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06-30-2006, 10:53 AM
Best In The World
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Long Island
Originally Posted by
I'll deal with the bold first. When Pitkanen got hurt he had the highest +/- in the league and the i believe was second only to McCabe in points for Dmen. On a relatively consistent basis he was the BEST player on the ice, and that includes Forsberg. That's how good he was. Then he shredded his abdomen, and he wasn't the same.
So... yes, he was a serious darkhorse Norris candidate... and he was one of the Top 10 dmen in the league. He got hurt, and he wasn't really the same again. He'll need to regain form next season for that discussion to matter... that I admit.
Pronger isn't as good offensively as Pitkanen NOW... and Pitkanen is still improving. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Pitkanen put up an 80 point season next year. Pitkanen is not a great dmen in a set situation right now, but he's only 22 and most dmen aren't that good defensively.... Pitkanen is a TREMENDOUS defender in the transition game because he is so friggin fast. He gets abused in certain situations, which, for the time being, is why it's very important for him to have a strong position d-pairing to protect his roving abilities.
"never" is a stupid word to use... you, and i, have no idea how good he's going to be 5 years from now... however, i'd rather have a 27 y/o Pitkanen than a 36 y/o Pronger.
Pronger isn't the difference between a winning a cup and losing a cup in Philly. the improvement to the team in that swap isn't significant enough... as I said, Pitkanen was the best player on our team in a third of the games he played (my opinion, obviously). THAT is how good he is.
Never isn't a stupid word to use, the defenders that have won the Hart and the Norris in the same season, are ELITE. You can count them on one hand, that's how good these guys have been. Bobby Orr, if the Norris was made when Eddie Shore was playing, he UNDOUBTEDLY would have won it, because he won the Hart FOUR TIMES as a defender. There is no doubt in anyone's mind who has ever seen him play that he would have been a perrennial Norris Winner on top of winning the Hart. Finally, there's the afforementioned Chris Pronger.
Pitkanen is a pure offensive defenseman who isn't that physical, nor spectacular in his own zone. I doubt you know how many pure offensive defenseman like Joni have won the Norris. The only guy that sticks out like a sore thumb is Paul Coffey, and Paul Coffey was putting up RECORD-SETTING numbers, something which I doubt that Pitkanen will even come close to doing. The Norris is usually award to the best all-around defender, guys like Pronger, Leetch, who back in the day was one of the most dominant defenders out there. Could change the game on either side of the puck. Ray Bourque, who is one of the top 3 best to ever play the game on defense. Chris Chelios, another two-way guy. Larry Robinson. Lidstrom, even though I think he's overrated is another two-way guy. You get the point though. A pure offensive defenseman isn't going to win the Norris unless he's putting up phenomenal numbers.
No knock at Joni, just a near impossible feat with the way the voters have voted over the years for the Norris. Brian Leetch got ROBBED of one in 2001. They gave it to Lidstrom, even though Lidstrom had a supporting cast that would make Leetch's look like a minor league team.
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