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11-26-2012, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I'm sorry, but no they aren't. They're not even all that close.

In 1990, Bourque lost the closest Hart vote ever, 20 years after the last defenseman won it. He SWEPT the Norris ballot 63-0-0. Oddly his all-star ballot was 62-1-0, go figure.

In 2002, Lidstrom did not receive a single Hart vote, 2 years after the last defenseman won it. He won the Norris with a 29-20-7-2-1 ballot over his teammate, Chelios, who had 28-10-13-4-4. That's a virtual dead heat in #1 and top-3 votes, compared to a 40-year-old on his own team. He had a bigger lead in AS voting, but Rob Blake still managed 25 1st place votes. Not "very comparable" to a clean sweep in either category, let alone a near-miss on the Hart.

On the team front, Bourque played on a team that had one (1) other Hall of Famer, and a weak one at that in Neely. Neely was 1st in points with 92, Bourque was 2nd with 84, and nobody else on the team scored over 62. In that role, Bourque led the team to a President's Trophy and then a Finals run where, again, he was the Smythe favorite for his team.

In 2002, Lidstrom played on a team with four current Hall of Famers, three more who will surely be inducted in the near future, and yet two more who have strong cases in the long-term. A total of 7-9 Hall of Fame teammates on that roster. The Wings won the President's Trophy, and then rolled over an easy Finals opponent -- and I feel no shame in saying that, considering everyone was shocked when the Hurricanes won a single game -- with Lidstrom winning the Smythe.
Not to take away from Bourque's fine season but in hindsight it seems as though Bourque jumped on the same hype train Pronger did in 2000 because his team unexpectedly won the President's trophy. MacInnis certainly deserved more Norris consideration than he got in'90 and the rest of the feild had blemishes in their game such as Coffey and Housley.

The Hart trophy is for the "player judged most valuable to his team". Of course Lidstrom didn't get any recognition because he was typically on very strong teams. Those strong teams certainly helped Lidstrom win Cups but they also overshadowed how great he was, especially when discussing the Hart. He was often the most affective skater but not flashy enough to grab peoples attention.

For Bouque we are left assuming he would have done the same if put in the same position as Lidstrom. We are also assuming that he would have won as many Norris' as Lidstrom had his career took place when Lidstrom's did. Lots of assumptions going on here.

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