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Lidstrom Vs. Potvin

View Poll Results: Better ATD Value (Peak and Career Value)
Lidstrom 56 60.87%
Potvin 36 39.13%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
09-07-2010, 06:56 AM
  #451
Canadiens1958
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Comparisons Across Eras

Moving Lidstrom and Potvin across eras is rather interesting to say the least. Especially if the debate shifts away from the core issue which is playing defense.Fail to see how the question of how Lidstrom would do scoring against 1970's or 1980's goalies is all that important. Better question would be how Lidstrom would do preventing scoring opportunities against 1970's and 1980's goaltenders. Likewise how Potvin would do scoring against 1990's and onward goaltenders is not very important. How he would do preventing scoring opportunities against goaltenders from the last twenty years is rather interesting.

Let's look at two important changes from each era. The 1970's and 1980's featured longer shifts, not the mythical 3-4 minute shifts that Phil Esposito is alleged to have taken at times but shifts in the 90 second range were common. Also forwards would regularly crash the crease/slot be it Phil Esposito, Tim Kerr, Clark Gillies down to the Yvon Lambert, Terry O'Reilly types. 30-45 second shifts that are a sprint as opposed to longer shifts which require pacing and varied strategies may not produce the same results. This is a basic problem when taking modern players back in time - how they would adapt to the longer shifts and the greater demands in variety that each shift would demand from the standpoint of skills.How would a Nicklas Lidstrom handle these challenges.

Taking a defenseman from the Denis Potvin era and moving him into the era defined by the last twenty years presents the following challenges. How would he do defensively playing shorter shifts while defending against the perimeter/cycle game. This is an easier comparison because we do have a number of defensemen who actually were contemporaries of Potvin - Ray Bourque, Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios who played for a significant number of years in both eras and were highly successful in both eras.

Two observations.

Not based on a exhaustive study but the shorter shifts seem to have been a benefit to the elite defensemen.. Potvin 's career ended just as shorter shifts were starting to become the norm while the career's of Stevens, Bourque and Chelios may have been extended by the shorter shifts.

The perimeter/cycle game was handled without difficulty by Bourque, Chelios and Stevens. In fact the point may be made that the perimeter / cycle game combined with the shorter shifts made Scott Stevens a more dangerous hitter. Specifically the perimeter / cycle game causes forwards to turn their vision away from the optimum looking into the center of the rink. When a forward sees less of the offensive zone his awareness of the defenders is reduced, blind spots arise and he becomes more vulnerable to hits. A fresh defenseman would have an advantage.

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Old
09-07-2010, 08:15 AM
  #452
Rhiessan71
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Why wouldn't I use Stevens, I mean to me, Stevens, Langway and Robinson are perhaps the only 3 guys in the last 30+ years that you could safely match up to or even consider better than Lidstrom defensively.
Also, both Stevens and Big Bird weren't exactly slouches offensively although not as good as Lidstrom imo.

Yes I said peeks.
While Lidstrom's peek was higher and more sustained than most, many dmen over the years actually peeked higher than him.
Been mentioned many times in this very thread even by people like myself who choose Lidstrom that Potvin's peek years were well above Lidstrom's.

In a way, comparing Lidstrom to Stevens is a perfect example in that Stevens like Lidstrom, never really had that major peek. He was simply very good for a very long time.
Am I putting Stevens ahead of Lidstrom...no, of course not. Lidstrom is just as superior offensively to Stevens as Bourque is to Lidstrom.
What Lidstrom and Stevens do share however, is a very similar career curve.

Like how many times do you have to hear over and over again of how people would pick a whole host of players other than Lidstrom based on their 4-5 best years.
Only when you have to pick someone based on their best 10 or more does Lidstrom weed out the field so to speak.

That's why I do not believe Lidstrom would of fared as well in the late 70's and 80's as far as Norris Trophies go.
His good and steady play simply wouldn't of been enough to overcome the higher peeks of others at the time, at least not consistently and certainly not 6 times imo.

Honestly, I think this is a pretty reasonable and well thought out argument and like I said, I have Lidstrom ranked just behind Bourque and just ahead of Potvin so I'm not trying to bash the guy.


Last edited by Bear of Bad News: 09-07-2010 at 10:10 AM. Reason: QDP
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Old
09-07-2010, 11:06 AM
  #453
Dark Shadows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I realize that asking for common decency on an internet message board is most likely as futile as polishing firewood, but I thought I would try regardless. I appreciate your followup.

I was rightfully called out for making some lazy, sweeping statements earlier so I tried to add more context -- attempting to bring more than just my opinion to the discussion. I do not continue conversing with someone who LOLs at my decently thought-out statements, whether I am right or wrong, in real life and I will not do it on an online forum either.

Anyways, the fact that I used several sources to back up my personal observations (stats, voting records and NHL polls) should tell you I do value first-hand observations and opinions, and not just stats. I just do not value a single opinion automatically above all others. Stats tend to be less subjective and will be around a lot longer than first-hand observations - I figure I am going to have to use them in order to back up my statement thirty years from now that say.... "Lidstrom was better than Green in '09 and '10", despite Green outscoring him and finishing higher in Norris voting. Otherwise I'm just going to simply sound like a daft curmudgeon.

In addition to both Potvin and Lidstrom being considered the best in their era, both of them were the #1 offensive Dmen of their era. Lidstrom is also considered the #1 defensive Dman of his era, while Potvin is not. Lidstrom also maintained an elite level of play for much longer than Potvin. Regarding the OP's question, I believe Lidstrom was a better defenseman, despite Potvin having a higher offensive peak. I tend to weigh defense from a defenseman more than offense.... and while playing physical has a lot of value, performing equally well, if not better, without playing physical has value as well -- not only from remaining in position, but staying healthy longer and being available for the ever-important penalty kills.
While I agree that Potvin's style played a large part in his earlier retirement, a large part of modern players ability to play into their late 30's at a high level is due to modern medical treatment and the ability to keep the body in top shape longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
If I was using any of those points by itself, I would agree with you -- but taken altogether it does lead credence to the notion that Lidstrom is not that far from Potvin offensively.

1) Whether you think defenseman from the recent era are 'not even close' to defensemen of previous eras, there is the fact that they are 'not even close' to Lidstrom. Perhaps if Lidstrom was barely squeeking by the Prongers, Neidermayers, Blakes and others as the best of his generation you would have a point.... but the fact is Lidstrom is universally uncontested as the best for a decade-long stretch. His competition may have been less, but he beat them by a corresponding larger amount as well. If Lidstrom had only 3 Norrisses in this era, the argument for him over Potvin would certainly be less.
In individual years, his first Norris trophy, Lidstrom beat 40 year old Bourque by 139%. His second, he beat 40 year old Chelios by 9.5% of the vote. His 3rd, he beat 40 year old Macinnis by 15% of the vote. He then beat Nieds by 41% of the vote. He beat Nieds again the next year by 18.8% of the vote(Although I think this year would have been Pronger's had he not broken his foot). He then beat Phaneuf by 134%

Potvin won his first Norris by 147% over Brad Park, his second by 15% over Park, and his 3rd by 175% of the vote over Robinson.

In fairness, other than Lidstrom, the only other truly elite defenseman over Lidstrom's run has been Pronger, who was often injured and inconsistent. Certainly none to compare to the Habs big 3, Salming and Park.




Quote:
3) I guess it is up to you how much you want to take from Potvin beating Trottier in his rookie and sophomore years, but I think we can both agree Trottier went on to do much better offensively than Potvin ever did.

Regardless, Lidstrom has come within "not even close" to doing similar.

In 2006, he had 80 pts - 7 behind team-leading Datsyuk
In 2001, he had 71 pts - 5 behind team-leading Shanahan
In 2000, he had 73 pts - 6 behind team-leading Yzerman

Lidstrom has also led the Red Wings in playoff scoring.

Their offensive finishes amongst peers (defensemen) also indicates that they were within 'not even close' of one another.
The Modern game is much different. While I acknowledge that Potvin was easily superior offensively, one also has to look at the context of the way the game was played. Defensemen in the 90's slowly started to become more "Supporting offense" roles. The coaches wanted them playing safer, transitioning the puck and supporting offense instead of individually generating it, which is exactly how Lidstrom played to begin with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
He was in norris contention a grand total of 2 times, in 1981 where he lost to the legendary randy carlyle and 1984. No other season in the 80's was he a top 4 norris finalist. Why would competition mean so much anyways, it doesnt change the fact that Lidstrom is better defensively than most of those guys anyways.

Honestly, if Doug Wilson and Caryle can win in the 80's and Rod Langway can win back to back strictly based on his defense, I have no problem believing Lidstrom would have won 3 or 4 back in those days.
I don't think anyone has a problem with Lidstrom winning 3-4. 6-7 on the other hand just would not have been happening. When I think of Lidstrom's best years and compare them to some of the other players in the 70's, 80's, I just do not see him beating them out 6 times. They were too good.

This Carlyle Wilson thing is getting out of hand. You do realize the outcry over Potvin not winning that Norris over Carlyle was even larger than the current outcry over Lidstrom losing to Blake right?

Carlyle was a flash in the pan offensive player who was playing on a weak team. At the time, people like you(Yes you) who always overpraise people who scored big on weak teams, were the one's who gave Carlyle that very slim win over Potvin/Robinson. One he certainly did not deserve.

Wilson on the other hand, did deserve his Norris trophy. You talk about him like he is some shrub because he only won a single Norris and was a contender for several more. Wilson had his best year ever. He played very well defensively(Not as well as the top guys, but very good) and exploded offensively that year. 39 goals for a defenseman is a very rare feat in any era. He never again hit that height, but then again, Pronger never again approached his Hart year.

The common complaint at the time after these 2 wins were that old school defensive defensemen were not getting the credit they were due. This lead to Langway winning his 2 in a row. Much like the outcry over defensemen no longer winning the Hart played a part in Pronger winning his. Now don't get me wrong, Pronger played phenomenal. But there have been more Hart worthy years by defensemen since Orr.

The way they vote for Norris trophies constantly changed.
Mind you even if you think Langway did not deerve the Norris, I also think Langway deserved Hart votes(Hard to win over Gretzky in that era) even if I think there were more balanced defensemen in the game. His impact on Washington was astounding. Leadership, will, Impenetrable defense. That was an example of a player who just came over, took over the locker room and demanded excellence from himself and those around him. The team results immediately showed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
The competition argument..again.
You know, defensemen are not the only competition. How about forwards, goalies and different rules? How do you know Lidstrom would not win 6 Norris trophies if he played in late 70s, early 80s? You don't. So unless you want to bring assumptions (would Potvin scored so much against better goalies?) into this, the competition argument is pointless. Randy freaking Carlyle beat Potvin for Norris. Doug Wilson did too.
Yeah, competition Lidstrom would never beat. LOL
Lidstrom's style would not have been as effective in that era. Positioning and angling off shots have always been important, but you had to actively engage much more because smaller goaltender equipment made merely angling a guy off riskier. In the Umberger clip. Lidstrom did not make a mistake under modern play. The goalie merely did not cover the side of the net properly. However that would have been much more common. Langway was so effective because his size, reach and stickwork combined with how he attacked like a wild man.

And as said, Randy Carlyle's win over Potvin was even more of an outrage than the modern "Blake over Lidstrom"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
Langway? I never mentioned him. Give yourself a break and please stop making **** up.
If Wilson or Carlyle can beat them, what makes you think Lidstrom would not?
And Lidstrom only lost to Chara when he was what, 39 years old? Pronger is better than Wilson or Carlyle and Niedermayer won when Lidstrom had off year. It's not like if you put Lidstrom to Potvin's era he would not win any Norris trophies. Lidstrom destroyed his competition most of the time, not just barely won his Norris trophies.
Lidstrom destroyed the competition twice. Most other Norris votes were fairly close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Age forms some interesting patterns when it comes to Norris Trophy winners.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/awards/norris.html

1954-67 only two winners younger than 30 - Kelly and
Laperriere

1968-92 only one winner 30 or older - Ray Bourque

1993 - 2010 only four winners under 30 Leetch, Blake, Pronger, Keith.

Perhaps this sheds some context regarding the different eras that Lidstrom and Potvin starred in.
It certainly does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Moving Lidstrom and Potvin across eras is rather interesting to say the least. Especially if the debate shifts away from the core issue which is playing defense.Fail to see how the question of how Lidstrom would do scoring against 1970's or 1980's goalies is all that important. Better question would be how Lidstrom would do preventing scoring opportunities against 1970's and 1980's goaltenders. Likewise how Potvin would do scoring against 1990's and onward goaltenders is not very important. How he would do preventing scoring opportunities against goaltenders from the last twenty years is rather interesting.

Let's look at two important changes from each era. The 1970's and 1980's featured longer shifts, not the mythical 3-4 minute shifts that Phil Esposito is alleged to have taken at times but shifts in the 90 second range were common. Also forwards would regularly crash the crease/slot be it Phil Esposito, Tim Kerr, Clark Gillies down to the Yvon Lambert, Terry O'Reilly types. 30-45 second shifts that are a sprint as opposed to longer shifts which require pacing and varied strategies may not produce the same results. This is a basic problem when taking modern players back in time - how they would adapt to the longer shifts and the greater demands in variety that each shift would demand from the standpoint of skills.How would a Nicklas Lidstrom handle these challenges.

Taking a defenseman from the Denis Potvin era and moving him into the era defined by the last twenty years presents the following challenges. How would he do defensively playing shorter shifts while defending against the perimeter/cycle game. This is an easier comparison because we do have a number of defensemen who actually were contemporaries of Potvin - Ray Bourque, Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios who played for a significant number of years in both eras and were highly successful in both eras.

Two observations.

Not based on a exhaustive study but the shorter shifts seem to have been a benefit to the elite defensemen.. Potvin 's career ended just as shorter shifts were starting to become the norm while the career's of Stevens, Bourque and Chelios may have been extended by the shorter shifts.

The perimeter/cycle game was handled without difficulty by Bourque, Chelios and Stevens. In fact the point may be made that the perimeter / cycle game combined with the shorter shifts made Scott Stevens a more dangerous hitter. Specifically the perimeter / cycle game causes forwards to turn their vision away from the optimum looking into the center of the rink. When a forward sees less of the offensive zone his awareness of the defenders is reduced, blind spots arise and he becomes more vulnerable to hits. A fresh defenseman would have an advantage.
Good post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Why wouldn't I use Stevens, I mean to me, Stevens, Langway and Robinson are perhaps the only 3 guys in the last 30+ years that you could safely match up to or even consider better than Lidstrom defensively.
Also, both Stevens and Big Bird weren't exactly slouches offensively although not as good as Lidstrom imo.

Yes I said peeks.
While Lidstrom's peek was higher and more sustained than most, many dmen over the years actually peeked higher than him.
Been mentioned many times in this very thread even by people like myself who choose Lidstrom that Potvin's peek years were well above Lidstrom's.

In a way, comparing Lidstrom to Stevens is a perfect example in that Stevens like Lidstrom, never really had that major peek. He was simply very good for a very long time.
Am I putting Stevens ahead of Lidstrom...no, of course not. Lidstrom is just as superior offensively to Stevens as Bourque is to Lidstrom.
What Lidstrom and Stevens do share however, is a very similar career curve.

Like how many times do you have to hear over and over again of how people would pick a whole host of players other than Lidstrom based on their 4-5 best years.
Only when you have to pick someone based on their best 10 or more does Lidstrom weed out the field so to speak.

That's why I do not believe Lidstrom would of fared as well in the late 70's and 80's as far as Norris Trophies go.
His good and steady play simply wouldn't of been enough to overcome the higher peeks of others at the time, at least not consistently and certainly not 6 times imo.

Honestly, I think this is a pretty reasonable and well thought out argument and like I said, I have Lidstrom ranked just behind Bourque and just ahead of Potvin so I'm not trying to bash the guy.
Were I to choose defensively, I would have taken Serge Savard from the big 3

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Old
09-07-2010, 11:29 AM
  #454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post


Were I to choose defensively, I would have taken Serge Savard from the big 3

Yeah, tough choice either way. I thought it would be more fair to use Robinson due to his longevity.

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Old
09-07-2010, 01:58 PM
  #455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I have it as
#5 Lidstrom
#6 Potvin
Agree. I am not sure how someone could say that both should be top-5. There's no way they can top Bourque for 4th, and especially not Harvey/Shore for 3rd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
And now, of course, the "adjusted points" line. Translation: "we automatically subtract points that were earned by specific players in previous eras....to "prove" the superiority of our modern day heroes."
...except from the end of WW2 until 1969, scoring was actually at a level well below the all-time average, so playres from those seasons would see their point totals boosted by adjusted stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I figure I am going to have to use them in order to back up my statement thirty years from now that say.... "Lidstrom was better than Green in '09 and '10", despite Green outscoring him and finishing higher in Norris voting. Otherwise I'm just going to simply sound like a daft curmudgeon.
Won't that be fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Age forms some interesting patterns when it comes to Norris Trophy winners.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/awards/norris.html

1954-67 only two winners younger than 30 - Kelly and
Laperriere

1968-92 only one winner 30 or older - Ray Bourque

1993 - 2010 only four winners under 30 Leetch, Blake, Pronger, Keith.

Perhaps this sheds some context regarding the different eras that Lidstrom and Potvin starred in.
It has a lot more to do with what career stage some of the all-time greats were at during different eras, than any age-based voting pattern.

What happens when you add in the other finalists? Surely such a pattern would extend to them as well, if it really exists.

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Old
09-07-2010, 04:21 PM
  #456
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Going Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
It has a lot more to do with what career stage some of the all-time greats were at during different eras, than any age-based voting pattern.

What happens when you add in the other finalists? Surely such a pattern would extend to them as well, if it really exists.
One of these days you may look at hockey history going forward as opposed to trying to work it backwards.

Re Ageism and the Norris Trophy?????????

The 1946-47 and 1947 - 48 seasons saw the arrival of the young troika of NHL defensemen Bill Gadsby, Doug Harvey and Red Kelly plus other excellent young defensemen. All of these were post RED LINE defensemen and they were the ones who dictated the defenseman style in the NHL. By the time the Norris was introduced they had they had matured at the NHL level and groupings, eventually headed by Doug Harvey had emerged as the fifties blended into the 1960's the basic style had not changed significantly - Pierre Pilote and Harry Howell had matured but were basically cookie cutter versions of the initial group with individual skill sets, same is true for Laperriere only younger with different physical attributes.

1966-67 Bobby Orr changed the template for defensemen and only his equally youthful imitators were in a position to challenge into the 1990's.

Try your hand at the third grouping.

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