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05-04-2013, 04:31 PM
Clown Baby
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Originally Posted by AfroThunder396 View Post
Any yet for all the HURR DURR PRONGER IS A BEAST IN THE PLAYOFFS posts you'll see in this thread, Stevens is the one with a Conn Smythe.

Stevens's prime was much more saturated with Norris-caliber defensive talent than Pronger was. He had to go up against prime Bourque, prime Leetch, prime Coffey, and prime Chelios, prime Blake, and prime MacInnis.

By the time '98 rolled around (your cutoff point), most of those guys were past their prime, he pretty much had the market cornered until the emergence of Lidstrom and Niedermayer in the early 2000's.

The post-2005 lockout era is notorious for being short on top end defensive talent. Other than Chara, Weber, and flavor-of-the-month guys like Doughty or Keith there weren't any top-tier talents that emerged to challenge the established veterans.

After Pronger's Norris in 2000 is was pretty much The Nick Lidstrom Show, no one was really close to him in either peak or prime during the decade. Pronger was always in his shadow. The only difference is the Stevens was in the shadow of three or four roughly Lidstrom-caliber players.
In the ten years their playing careers overlapped, Pronger finished higher than Stevens in Norris voting five times to Stevens' three, and in '01 Pronger missed 31 games to knee surgery and a broken forearm. That year, he finished with 47 points through 51 games played and a +21 rating, outscoring Stevens' 31 through 81. To say nothing of his two Olympic Gold Medals, and the four times he was selected to represent Team Canada at that level. Stevens, by comparison, was selected once to play at the Olympics, and that year Canada did not medal. But, you know better.

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