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Lidstrom's place in history - ALL DISCUSSIONS OF LIDSTROM'S "ALL TIME RANKING" HERE

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Old
11-25-2012, 10:02 PM
  #76
GWOW
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Please enlighten us how Rick Middleton, Barry Pedersen and Ken Linseman helped the Bruins between 1992 and 1998.
If you looked at my earlier post, I mentioned his postseason struggles between 1981 and 1987 (1983 notwithstanding).

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11-25-2012, 10:24 PM
  #77
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Purchase magazine the Hockey magazine its sold in walmarts across Canada.It's published 8 times a year.In the magazine Bowman Demers Michael Farber John Garrot Red Fisher are asked who the top born canadian players ever are.Other contoversial picks by Bowman are that Serge Savard has a higher ranking than Robinson.Dany Dube does have coffey very high at 5.The top 15 players according to peaple asked were 1.Gretzy2.Orr3.Lemieux4.Howe5.Richard6.Messier7.Be leiveau8.Lafleur9.Bourque10.Esposito11.Hull.12.Yze rman13.Brodeur.14.Harvey15.Potvin.It's a very interesting read.Most had Gretzy as number 1 but Bowman had Orr as the best.His best habs were Lafleur Savard and Dickie Moore and Robinson.

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11-25-2012, 10:57 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
You clearly didn't see the word "Norris" in my post.
Use the right tool for the job. If you're trying to pick the best defenceman, the Norris voting system is designed for that. As quoipourquoi has said, it distinguishes a first place vote from a second place vote, which is everything when you are talking about picking the best. If you are trying to rank the best 10 or so defenceman in the league, all-star voting is much better. A ballot that goes 6 deep instead of 3 deep allows voters to express meaningful opinions on many more defenceman.

Your argument about Lidstrom's first few years in the league is that he was a top-10 defenceman. All-Star voting is superior for this purpose. Why look at the Norris voting?

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11-25-2012, 11:24 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by GWOW View Post
Something that also gets overlooked with Bourque are lackluster statistical postseasons with Boston from around 1992 to 1998. From 1984 - 1987, while in the prime years of 24-27, Bourque in 15 games over 4 playoffs had 1g-7a-9p and was a -3. In later years, in 45 playoff games between 1992 and 1998, Bourque was 8g-27a-35p and a -28 in 45 games
The interesting thing is I can pick and choose any player's bad years and make them look terrible.

Lidstrom (1992, 1993, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2012): 42 games, 14 points, -18

Potvin (1984, 1986, 1987, 1988): 38 games, 16 points, -17

Stevens (1983, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1997, 1999): 39 games, 17 points, -15

I'll stop here because I think the point is clear. Anybody can take any defensemen, even if they're a Hall of Famer, and selectively pick out bad years in an attempt to make them look worse than they actually are.

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Originally Posted by GWOW View Post
Bourque's 5 "best" playoff seasons by point production below the age of 30 were: 1980, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990 -- 76 games played -- 19 goals -- 59a -- 78 points. But take the rest and the numbers (mentioned above) are beyond paltry within the context of a Bourque-Lidstrom debate.
Bourque scores 12 pts in 15 games if you artificially exclude five of his best ten playoffs before ago 30 - but why would you do that? Do the same for Lidstrom and you get 15 points in 34 games. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't understand why it's meaningful/informative to look at playoff production before age 30, excluding their five best postseasons?

The only defenseman that I can think of who would still look good according to this metric is Denis Potvin.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-25-2012 at 11:39 PM.
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11-25-2012, 11:37 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by GWOW View Post
If you looked at my earlier post, I mentioned his postseason struggles between 1981 and 1987 (1983 notwithstanding).
Either I'm misreading the sequence of the argument, or Dark Shadows was not referring specifically to that timeframe in the post you quoted. He responded to your post detailing "lackluster statistical postseasons with Boston from around 1992 to 1998", which suggests to me that he was referencing that time period. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.


Also, DS pointed out that Bourque was the primary offensive weapon (contrasted with Lidstrom's supporting role) in leading his team in scoring in 5 different seasons, to which you replied with the comment about Middleton, Linseman, Pederson... which is why I responded. Those players were gone or ineffective not only in the 92-98 timeframe, but also during 2 of the seasons that Bourque led the Bruins in scoring.

[I wrote a long post here about the actual quality of Bourque's teammates season-by-season, but honestly, anyone can look that up if they want.]

Perhaps the argument would get more traction if you could show that Lidstrom scored a higher % of his team's points for a defenseman of the era. Here's an example of what I'd be interested in seeing, except on a larger scale:

% of Team Points Scored By Leading Offensive Defensemen - 1999-00
PlayerPointsTeamTeam GoalsPlayer %
Nicklas Lidstrom73DET27826%
Chris Pronger62STL24825%
Rob Blake57LAK24523%
Eric Desjardins55PHI23723%
Phil Housley55CGY21126%

% of Team Points Scored By Leading Offensive Defensemen - 1990-91
PlayerPointsTeamTeam GoalsPlayer %
Al MacInnis103CGY34430%
Ray Bourque94BOS29931%
Paul Coffey93PIT34227%
Brian Leetch88NYR29730%
Phil Housley76WPG26029%



I cherrypicked those seasons because they were simply the highest adjusted-point seasons for each player. But I think it's flattering to Lidstrom that he was in basically the same position as Bourque in terms of his offensive role on the team relative to the era (ie, both players are ranked high among elite peers but neither is significantly ahead of the pack).

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11-25-2012, 11:57 PM
  #81
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Most had Gretzy as number 1 but Bowman had Orr as the best.His best habs were Lafleur Savard and Dickie Moore and Robinson.
Pretty much puts an end to the argument that Bowman considers Lidstrom ahead of Orr all-time.
Unless of course one would believe that Bowman has Lidstrom ahead of Gretzky and Howe which I think is just a tad unlikely.

I find that these threads always get to a certain point that it feels like Lidstomites are desperately reaching. Surprisingly, we're already there after only 5 pages for a change.

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11-26-2012, 12:15 AM
  #82
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Bowman's to 15 canadian born were1.Orr2.Howe3.Richard4.Lemieux5.Gretzy6.Harvey7 .Shore8.Morenz9.Beliveau10.Hull11Lafleur12.Keon13. Henri Richard14.Messier15.Crosby.Serge Savard is 20 yZERMAN25 and robinson 27Bourque is 16.Bossy is 23

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11-26-2012, 12:39 AM
  #83
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I'm going to get flamed, but I don't care, as a player I don't think Lidstrom was much better than Brad Park, put Park in his place and Park has 5+ norris trophies. Lidstrom's last few years he was very very overrated. The last Norris he won was purely on reputation and further inflated him in his place in history. in 2007 Chris Pronger was clearly the best defensemen in the league but he got injured, plus Niedermayer and Pronger split the vote for being on the same team that year.

Since the lockout you'd have to rate Pronger as the better player up until he got concussed 3 teams to the finals, was arguably the best player in the playoffs all 3 years but to Lidstroms credit his style has prevented him from getting alot of major injuries

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11-26-2012, 12:40 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Offensively. Bourque is the only defenseman in NHL history to lead his team in scoring 5 times and was the guy counted on to create offense for that entire team. Shutdown players zoned in on him instead of forwards most times and coaches built strategies specifically designed to keep Bourque out of the play in the playoffs because he was Boston's system. Whereas Lidstrom played a "supporting offense" role and was never the guy keyed in on by the best shutdown players while guys like Steve Y and Fedorov/Shanahan were on the ice and played on what was usually one of the highest scoring teams in the league(And a superstar filled team which even when Lidstrom was not on the ice, was a superstar team).

Tremendous advantage Bourque

Love the cherry picked statistics harping on Bourque's post seasons. All of which have been debunked in previous threads
Talk about exaggeration here, in 91 Bourque does lead his Bruins in scoring with 94 points, 2 points ahead of Craig Janney and 3 points ahead of Cam Neely who played in 7 less games than Bourque did.

The next season he would be tied with the Janney/Oates combo since Oates replaced Janney.

I won't bother looking up the other 3 but suffice to say as good as Bourque was offensively and taking more shots than anyone on the team in those years the "leading his team in scoring 5 years" doesn't really change his scoring, we wouldn't hold him in any lesser light if he hadn't.

Just for fun I ran Lidstrom numbers from age 30 onwards, you know the time when players are aging.

During that time he is hands down the top defensive Dman in the world for the stretch of 01-12 and he outscores the next best scoring Dman by over 80 points overall.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

People can talk all this junk about Fetisov being a top 10 guy overall or close to it but man Lidstrom after 30 is simply the best of all time and he had a pretty decent 1st 9 years before that as well.

the more I think about it, and I'm a career guy, the more I have Lidstrom and Bourque as my 1 and 2 guys and they are really close, Lidstrom's overall better defensive play tips it in his favor for me.

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11-26-2012, 12:53 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
1955-56 was the only season in Detroit during which Kelly played a significant amount of forward.[/B]

Harvey "did poorly" in 1958-59 because he was injured and Tom Johnson had to take over the role of #1 defenseman on Montreal for the season. It was the only season between 1954-55 and 1961-62 where Harvey didn't win the Norris.
I understand that but don't you think it's possible that voters after 56 maybe didn't view Kelly strictly as a Damn anymore? Either way not sure it's entirely important because Kelly was past his peak as a Dmen by 56.

The point is that Kelly is ahead of Harvey 5 times from 50-54 (Harvey aged 25-29, then Harvey has a distinct advantage over him in 55 and 56 he leads him but Kelly get more Hart votes and after 57 and definitely 58 Kelly is no longer in his peak as a Dman.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps we have over rated Kelly but not sure on that front either.

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11-26-2012, 12:56 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Talk about exaggeration here, in 91 Bourque does lead his Bruins in scoring with 94 points, 2 points ahead of Craig Janney and 3 points ahead of Cam Neely who played in 7 less games than Bourque did.

The next season he would be tied with the Janney/Oates combo since Oates replaced Janney.

I won't bother looking up the other 3 but suffice to say as good as Bourque was offensively and taking more shots than anyone on the team in those years the "leading his team in scoring 5 years" doesn't really change his scoring, we wouldn't hold him in any lesser light if he hadn't.

Just for fun I ran Lidstrom numbers from age 30 onwards, you know the time when players are aging.

During that time he is hands down the top defensive Dman in the world for the stretch of 01-12 and he outscores the next best scoring Dman by over 80 points overall.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

People can talk all this junk about Fetisov being a top 10 guy overall or close to it but man Lidstrom after 30 is simply the best of all time and he had a pretty decent 1st 9 years before that as well.

the more I think about it, and I'm a career guy, the more I have Lidstrom and Bourque as my 1 and 2 guys and they are really close, Lidstrom's overall better defensive play tips it in his favor for me.
C'mon dude, how about a little context of who he was outscoring?
Gonchar, who actually had almost the same PpG as Lidstrom, just played about 100 games less due to injuries.
Kaberle, Boyle...seriously....

And what do you think happens if I do the exact same for Bourque eh?

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

One of these lists is not like the other
Leetch, MacInnis, Housley and Coffey....yeah, nice try.

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11-26-2012, 01:05 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Goals and assists are "fantasy terms" now? Are you really going that far to disparage someone like Paul Coffey?
Vlad is getting the heavy lifting in defensive terms on that team followed by Lidstrom in the Coffey years.

Coffey was in an ideal situation were the rest of the team was defensively responsible enough to make up for his deficiencies on the back end.

Coffey's plus/minus numbers are only better in Detroit than Pittsburgh because the rest of the team and his line mates carried the load in that department, in Pittsburgh there was too much of the try to outscore the other guy mentality and not enough attention to defense, part of the problem with only 2 SC there.

Or are you going to try and convince us that Lidstrom perhaps learned to play defense from the master Coffey?

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11-26-2012, 01:13 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
C'mon dude, how about a little context of who he was outscoring?
Gonchar, who actually had almost the same PpG as Lidstrom, just played about 100 games less due to injuries.
Kaberle, Boyle...seriously....

And what do you think happens if I do the exact same for Bourque eh?

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

One of these lists is not like the other
Leetch, MacInnis, Housley and Coffey....yeah, nice try.
Hey I would expect nothing less from Bourque but was he hands down the best defensive Dman of that decade as well? Or does an aging Chelios hold a candle to him? Or even Lidstrom but I won't give him credit for 2 years less on Ray, I'm a career guy but it's close.

And look there is Nick 7th on the list despite playing 2 less seasons than the other top 13 scorers till we get to Zubov at 14.

Leetch and MacInnis at least at time in parts of their career did play well defensively but Coffey and Housley sure didn't

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11-26-2012, 01:19 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post

Coffey's plus/minus numbers are only better in Detroit than Pittsburgh because the rest of the team and his line mates carried the load in that department, in Pittsburgh there was too much of the try to outscore the other guy mentality and not enough attention to defense, part of the problem with only 2 SC there.
Whoa, wait a minute. Are you actually saying that a D-man looked better defensively in Detroit because the team as a whole, helps out so much in that regard.

You kill me, too easy


Quote:
Or are you going to try and convince us that Lidstrom perhaps learned to play defense from the master Coffey?
Pretty sure Lids learned defensively from McCrimmon if anyone but if you try and say Lids didn't learn anything about QBing a PP from Coffey...

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11-26-2012, 01:20 AM
  #90
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Either I'm misreading the sequence of the argument, or Dark Shadows was not referring specifically to that timeframe in the post you quoted. He responded to your post detailing "lackluster statistical postseasons with Boston from around 1992 to 1998", which suggests to me that he was referencing that time period. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.


Also, DS pointed out that Bourque was the primary offensive weapon (contrasted with Lidstrom's supporting role) in leading his team in scoring in 5 different seasons, to which you replied with the comment about Middleton, Linseman, Pederson... which is why I responded. Those players were gone or ineffective not only in the 92-98 timeframe, but also during 2 of the seasons that Bourque led the Bruins in scoring.

[I wrote a long post here about the actual quality of Bourque's teammates season-by-season, but honestly, anyone can look that up if they want.]

Perhaps the argument would get more traction if you could show that Lidstrom scored a higher % of his team's points for a defenseman of the era. Here's an example of what I'd be interested in seeing, except on a larger scale:

% of Team Points Scored By Leading Offensive Defensemen - 1999-00
PlayerPointsTeamTeam GoalsPlayer %
Nicklas Lidstrom73DET27826%
Chris Pronger62STL24825%
Rob Blake57LAK24523%
Eric Desjardins55PHI23723%
Phil Housley55CGY21126%

% of Team Points Scored By Leading Offensive Defensemen - 1990-91
PlayerPointsTeamTeam GoalsPlayer %
Al MacInnis103CGY34430%
Ray Bourque94BOS29931%
Paul Coffey93PIT34227%
Brian Leetch88NYR29730%
Phil Housley76WPG26029%



I cherrypicked those seasons because they were simply the highest adjusted-point seasons for each player. But I think it's flattering to Lidstrom that he was in basically the same position as Bourque in terms of his offensive role on the team relative to the era (ie, both players are ranked high among elite peers but neither is significantly ahead of the pack).
there is also a post I did in another one of the endless Bourque/Lidstrom threads that compared top 10 scoring Dmen per season over their careers and number of Dmen in the top 50 of scorers.

Bourque obviously does better than Lidstrom here but their goal scoring value got a lot closer because less Dmen hit the top 50 in Lidstrom's career than in Bourque's and it's not even close.

Some of that decreased scoring by Dmen might be talent related but more of it is related to the changing role of the Dman through bourque's entire career and Lidstrom's.

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11-26-2012, 01:31 AM
  #91
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Hey I would expect nothing less from Bourque but was he hands down the best defensive Dman of that decade as well? Or does an aging Chelios hold a candle to him? Or even Lidstrom but I won't give him credit for 2 years less on Ray, I'm a career guy but it's close.
Heh, it's a lot more than just "2 years" over all, more like 5-7.

Quote:
And look there is Nick 7th on the list despite playing 2 less seasons than the other top 13 scorers till we get to Zubov at 14.
Yeah, a Zubov who only has 615GP to Lidstrom's 775.
BTW...Zubov's PpG over that span: 0.76, Lidstrom's:0.73


Quote:
Leetch and MacInnis at least at time in parts of their career did play well defensively but Coffey and Housley sure didn't
SO WHAT?
YOU were the one strictly talking offense here. It was YOUR argument, I was just following along.
You presented your stats for Lidstrom and I provided the exact same for Bourque which are clearly better and against clearly better offensive competition.

Too funny.

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11-26-2012, 01:34 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Heh, it's a lot more than just "2 years" over all, more like 5-7.



Yeah, a Zubov who only has 615GP to Lidstrom's 775.
BTW...Zubov's PpG over that span: 0.76, Lidstrom's:0.73




SO WHAT?
YOU were the one strictly talking offense here. It was YOUR argument, I was just following along.
You presented your stats for Lidstrom and I provided the exact same for Bourque which are clearly better and against clearly better offensive competition.

Too funny.
Funny how those goalposts keep moving ain't it?

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11-26-2012, 01:35 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
there is also a post I did in another one of the endless Bourque/Lidstrom threads that compared top 10 scoring Dmen per season over their careers and number of Dmen in the top 50 of scorers.

Bourque obviously does better than Lidstrom here but their goal scoring value got a lot closer because less Dmen hit the top 50 in Lidstrom's career than in Bourque's and it's not even close.

Some of that decreased scoring by Dmen might be talent related but more of it is related to the changing role of the Dman through bourque's entire career and Lidstrom's.
There it is! The ole "It's the D-man's changing role that caused them to score less, not a lack of offensively talented D-men" argument.

Erik Karlsson says hi and every season he has as good or better than last season makes this "argument" look more and more like crapola

What I love the most about this is that Karlsson is a Swede and there is absolutely no chance in hell of me being accused of bias hahaha

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11-26-2012, 04:08 AM
  #94
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There it is! The ole "It's the D-man's changing role that caused them to score less, not a lack of offensively talented D-men" argument.

Erik Karlsson says hi and every season he has as good or better than last season makes this "argument" look more and more like crapola

What I love the most about this is that Karlsson is a Swede and there is absolutely no chance in hell of me being accused of bias hahaha
You will always have a d-man from time to time sticking out like this. The jury is still out on Karlsson's career. Was it a freak season or is he a new "Coffey"? The fact is that d-men got a lot more manouvering room in the 80s up to the dead puck era. The hockey has changed, in my mind to the better, lately with the new rules and this has opened up the game. I think we will see a new brand of d-men that are smaller and faster that will produce more. Until the rules change once more and the pylons are back ;-)

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11-26-2012, 04:21 AM
  #95
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You will always have a d-man from time to time sticking out like this. The jury is still out on Karlsson's career. Was it a freak season or is he a new "Coffey"? The fact is that d-men got a lot more manouvering room in the 80s up to the dead puck era. The hockey has changed, in my mind to the better, lately with the new rules and this has opened up the game. I think we will see a new brand of d-men that are smaller and faster that will produce more. Until the rules change once more and the pylons are back ;-)
First off Karlsson is not "Coffey like". He doesn't sacrifice defense for offense and he doesn't play a north-south game like Coffey.
Karlsson plays more east-west like Bourque and Leetch(before injuries slowed him down) played. Give and goes with a lot of puck possession.

The game opened up right after the LO but has been steadily closing up again to the point where we are almost right back to the scoring levels of the DPE again.

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11-26-2012, 08:19 AM
  #96
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I dragged this post over from another thread that got off topic. I think this belongs here.

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The most immediate point that jumps to mind is that Bourque did win the Norris and lead his team to the 1990 Final, in the context that he was by far the best player on an otherwise ordinary team. If his team wins the Cup against steep odds, there really wouldn't have even been a need for a Smythe vote. We broke down his performance in that series in a previous thread.
Neely had a great season and playoff that year too, leading the team in scoring for both, so you're exaggerating how much better Bourque was than his next best teammate and his lock on the Conn Smythe IF they had won. Huge IF, of course.

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I mean, c'mon, what more could the man possibly have done beyond being the best offensive and defensive player on the ice? And bear in mind that this was the same season that he really WAS "robbed" not of the Norris, but the Hart Trophy.

Putting Lidstrom's 2002 over Bourque's 1990 is basically saying Lidstrom did a better job getting drafted.
In terms of individual performance Lidstrom's '02 and '90 are very comparable. In terms of legacy, Lidstrom's is greater because he DID win a Cup and Conn Smythe. I think that's a general theme with the comparison of these two players. Lidstrom did win and we hear reasons why Bourque didn't win with assumptions that he would have given the same opportuntiy as Lidstrom. They are only assumptions of course.

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11-26-2012, 08:35 AM
  #97
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Again, I'm responding to these posts from the other thread that got off topic.

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Bingo!
Hardcore Lidstromites bring up the same arguments over and over and over again. No matter how fast or how strongly they are shot down, 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months later, it's starts all over again.
All I can think of most of the time is the actual definition for insanity, doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
It's nice that you claim victory in these debates. I could claim victory as well but it doesn't make it true.

You're arguing the same things over and over again and leave out the same arguments in favour of Lidstrom over and over again so you're fitting this insanity definition as well.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There is no sliding scale for Harvey. I showed in another post how Harvey went up against and beat more top 20 all time D-men in their primes than Lidstrom has.
This whole list you reference, which posters here came up with, is flawed due to not accounting for obvious and substantial difference in the talent pool. Your "top 20" list is based on this and therefore I don't reference it as fact or take it seriously (sorry).

Drop Lidstrom's competition such as Pronger, Chara, Weber and/or Niedermayer back in Harvey's time and they dominate that league. Look at the combination of size and mobility the first 3 have and the hockey sense all of them have shown. It was unheard of back then.

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11-26-2012, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
I dragged this post over from another thread that got off topic. I think this belongs here.



Neely had a great season and playoff that year too, leading the team in scoring for both, so you're exaggerating how much better Bourque was than his next best teammate and his lock on the Conn Smythe IF they had won. Huge IF, of course.
It is hard to put into words just how different the team was with Bourque on and off the ice. We once glanced at the 1990 Oilers/Bruins finals when someone attempted to say Bourque choked in the finals in one of these arguments, and the numbers were ridiculously good for him compared to the rest of his team.

Yes he was -1 in the series, but it was a team best, and ridiculous considering he was playing 30+ minutes a game in a series where they were outscored 20-8. Throw in the fact that he had a team best 3 goals, 2 assists and made the brilliant pass that resulted in another goal but did not get an assist in their game 3. He factored in to 6 of the Bruins 8 goals in the series.

The rest of the team was getting demolished when he was not on the ice that series. Even more amazing was the Oilers were playing a specific strategy in which Bourque was keyed in on as target #1 and not given the chance to jump in the play. The idea was, Bourque is the only bruin who can really carry the puck, don't let him. Dump it in his corner so he has to retrieve and then rush and bang him. Force him to make outlet passes to players who cannot do much with them, and then backcheck on Bourque as if he were a forward to prevent him from getting into the play. Heck, they did not even worry about covering Neely, choosing instead to latch Tikkanen on Janney. And it worked.

If Bourque were on the red wings, that strategy would not have worked whatsoever since he would have an abundance of players who actually can carry the puck to make those perfect outlet passes he did to. The other difference being when off the ice, the rest of the wings team was pretty respectable due to their depth. The bruins were just creamed when Bourque was not on the ice.

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In terms of individual performance Lidstrom's '02 and '90 are very comparable. In terms of legacy, Lidstrom's is greater because he DID win a Cup and Conn Smythe. I think that's a general theme with the comparison of these two players. Lidstrom did win and we hear reasons why Bourque didn't win with assumptions that he would have given the same opportuntiy as Lidstrom. They are only assumptions of course.
Lidstrom's 02 was not in the same realm as Bourque's 1990

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11-26-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
See, Bourque entered the league as a First team all-star as a rookie and he hardly looked back. If you asked who was the best defenseman in the 1980s overall the answer is Bourque. If you asked that for the 1990s, the answer is still Bourque as a whole. In a way Bourque has a Gretzky-like type of longevity since Gretzky also led the entire 1990s in scoring. Give Lidstrom the 2000s, but it ends there. He wasn't better than Bourque in the 1990s when their careers overlapped. Lidstrom in his prime in 2001 vs. an old Bourque after 22 NHL seasons and about to retire still had Bourque finishing 2nd in Norris voting.
Lidstrom was better than Bourque in the late 90's. If the playoffs mean anything to you, which they should, then Lidstrom started his reign as the best defender in the world during the '97 playoffs. He then lost the Norris to Blake in '98 and won another cup in a Conn Smythe worthy performance in the '98 playoffs. Therefore Lidstrom was at or near the top, similar to Bourque was earlier, from '97 to '11.

Of course Bourque didn't have to compete with Fetisov during the 80's and some would claim Fetisov was the best defensman of that decade. Before the car accident he was up there with Potvin and many said he was the Russian version of Potvin - very similar players at their best.

The NHL was a lesser league until the Russians joined. They were the other hockey power during the 80's so their absence was huge. Czech players also had to defect in order to play in the NHL so we were missing other great players from that nation.

When I watch early 80's NHL with my own personal "eye test" I see a weak league. The passing was not sharp and overall play was very sloppy and then there was the goaltending which is a whole other story. The Challenge Cup in '79 and Canada Cup in '81, where the NHLers got blown out by the Russians when push came to shove in the finals games also indicate this may have been the case. Early 80's NHL when Bourque started was not early 90's NHL when Lidstrom started.

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11-26-2012, 09:15 AM
  #100
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Lidstrom's 02 was not in the same realm as Bourque's 1990
Just because you have repeated this over and over again doesn't make it true. They both played huge minutes, both won the Norris, and both played out of their minds. Lidstrom also won the Conn Smythe and Cup.

Lidstrom overcame the sentimental Smythe vote for Yzerman, Hasek's 6 shutouts, and Fedorov's great performance for that Smythe. It was obviously a special performance to stand out on that team.

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