Markov is still a top 10 defenseman in the league
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01-25-2013, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Toronto via Calgary!
Well I think he'll level out over 48 games (a pipe dream considering his injury issues but it'd be impressive to see) to scoring about 10 goals, 30-35 points. Pretty good nonetheless. He's always had the shot but deferred to others over the years like Brisebois, Souray, Streit, Schneider. Markov's +/- and playoff totals in his career stand out as what aren't elite for him and why he won't be going to any HOF when he's done playing but the guy has never EVER had an elite d-man with him. Of the above guys, only Streit went on to show he was a good two-way defender. At other times Markov had to lug around average joes like Craig Rivet, Karl Dykhuis, Stephane Quintal or Mathieu Dandenault.
I'd argue Nick Lidstrom got to play with better d-men over the years (Konstantinov, HOF'er mentors like Mark Howe and Larry Murphy, Rafalski, Kronwall). He made everyone better but to a more minor extent Markov has done that in Montreal for a while too- ever since he became our best d-man about 10 years ago. Without him they got by in 10-11 but the same strategy of protecting 1 goal leads by Martin backfired in 11-12 and Cunneyworth was ill-equipped to help. Markov was greatly missed. After one of his first big injuries, the lacerated tendons in 2009, the Habs were lost without him. He missed the first 36 games and the team was 15-18-4. First game back, he scores 2 goals in Long Island and they finish the year 24-15-6, get into the playoffs and upset Washington.
Somehow they eked by Pittsburgh with Markov gone due to the torn ACL but he was missed vs. Philly. Didn't stand out only cause they could throw in Subban to stem the bleeding a bit back when he was an unknown commodity in the NHL. Markov's a career +26 which sounds average but considering all his PP points and that only 1 one of the Habs teams he played for was any good 5-on-5 or finished above 6th seed (2007-08) I'd say that's pretty darn good. If in 3-5 years he's still going at it in the NHL (he'll be old by then, late 30s) and the Habs aren't legit contenders, some elite team may see how good he really is if the Habs trade him to give him a Cup contending chance. Price is probably the Habs MVP of the past two years but pre-dating all that, it's Markov. D-men like him don't grow on trees exactly.
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