
The best defensive combo in the Metro is Jacob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton. They combine for about 80 points per year, and they constantly keep the puck moving in the right direction. In 1000 minutes together, they've got a ridiculous 58% CF and an expected goals of nearly 60% They're an unreal pairing, and Hamilton might be the best defenseman in the NHL other than Erik Karlsson.