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07-21-2009, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sidewayzLEAFS View Post
i agree with your top 5 however, i would place shore over harvey..thats its and the next five are good too however, i would try to place coffey at least at 10 if not higher...

and i believe the arguemnt between coffey and lidstrom is valid and close but there is no way that lidsstrom is better than potvin who had a stellar career and played at the smae time as many other elite defensemen (coffey, bourque, chelios, robinson, etc.)
Potvin basically had 6 years where he could be considered the best defenseman in the league (top 3 in Norris voting): 75, 76, 77, 78, 79 and 81.

The "competition" argument does not work for Potvin, like it would for Bourque or Chelios, because Potvin was no longer a legitimate threat for the Norris once those guys came around in the 80s. It wasn't just the Hall of Famers beating him out in the 80s, it was Wilson, Hartsburg, Carlysle, Engblom, Becke, Howe, Marsh, Lowe, Larson, Babych, Marois, Green, Samuelsson, Ramsey, Patrick, McCrimmon -- you name it, beating Potvin in Norris voting.

Lidstrom has been in the argument for top defenseman in the NHL for 11 seasons now - and unlike Potvin, who missed large chunks of seasons due to injury, Lidstrom has been a consummate iron-man, unfortunately missing an entire season in his prime due to the lockout. Defensemen are not much good to their teams when they are not playing. Lidstrom is still a Norris contender after 17 seasons -- when Potvin pretty much dropped out of it after only 8 seasons.

Potvin was a better scorer while Lidstrom was a better passer.
Potvin played more physical, but Lidstrom losses nothing on him defensively because of his positioning.

Ultimately, Potvin's best seasons were not that much better than Lidstrom's but Lidstrom has been an elite defender for TWICE as long as Potvin.

A Conn Smythe is just the cherry on top.

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