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

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Old
11-26-2012, 10:16 AM
  #101
Darth Joker
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Originally Posted by GWOW View Post
Really groundbreaking stuff, here. Other teams keyed on Bourque?????? No way???? Wow!

Hmmm, Bourque was the "only guy to create offense" on teams with Rick Middleton, Barry Pedersen, Kenny Linseman, Adam Oates, Craig Janney, Cam Neely??????

Anyway, I guess in your world leading your team in scoring means more than leading all your peers in scoring.
That's not the most accurate way of putting it. We're not talking about C, RW, or LW here.

Generally speaking, a defenseman who leads his team in scoring isn't getting the same level of offensive help that a defenseman who isn't leading his team in scoring.

The Bruins teams that Bourque played on had some good scorers up front, to be sure, but they never had anything on the level of Fedorov/Yzerman or Datsyuk/Zetterberg for long, extended periods of time (you have to keep in mind that Neely endured a lot of injuries).

Bourque has a real edge over Lidstrom on offense, and much of the proof is in how often each player lead their respective teams in scoring.

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11-26-2012, 11:18 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
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.
You're right, I exaggerated. There would have been a vote. And you're right, as a leading scorer Neely would have been in the conversation.

Context for Neely leading the team in scoring:

1st round vs Hartford (7 games) - 4-6-10
2nd round vs Montreal (5 games) - 3-2-5
3rd round vs Washington (4 games) - 5-4-9
4th round vs Edmonton (5 games) - 0-4-4

Zoom in on that Finals performance...

Neely in the Finals - 5gp, 0-4-4
Bourque in the Finals - 5gp, 3-2-5

When you consider which of these guys is the winger and which is the defenseman, it becomes pretty obvious which one would have taken home the hardware. Scoring a bunch of points in a sweep over the sub-.500 Caps isn't equal to scoring a bunch of points over the Oilers in the Final.


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In terms of individual performance Lidstrom's '02 and '90 are very comparable.
I'm sorry, but no they aren't. They're not even all that close.

In 1990, Bourque lost the closest Hart vote ever, 20 years after the last defenseman won it. He SWEPT the Norris ballot 63-0-0. Oddly his all-star ballot was 62-1-0, go figure.

In 2002, Lidstrom did not receive a single Hart vote, 2 years after the last defenseman won it. He won the Norris with a 29-20-7-2-1 ballot over his teammate, Chelios, who had 28-10-13-4-4. That's a virtual dead heat in #1 and top-3 votes, compared to a 40-year-old on his own team. He had a bigger lead in AS voting, but Rob Blake still managed 25 1st place votes. Not "very comparable" to a clean sweep in either category, let alone a near-miss on the Hart.

On the team front, Bourque played on a team that had one (1) other Hall of Famer, and a weak one at that in Neely. Neely was 1st in points with 92, Bourque was 2nd with 84, and nobody else on the team scored over 62. In that role, Bourque led the team to a President's Trophy and then a Finals run where, again, he was the Smythe favorite for his team.

In 2002, Lidstrom played on a team with four current Hall of Famers, three more who will surely be inducted in the near future, and yet two more who have strong cases in the long-term. A total of 7-9 Hall of Fame teammates on that roster. The Wings won the President's Trophy, and then rolled over an easy Finals opponent -- and I feel no shame in saying that, considering everyone was shocked when the Hurricanes won a single game -- with Lidstrom winning the Smythe.

Recap: Bourque played on a significantly less talented team, and was far less dispensable to his team, yet achieved similar team results up until the point that his Smythe-worthy performance was simply not enough to singlehandedly win the Finals. For that, Bourque received significantly more individual recognition, coming within a hair of winning the Hart which would have made threads like this one nonexistent. So while certain elements of those seasons are comparable, as a whole they are clearly of two distinct classes.

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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.
Bottom line here is that you hold team results higher than individual performance. Which is fine, and you're welcome to that opinion. It's the same thing that had people pumping up Niedermayer and Messier when they retired.

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11-26-2012, 11:32 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
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.
Yet Bourque still managed to be far and away the best defenseman during the 1990s, in a fully integrated league. In 1994, Fedorov and Hasek were 1-2 in Hart voting and 33-year-old Bourque won the Norris with Lidstrom, Zubov and Ozolinsh in his rearview. In 1996, age 35, he had the most 1st-place Norris votes and missed the award by 5 voting points -- behind him were Konstantinov, Lidstrom, Hamrlik, Numminen, Zubov, and Johanssen. I'm not sure why we're supposed to think he would have done worse in his younger prime.

The more I read these threads, the more it seems that it's not so much Lidstrom being overestimated as Bourque being grossly underestimated.

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11-26-2012, 11:57 AM
  #104
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There isn't any need to compare Lidstrom's 2002 to Bourque's 1990. Bourque's year was clearly better (as tarheelhockey demonstrated) but 2002 wasn't even Lidstrom's best season and playoffs combination. I would definitely take Lidstrom's 2007 and 2008 as better seasons + playoffs.

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11-26-2012, 12:00 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I'm sorry, but no they aren't. They're not even all that close.

In 1990, Bourque lost the closest Hart vote ever, 20 years after the last defenseman won it. He SWEPT the Norris ballot 63-0-0. Oddly his all-star ballot was 62-1-0, go figure.

In 2002, Lidstrom did not receive a single Hart vote, 2 years after the last defenseman won it. He won the Norris with a 29-20-7-2-1 ballot over his teammate, Chelios, who had 28-10-13-4-4. That's a virtual dead heat in #1 and top-3 votes, compared to a 40-year-old on his own team. He had a bigger lead in AS voting, but Rob Blake still managed 25 1st place votes. Not "very comparable" to a clean sweep in either category, let alone a near-miss on the Hart.

On the team front, Bourque played on a team that had one (1) other Hall of Famer, and a weak one at that in Neely. Neely was 1st in points with 92, Bourque was 2nd with 84, and nobody else on the team scored over 62. In that role, Bourque led the team to a President's Trophy and then a Finals run where, again, he was the Smythe favorite for his team.

In 2002, Lidstrom played on a team with four current Hall of Famers, three more who will surely be inducted in the near future, and yet two more who have strong cases in the long-term. A total of 7-9 Hall of Fame teammates on that roster. The Wings won the President's Trophy, and then rolled over an easy Finals opponent -- and I feel no shame in saying that, considering everyone was shocked when the Hurricanes won a single game -- with Lidstrom winning the Smythe.
Not to take away from Bourque's fine season but in hindsight it seems as though Bourque jumped on the same hype train Pronger did in 2000 because his team unexpectedly won the President's trophy. MacInnis certainly deserved more Norris consideration than he got in'90 and the rest of the feild had blemishes in their game such as Coffey and Housley.

The Hart trophy is for the "player judged most valuable to his team". Of course Lidstrom didn't get any recognition because he was typically on very strong teams. Those strong teams certainly helped Lidstrom win Cups but they also overshadowed how great he was, especially when discussing the Hart. He was often the most affective skater but not flashy enough to grab peoples attention.

For Bouque we are left assuming he would have done the same if put in the same position as Lidstrom. We are also assuming that he would have won as many Norris' as Lidstrom had his career took place when Lidstrom's did. Lots of assumptions going on here.

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11-26-2012, 12:07 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yet Bourque still managed to be far and away the best defenseman during the 1990s, in a fully integrated league. In 1994, Fedorov and Hasek were 1-2 in Hart voting and 33-year-old Bourque won the Norris with Lidstrom, Zubov and Ozolinsh in his rearview. In 1996, age 35, he had the most 1st-place Norris votes and missed the award by 5 voting points -- behind him were Konstantinov, Lidstrom, Hamrlik, Numminen, Zubov, and Johanssen. I'm not sure why we're supposed to think he would have done worse in his younger prime.

The more I read these threads, the more it seems that it's not so much Lidstrom being overestimated as Bourque being grossly underestimated.
Far and away the best of the 90's? Holy exaggeration. He won 3 Norris' if you count 89-90 and trailed off after '96. There were lots of guys in the mix for that decade and the Norris' got passed around a lot. Lidstrom didn't win a Norris but what he did in the two cup runs and other playoff performances and seasons put him in the mix.

I'm not saying that Bourque wouldn't and didn't still do very well in a fully integrated league. My point is that he started the first half of his career in a weaker league that didn't have a full compliment of the worlds best and therefore his resume looks better than if he had to start in the early 90's. The very argument many use to place him over Lidstrom.

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11-26-2012, 12:10 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Not to take away from Bourque's fine season but in hindsight it seems as though Bourque jumped on the same hype train Pronger did in 2000 because his team unexpectedly won the President's trophy.
Where exactly are you getting that interpretation?


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The Hart trophy is for the "player judged most valuable to his team". Of course Lidstrom didn't get any recognition because he was typically on very strong teams.
That explains why the Hart so rarely goes to players on strong teams.

Wait...


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Those strong teams certainly helped Lidstrom win Cups but they also overshadowed how great he was, especially when discussing the Hart. He was often the most affective skater but not flashy enough to grab peoples attention.
I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't hold a bit of water when talking about a guy who won a Norris and a Smythe the same season. Lidstrom wasn't being overshadowed by anyone in 2002, and it's ridiculous to suggest that people weren't paying attention to him just because they didn't hand him a Hart.

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11-26-2012, 12:15 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
There isn't any need to compare Lidstrom's 2002 to Bourque's 1990. Bourque's year was clearly better (as tarheelhockey demonstrated) but 2002 wasn't even Lidstrom's best season and playoffs combination. I would definitely take Lidstrom's 2007 and 2008 as better seasons + playoffs.
I don't know about that. At least he was offensively relevant at even-strength in the 2001-02 playoffs (2 Goals, 6 Assists). That's more points at even-strength than he had in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs combined. I'd say that was his best combination season. 2007-08's regular season might be his best though (that or 1999-2000 or 2001-02, from my perception).

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11-26-2012, 12:20 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Lidstrom wasn't being overshadowed by anyone in 2002, and it's ridiculous to suggest that people weren't paying attention to him just because they didn't hand him a Hart.
Shanahan got the Red Wing votes that year too, so it's not like they forgot Detroit existed. I remember it clearly that the mid-season talk was all Roy/Iginla/Sundin, then around the Olympics, Sakic/Shanahan/Francis/Burke entered the conversation. The last month was all-Theodore, not unlike Perry in 2011.

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11-26-2012, 12:20 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Far and away the best of the 90's? Holy exaggeration. He won 3 Norris' if you count 89-90 and trailed off after '96. There were lots of guys in the mix for that decade and the Norris' got passed around a lot. Lidstrom didn't win a Norris but what he did in the two cup runs and other playoff performances and seasons put him in the mix.

I'm not saying that Bourque wouldn't and didn't still do very well in a fully integrated league. My point is that he started the first half of his career in a weaker league that didn't have a full compliment of the worlds best and therefore his resume looks better than if he had to start in the early 90's. The very argument many use to place him over Lidstrom.
3 Norris trophies, 3 Runner up, two 3rd place finishes and 7th/8th the other two despite missing 20+ games one season. Show me someone else close enough for Bourque not to be considered far and away the best defenseman in the 90's.

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11-26-2012, 12:21 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Far and away the best of the 90's? Holy exaggeration. He won 3 Norris' if you count 89-90 and trailed off after '96. There were lots of guys in the mix for that decade and the Norris' got passed around a lot. Lidstrom didn't win a Norris but what he did in the two cup runs and other playoff performances and seasons put him in the mix.

I'm not saying that Bourque wouldn't and didn't still do very well in a fully integrated league. My point is that he started the first half of his career in a weaker league that didn't have a full compliment of the worlds best and therefore his resume looks better than if he had to start in the early 90's. The very argument many use to place him over Lidstrom.
Who would you rather suggest is the best defensemen of the 90s? If you s ay Lidstrom you'll lose all credibility considering he didn't play in the first two years of the 90s, and wasn't even a top 4 defenseman in the league for his first 4 or so years in the league. Meanwhile Bourque was voted top 4 7 of 10 years, including 2 norris trophies (not counting 89-90).

Obviously 80s Bourque>90s Bourque, and probably 00s Lidstrom>90s Bourque, but who in the 90s is actually better than Bourque?

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11-26-2012, 12:39 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Far and away the best of the 90's? Holy exaggeration. He won 3 Norris' if you count 89-90 and trailed off after '96. There were lots of guys in the mix for that decade and the Norris' got passed around a lot.
Norrises in the 1990s
Ray Bourque - 3 (2nd x3, 3rd x2)
Chris Chelios - 2 (2nd x1, 3rd x1
Brian Leetch - 2 (3rd x1)
Rob Blake - 1
Paul Coffey - 1
Al MacInnis - 1 (2nd x3)

All-Star Teams
Ray Bourque - 1st x6, 2nd x2
Chris Chelios - 1st x3, 2nd x2
Al MacInnis - 1st x3, 2nd x2
Brian Leetch - 1st x2, 2nd x3
Nicklas Lidstrom - 1st x2
Scott Stevens - 1st x1, 2nd x2

Hart Finishes
Ray Bourque - 2nd, 5th, 6th, 11th, 13th
Paul Coffey - 4th
Chris Chelios - 7th, 10th
Scott Stevens - 7th, 12th
Al MacInnis - 9th, 10th
Rob Blake - 10th
Brian Leetch - 11th, 16th, 23rd
Nick Lidstrom - 14th
Chris Pronger - 16th


It's not an exaggeration. Bourque was easily the best of the 1990s, practically lapping the field. He has everyone on both peak and longevity and not by small margins.

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I'm not saying that Bourque wouldn't and didn't still do very well in a fully integrated league. My point is that he started the first half of his career in a weaker league that didn't have a full compliment of the worlds best and therefore his resume looks better than if he had to start in the early 90's. The very argument many use to place him over Lidstrom.
And in light of the illustration you see above, which shows an aging Bourque in an integrated league, it's safe to say we can put your theory to bed. He was, very obviously, the best defenseman in the world regardless of integration.

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11-26-2012, 12:44 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Where exactly are you getting that interpretation?
Lidstrom played half the game, played impeccable defense, and was at the top or near the top for defenseman scoring several times for President Trophy teams but he never got the Hart hype either Pronger or Bourque received. The Red Wings were expected to be near the top of the standings and people took Lidstrom's non-flashy dominance for granted as well. He definitely flew under the radar for the Hart in several seasons where he was the most dominant and effective skater. What's "more valuable to a team", a one-way high scoring forward that plays 20-22 minutes per game or a two-way dominant defenseman who plays 25-30 minutes a game?

Ken Holland has pointed this out as well. Who really cares though, the Red Wings and Lidstrom's aim all along was Stanley Cups.

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't hold a bit of water when talking about a guy who won a Norris and a Smythe the same season. Lidstrom wasn't being overshadowed by anyone in 2002, and it's ridiculous to suggest that people weren't paying attention to him just because they didn't hand him a Hart.
See above, I wasn't just talking about 2002.

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11-26-2012, 12:48 PM
  #114
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He definitely flew under the radar for the Hart in several seasons where he was the most dominant and effective skater.
Name the seasons, please. Name the seasons in which Nicklas Lidstrom was the most dominant skater in the league.

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11-26-2012, 12:48 PM
  #115
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Shanahan got the Red Wing votes that year too, so it's not like they forgot Detroit existed. I remember it clearly that the mid-season talk was all Roy/Iginla/Sundin, then around the Olympics, Sakic/Shanahan/Francis/Burke entered the conversation. The last month was all-Theodore, not unlike Perry in 2011.
I'm glad you brought up Shanahan and his Hart votes. Anyone who watched that '02 Red Wings team knows Shanahan was far from the most important player. That's voters staring at the stats sheet too much and seeing who the leading scorer is. At least they got it right for the Conn Smythe.

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11-26-2012, 12:49 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's not an exaggeration. Bourque was easily the best of the 1990s, practically lapping the field. He has everyone on both peak and longevity and not by small margins.
Norris trophy shares - 1989-90 to 1998-99

DefensemanNorris share
Ray Bourque 467
Chris Chelios 262
Brian Leetch 256
Al MacInnis 235
Scott Stevens 146
Nicklas Lidstrom 132
Paul Coffey 122
Chris Pronger 78
Rob Blake 75
Larry Murphy 71

I hate saying "and it's not even close", but it actually applies in this case. Bourque lapped the field, putting a great distance between the narrowly-separated runners-up (Chelios, Leetch and MacInnis).

I realize that this only includes the regular season, and Leetch likely makes up some ground taking the playoffs into account, but Bourque remains the best defenseman by a wide margin.

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11-26-2012, 12:53 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by Wrath View Post
Who would you rather suggest is the best defensemen of the 90s? If you s ay Lidstrom you'll lose all credibility considering he didn't play in the first two years of the 90s, and wasn't even a top 4 defenseman in the league for his first 4 or so years in the league. Meanwhile Bourque was voted top 4 7 of 10 years, including 2 norris trophies (not counting 89-90).

Obviously 80s Bourque>90s Bourque, and probably 00s Lidstrom>90s Bourque, but who in the 90s is actually better than Bourque?
Read my post again. I said there were several defenseman in the mix. Even if Bourque was the top guy of the 90's he wasn't "far and away" the best as was stated and that's what I responded to. This wasn't Orr of the 70's or even Lidstrom and his 6 Norris' in a decade, along with a Conn Smythe and two Cups. The Norris was passed around a lot and many defenseman including Lidstrom had playoffs that stood out during the 90s. Bourque didn't wear the crown throughout the decade.

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11-26-2012, 01:05 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Lidstrom played half the game, played impeccable defense, and was at the top or near the top for defenseman scoring several times for President Trophy teams but he never got the Hart hype either Pronger or Bourque received. The Red Wings were expected to be near the top of the standings and people took Lidstrom's non-flashy dominance for granted as well. He definitely flew under the radar for the Hart in several seasons where he was the most dominant and effective skater. What's "more valuable to a team", a one-way high scoring forward that plays 20-22 minutes per game or a two-way dominant defenseman who plays 25-30 minutes a game?

Ken Holland has pointed this out as well. Who really cares though, the Red Wings and Lidstrom's aim all along was Stanley Cups.

Lidstrom is irrelevant to the question.

To be clear what I'm asking: can you back up the assertion that Bourque was part of a "hype train" in 1990 and did not legitimately deserve his Hart finish? What is your source for that interpretation of events?



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See above, I wasn't just talking about 2002.
I think we pretty clearly were comparing 1990 to 2002. Lidstrom won the Norris despite being non-flashy, yet he didn't receive ANY Hart votes.

Stop and think about that -- even the Detroit writers didn't give Lidstrom a single vote. Clearly it wasn't his non-flashy style to blame, or he wouldn't have won the Norris from the same voting pool.

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11-26-2012, 01:09 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Lidstrom is irrelevant to the question.

To be clear what I'm asking: can you back up the assertion that Bourque was part of a "hype train" in 1990 and did not legitimately deserve his Hart finish? What is your source for that interpretation of events?
I don't think it's a matter of deserving or not-deserving, but I definitely think that defensemen (and goalies for that matter) who are on teams with superstar forwards are at a major disadvantage when it comes to getting Hart recognition.

Writers do still pay some attention to the "most valuable" part of the awards description.

There are also era trends in Hart voting - in the 1980s, you had defensemen like Langway and Howe finishing as Hart finalists - you just don't see that in the late 90s and 00s.

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11-26-2012, 01:12 PM
  #120
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I don't know about that. At least he was offensively relevant at even-strength in the 2001-02 playoffs (2 Goals, 6 Assists). That's more points at even-strength than he had in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs combined. I'd say that was his best combination season. 2007-08's regular season might be his best though (that or 1999-2000 or 2001-02, from my perception).
I didn't find Lidstrom's 2002 particularly noteworthy for him. Sort of a bland season on the obvious best team in the NHL, not as good defensively as after the lockout and not a special year offensively. Still the best defenceman in the NHL, but not all that noteworthy for a top five defenceman of all time. Lidstrom probably had more to give that year, but it wasn't needed given how strong the team was.

In the 2002 playoffs he was arguably less important than a hobbled Yzerman, on a team without a real standout player carrying the load. In 2007 Lidstrom was clearly Detroit's best player in the playoffs, but obviously he wasn't getting consideration for awards given where they finished. Lidstrom's 2008 playoffs are actually underrated, since people like to act as if Zetterberg single handedly carried Detroit and shut down Crosby. Lidstrom's defence was great in those playoffs.

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11-26-2012, 01:14 PM
  #121
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I don't think it's a matter of deserving or not-deserving, but I definitely think that defensemen (and goalies for that matter) who are on teams with superstar forwards are at a major disadvantage when it comes to getting Hart recognition.
Or in 2001-02, when in addition to superstar forward Brendan Shanahan, they're on a team in which somewhere between 45-53% of the voters believe that teammate Chris Chelios is the better player.

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11-26-2012, 01:15 PM
  #122
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Read my post again. I said there were several defenseman in the mix. Even if Bourque was the top guy of the 90's he wasn't "far and away" the best as was stated and that's what I responded to. This wasn't Orr of the 70's or even Lidstrom and his 6 Norris' in a decade, along with a Conn Smythe and two Cups. The Norris was passed around a lot and many defenseman including Lidstrom had playoffs that stood out during the 90s. Bourque didn't wear the crown throughout the decade.
Dude, are you even reading the responding posts here or just trying to blindly shout your rhetoric over and over hoping to drown them out? It's not going to work.
Seriously, I have read at least 3-4 posts that unequivocally show that Bourque was "far and away" the best D-man of the 90's "and it's not even close".

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11-26-2012, 01:18 PM
  #123
danincanada
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Name the seasons, please. Name the seasons in which Nicklas Lidstrom was the most dominant skater in the league.
He should have been in that conversation in '02, '06, '07, and '08 but usually wasn't. I'm not just talking about the regular season because the playoffs should hold more weight but they don't seem to for some.

Offense only forwards put up numbers so they get more recognition but in reality a shut down dman like Lidstrom who also leads all defenseman in scoring is just as important and often times is more valuable. A hot goalie often trumps both.

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11-26-2012, 01:21 PM
  #124
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Bobby Orr "only" won the Hart 3 times. How come lots of people think he is the best player ever, even better than Gretzky ;-)

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11-26-2012, 01:22 PM
  #125
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Lidstrom is irrelevant to the question.

To be clear what I'm asking: can you back up the assertion that Bourque was part of a "hype train" in 1990 and did not legitimately deserve his Hart finish? What is your source for that interpretation of events?
Devil already answered this question. My point is that Lidstrom had seasons where he dominated at similar levels as Pronger in '00 and Bourque in '90 but got no Hart recognition. I feel a lot of that had to do with the expectations of the Red Wings winning the President's trophy whereas the Blues and Bruins were suprise teams so Pronger and Bourque got hyped due to that. This is where being on a great team actually hurt Lidstrom.

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