Top 10 All-time Defensemen
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07-21-2009, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Brighton, MI
Originally Posted by
Have to disagree with this. Even noting that Nick Lidstrom will dominate games in a much more subtle way and on the Defensive end of things, when Coffey was in control of games, he would outshine even Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, and Fedorov. Four players he played with when they were at or near (Yzerman) their best who all controlled the pace of the game more than Lidstrom did.
Coffey's role in Edmonton's offense was especially incredible. Not many Defenseman can have the luxury choosing either to set up plays with great passing or simply carry it in themselves. Coffey was probably the best at both those things in the League at the time (and one of the best ever).
Yes, "outshine"... but that is not remotely close to outperforming or being more effective. For 15 years, Lidstrom has been the pivot of Detroit's game. It's subtle, and frankly his play is not going to "outshine" a dish rag but everything in Detroit goes through Lidstrom.
Play after play for the opposing team simply fizzles into nothing with Lidstrom on the backend, and Lidstrom then controls the pace of the offense.
Lidstrom has passed Potvin. You can argue Potvin's peak was better (though the idea Potvin had 5 better seasons than Lidstrom's best is ridiculous), but Lidstrom is still a Norris contender and considered the best defenseman in the league at a time when Potvin was retired for a couple years after being only half the player he was in his prime.
At some point, 6 Norris trophies, a Conn Smythe and 9 1st Team All Star selections has to get you ahead of 3 Norrises and 5 1st Team selections.
Each player has 4 Cups, but Lidstrom remained a centerpiece on almost a completely different Cup winning team, over ten years apart.
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