Norris Trophy Pilfering '98 vs '11
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11-19-2012, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
Norris arguments aside, maybe we could look at Blake a little more closely and see if he deserves to be criticized as heavily as he is here. Because he really has become almost a Housley or Phaneuf type of whipping boy.
same with pre-NJ scott stevens. i think it's a lazy stereotype. both guys were very good, though less than elite, defensive players-- stevens as early as the late 80s in washington, blake almost from the very beginning.
i mean, rob blake was playing every situation and leading his team in minutes the day he stepped into the league. and while i think he was only the third best defender on that kings team that went to the finals, he was still the big minute guy of that unit and the only guy who was on the first PP and PK units.
if blake really were phaneuf (or jovanovski, mccabe, kevin hatcher, etc.) that people are saying he is, could he have led that '98 kings team to the playoffs? that rob blake season would have won the last three norris trophies, and the two non-karlsson ones it would have won handily.
after zhitnik, sydor, and mcsorley were all gone, blake came into his own as the player that gretzky predicted would win a norris back in the kings training camp of '91.
and i know a lot of people didn't watch too many west coast games back in blake's prime, especially without gretzky around, but do we all forget the '01 playoffs so soon?
sadly, i think a lot of what has been lost is that blake played for so long after his peak that we forget how good he really was and that lidstrom supporters have been beating him up for taking that '98 norris. we all do this-- unfairly dump on one player to prop up the other-- but in this case it's beyond overkill.
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