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11-18-2012, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
IMHO Rafalski was a lot closer to Niedermayer than he's given credit for. Niedermayer is/was horribly overrated (especially defensively), while Rafalski was not given proper credit (especially defensively). Offensively, they were very close in ability; Rafalski actually outscored Niedermayer four of the five years they played together in New Jersey, and two of four years after Niedermayer left. That's six of nine seasons where Rafalski was the more prolific scorer. Niedermayer was better defensively, but not enough to the degree where he should be considered a top-20 all-time defenseman while Rafalski doesn't even get HHOF consideration.

IMHO, Blake and Rafalski were right in the same range. Both had a good prime as strong top-tier offensive defensemen just outside the elite category. Niedermayer is just above that range, as his prime places him as a legitimate Norris contender. I don't personally believe he or Blake deserved the Norris; Blake I don't even consider top-ten for 1997-98 (Lidstrom/Pronger/Bourque as finalists) and Niedermayer I would rank fifth-best for 2003-04 (Lidstrom/Pronger/Chara).
I agree about Niedermayer for the most part, but as a few others have said his peak was so high that it completely separates him from someone like Rafalski. I also agree that Blake shouldn't have won the Norris, but not that Niedermayer should have lost. If Rafalski has a peak roughly equivalent to Niedermayer's he would be comfortably ahead of Blake.

Originally Posted by PhillyBluesFan View Post
Rafalski is just as good as Niedermayer and MacInnis and Blake is a little better than all 3.
I would love to see your evidence for either of those claims, if you don't mind.

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