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11-20-2012, 07:36 AM
jack mullet
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Some data to consider:
Lidstrom has almost as good a personal GAA while on the penalty kill compared to Blake at even strength! That has to be a big argument in Lidstrom's favour. Let's not blame the difference on goaltending either. At even strength, both teams had virtually the same save percentage (91.9% for LA, 91.7% for Detroit). The Kings' goalies actually have a better save percentage while on the penalty kill (88.7% for the Kings, 88.1% for the Wings). So the huge disparity in their GAAs can't be explained due to goaltending.

I'm results-oriented and it seems clear that Lidstrom was better at keeping the puck out of his team's net, at even-strength (Lidstrom was 27% more effective) and on the PK (49% more effective). As I showed above, the difference in the numbers can't be attributed to goaltending. Can someone make a case that the difference is explained due to their roles (did Blake consistently get tougher defensive assignments?) or teammates (it's clear that Lidstom played on a better team, but does this explain the disparity?)

I'll be honest, for a long time I've rejected the "Lidstrom was robbed of the 1998 Norris" position as revisionist nonsense. Now that I've done some digging, it's clear that Lidstrom has a legitimate claim - he led all defensemen in scoring, was extraordinary on the penalty kill, and played a lot (#5 ice time in the league) on an excellent team. Lidstrom's main weakness was even-strength defense (his personal GAA is mediocre despite playing on an excellent team), but I'm not sure if Blake makes up any ground in this category (it's clear that he falls behind statistically, but I'll keep an open mind in case someone can argue that Blake's teammates are so poor that, after taking the context into account, he actually performed at a higher level than Lidstrom defensively).

Does anybody else have other interpretations?
how can you NOT bring up the goalies? Osgoods GAA was 2.21, Fiset was 2.71. LA also gave up over 300 more shots than Detroit did that year. the fact that your #1 D-man did as good as he did is pretty remarkable under those conditions.

i think Lidstrom had a case in 98, but ultimately the voters took into account the entire picture and chose Blake. he was not a bad choice.

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