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11-25-2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Let's take a look at something...

What was Bourque's competition like when he came into the league?

Past-prime Robinson, Prime Potvin, Prime Langway, Prime Wilson and Prime Carlyle from the previous generation of defensemen. The above listed plus Mark Howe as guys who started their NHL career during Bourque's career. So Bourque only had to compete with a couple of top-notch defensemen in Robinson and Potvin, plus a very good defenseman in Langway and solid peaks in Wilson and Carlyle. Far thinner than what Lidstrom had to contend with. If you take rookie Bourque and start him in 1991-92, does he get on the All-Star team right away? Probably not. Not for a few seasons at least. He was not named the best defenseman in the NHL by either Norris or AS until his 8th season, compared to Lidstrom in his 7th. As of the 12th season for each, Bourque held the Norris advantage by one. But that turned around by season 16.

And ultimately, if we're going to give equal credit for Bourque's early-career AS selections as we do to any of Lidstrom's, then we have to give equal credit (per Norris) for Lidstrom's seven Norrises in ten years as we do four Bourque's five in eight years.
Bourque also had to compete with a still very good Salming and an emerging Coffey in those early years. I can also see him beating out guys like Murphy and Iafrate for early career all star berths if he is transported to 1992.

I would like to see evidence for why Harvey is better than Lidstrom. Lidstrom seems to have a slight longevity edge, but peaks and primes seem very close.

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