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Defensemen Deserving Hart Nominations (since 1990)

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Old
08-03-2013, 12:11 AM
  #51
quoipourquoi
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I really don't see how the league emphasizing one of the best aspects of Lidstrom's game is really something to use against him when talking about how valuable he was to his team that year.
Part of a side conversation where he said 2006 was arguably Lidstrom's best year.


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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Knowing what you know about the undercounting of shots in NJ at that time and Brodeur's puck handling ability, it's outright embarrassing to equate Osgood and Brodeur's performances in that season.
His save percentage on the road was .906 as well.

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08-03-2013, 01:29 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Difference between the word "lesser" and "fewer." Who was on Detroit's powerplay? Who was on Dallas' and Anaheim's? Each of the three defensemen had the same amount of powerplay goals, but Detroit's forwards (and Schneider) were cleaning up a lot more than Dallas' or Anaheim's, hence Detroit scoring 102 powerplay goals to Dallas' and Anaheim's 88 and 87. 41 of Lidstrom's 80 points came just from powerplay assists. We make fun of Subban for it, but this is an even bigger share..
The top 4 scorers on Anaheim's powerplay, minus Niedermayer, had a combined 125 PP points. On Detroit, the top 4 minus Lidstrom had a combined 131. Given that Lidstrom led Detroit in PP scoring by 11 over #2 Datsyuk while Niedermayer was third on his own team, I say it is very reasonable to say that the only reason why the Wings lead in that category is because of Lidstrom. Dallas is under by a little more (115), but even then it could be argued that Lidstrom is the difference.

And again, Lidstrom was 2nd in Even Strength scoring by defenseman so it's not like he was only scoring on the PP.

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Am I to assume we'll be getting your 2013 Hart picks this time next year?
I think it is stupid to base your Hart picks based on such year-to-year comparisons, which is what you used with Messier (and is a common argument for Messier that year). I would prefer they did not do that at all, actually!

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Chris Osgood: .903
Martin Brodeur: .906
League Average: .903

Not only was it not outright bad, it was perfectly average, and comparable to Brodeur's.
I would have Osgood conservatively in the bottom 10 among #1 goalies in the league, and really from there it's up to you whether he was worse than Vanbiesbrouck and Potvin, and other members of the "Wait, they were STILL playing?" group. I think I'll stick with outright bad.

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Which is why defensemen like Pronger in 2000 and Stevens in 2001 had a rather poor +52 and +40.

Listen, I totally agree that plus-minus is largely irrelevant if you're on a defensive line with little offensive firepower whose only task is to shutdown the other team. But that's not really the case with Detroit's top-line, hence Lidstrom being on the ice for more goals for than any other player five times in his career. He was in a position to absolutely crush other players' plus-minus numbers. That's exactly what Scott Stevens did when the Devils became more offensive.
For reasons I outlined, the 2001 Red Wings were not an especially strong edition of the team, as opposed to the 2000 Blues and 2001 Devils. Note how Pronger, in one of his best years in 2003-2004, did not have a very high plus/minus (negative in fact!), as his team was no longer as good as it was. Note how Stevens performance also very much fluctuated with the performance of his team, rather than his own personal performance.

Plus-minus is also, obviously, a much worse judge of someone who is one of the better all-time special teams performers.

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Well, I should hope Lidstrom played more shorthanded time than Stevens; New Jersey didn't take penalties.
That wasn't a comparison to Stevens, Lidstrom had the most SH time of anyone. I mentioned it, as to explain why I felt his defensive value was so high, you see.

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Part of a side conversation where he said 2006 was arguably Lidstrom's best year.
Wouldn't that just add to it? As in, it was his best year because as an especially strong special teams performer he benefitted from an outlier year in terms of penalty calling?

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08-03-2013, 09:48 AM
  #53
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Defensemen seem to get the shaft for two reasons. For starters, in the 1980s and much of the 1990s no one was winning the Hart other than Gretzky, Lemieux and Messier. Fedorov was the first Hart winner in 1994 other than those three in 15 years.

For some reason I think Lidstrom almost deserved it more in 2006 than 2008. However, there was a bit more of a logjam at the top in 2006 (Thornton, Jagr). Bourque had many years too.

So I'll throw a random year out. How about Bourque or Stevens in 1994? It wasn't as strong as a year for forwards as others but Hasek and Beezer had great years.

Also, pick a year for Brian Leetch, 1992 or 1997. Again, neither were strong years for forwards. Gretzky and Lemieux had several better seasons than they had in either year and Leetch was the Norris Trophy winner both seasons. He finished abnormally low for a Norris winner in each year, I thought. I get that Messier still wins in 1992 but does Leetch still deserve to finish 11th? That was behind Trevor Linden and a suspect year for Doug Gilmour.

1997 as well. The best defenseman in the game who still had a good year finishes 16th in Hart voting? Just a shade ahead of Tony Amonte? I'm not sure why Leetch finished so low those years. Even with the Messier factor in 1992 I'd have put him somewhere in the top 5.

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08-03-2013, 10:47 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Yeah... I had a look here over at Hockey-Reference and it seems that between 1980-95 the top 50 defenseman seasons compared to the top 75 forward seasons, the D:s scored at a 68 percent rate.
From 1995-Now they scored at a 61 percent rate.

Now what this means i leave up to others to think more about.
What I meant was that until the early 90's and the changes that took place in decreasing scoring, the number of times that Dmen were in the top 50 scorers dramatically decreases and a lot of that has to do with teams adopting a " don't let them score type of play instead of the let's outscore them type of style from the 80's."

This trend isn't only true in the NHL but in the major junior leagues as well.

Quite simply it's harder to measure "defensive value" than counting raw stats which is simple and more the norm of the way Norris and even Hart voting goes.

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08-03-2013, 02:55 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I personally think the talent is still there. But it is untapped and unlearned for many of the defensemen and even forwards. They are being indoctrinated at an early age to stick within systems, and support offense rather than create it and creativity these days has often been stifled with fundamentals. They are not developing their talent in the way defensemen were encouraged to after Orr.

Some of them, if given the freedom, can develop their talent. Others find it difficult to change the way they have been playing since they were young.

But few defensemen are given the Green light at NHL level to gamble like Karlsson.

On the other hand, despite what relative scoring is and how people here seem to think it was easy to do in the 80's, only a few defensemen in the 80's and 90's could do it consistently
I partially agree.

I do agree to a point that the game, or maybe the mentality would be a better word, has changed enough that extreme gamblers like Coffey or Housley would get reined in pretty quick today on 95% of the teams. Letang being one of those exceptions now and Green being another a couple of years ago.
Not all higher scoring D-men were extreme gamblers though. Bourque certainly wasn't, MacInnis played a solid 2-way game at ES and unloaded on the PP, Leetch and Potvin were not high risk takers.
Even when Orr rushed the puck, he rarely took undue risks despite what some seem to wrongly imply or assume around here.

The closest I see today to Orr's style of rushing, as in taking the puck from behind his own net and getting it on the opponents net or at the very least get in deep in their zone at almost any given time is Subban in Montreal. By no means am I saying that PK is at Orr's talent level but he does have that rare ability to simply get on his horse and go at will most of the time.

Karlsson on the other hand is more like Bourque, a possession player, a lot of give and goes and smart pinching. I really don't understand how people can watch him for any length of time and then come back on here and say he's a liability or a big risk taker or especially say that he's poor defensively. (Then again, there are people that come on here and say that Zubov was strong defensively so I guess I shouldn't be surprised heh).

My point being is that it's not just about talent, it's about instinct. Kovalev and Nilsson were two of the most physically talented players I have ever seen but that didn't let them come any where close to Gretzky.
So while the talent has been there, the natural instinct has not. Karlsson is easily the best of example of high natural instinct that we have seen since Bourque and to a little lesser degree Leetch retired.

Lidstrom is a great example of a guy with a high level of natural offensive talent but not a high level of natural offensive instinct. He was no means poor in this regard either but he was not on the same level as a Potvin or Bourque or Leetch or, today, Karlsson.

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08-03-2013, 03:07 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
I would have Osgood conservatively in the bottom 10 among #1 goalies in the league, and really from there it's up to you whether he was worse than Vanbiesbrouck and Potvin, and other members of the "Wait, they were STILL playing?" group. I think I'll stick with outright bad.
Well I don't think anyone questioned whether or not Potvin was still playing when he carried a trade deadline seller to the playoffs. I mean, are you just going down a spreadsheet to come up with answers like Cechmanek and Kiprusoff being in a "pack" at the top, or Potvin being a forgotten player?


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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
For reasons I outlined, the 2001 Red Wings were not an especially strong edition of the team, as opposed to the 2000 Blues and 2001 Devils.
Detroit had the same amount of points as the Devils - and just three fewer than the Blues in 2000. This, despite the Devils' goaltenders stopping just .905 to the Red Wings' .910. So why can't we expect the #1 defenseman on a good team to have a good plus-minus? First you said it was the role itself - well, that's not true; Scott Stevens is a #1 defenseman. Then you said it was the goaltender - well, that's not true; Scott Stevens had essentially the same level of goaltending.

Nicklas Lidstrom was the most valuable powerplay quarterback, sure, but it doesn't make him better or more valuable than everybody else.

Feel free to tackle Mario Lemieux next, since he was the runner-up.


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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
Note how Pronger, in one of his best years in 2003-2004, did not have a very high plus/minus (negative in fact!), as his team was no longer as good as it was.
I wouldn't call that one of his best years, and more to the point, it's not in conflict with what I said. I believe my exact words were "plus-minus is largely irrelevant if you're on a defensive line with little offensive firepower." St. Louis in 2004 was dead last in 5-on-5 scoring. Take another look at 2001: Pronger had a +21 in 51 games on a St. Louis team with equal even-strength scoring with Detroit and worse goaltending. It's an achievable goal for defensemen on top-level teams, especially if you want to place them at a level with Sakic, Jagr, Lemieux, and that year's Cechmanek.


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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
That wasn't a comparison to Stevens, Lidstrom had the most SH time of anyone. I mentioned it, as to explain why I felt his defensive value was so high, you see.
You can only play the shorthanded minutes that your team is penalized for.

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08-03-2013, 03:18 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post


For reasons I outlined, the 2001 Red Wings were not an especially strong edition of the team, as opposed to the 2000 Blues and 2001 Devils. Note how Pronger, in one of his best years in 2003-2004, did not have a very high plus/minus (negative in fact!), as his team was no longer as good as it was. Note how Stevens performance also very much fluctuated with the performance of his team, rather than his own personal performance.
The only reason the 2001 Wings do not appear "especially strong" as a whole for that season was because of injuries. Especially in the D-corps.

Lidstrom played 82
Ward 73
Gill 68
Murphy 57
Fischer 55
Duchesne 54
Kuznetsov 25
and Chelios, a mere 24 games

Carrying over to the PO's, the Wings were ousted in just 6 games where Yzerman played only a single game, Shanahan only played 2 and Chelios 5.

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08-03-2013, 05:59 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Well I don't think anyone questioned whether or not Potvin was still playing when he carried a trade deadline seller to the playoffs. I mean, are you just going down a spreadsheet to come up with answers like Cechmanek and Kiprusoff being in a "pack" at the top, or Potvin being a forgotten player?
They were questioning whether he was still playing when he was god awful as a sporadic starter for a terrible Vancouver team after falling off a cliff in the late 90's. On the whole, Potvin was a bad goaltender in 2001.

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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Detroit had the same amount of points as the Devils - and just three fewer than the Blues in 2000. This, despite the Devils' goaltenders stopping just .905 to the Red Wings' .910. So why can't we expect the #1 defenseman on a good team to have a good plus-minus? First you said it was the role itself - well, that's not true; Scott Stevens is a #1 defenseman. Then you said it was the goaltender - well, that's not true; Scott Stevens had essentially the same level of goaltending.
The Red Wings had the same number of points but the goal differential for the Wings was +51 while for the Devils it was +100. The 2000 Blues were +83. That is a considerable gap. And as you mentioned, a lot of that +51 was special teams, i.e. not factored into +/-.

I am not saying that #1 defensemen can not post top +/-, nor do I understand how you could've taken that from my posts. Lidstrom had several years where he was +40, for instance. But #1 defenseman is not a great descriptive term. Lidstrom's role changed quite dramatically over the years but for the clear majority of it he would be called a #1 defenseman. The injuries on Detroit's D in 2001 meant Lidstrom was used in a considerably more defensive role at even strength than he would have been otherwise. That's a shift in zone starts, a shift in quality of teammates, a shift in quality of competition, and using +/- to gloss over that is poor use of an already bad stat. Compare Lidstrom's +/- with Todd Gill, who got the cushy minutes for Detroit because they sure as hell weren't matching him up with anyone good, and so he put up +17 to lead Detroit and easily the highest of his career as a guy who was rarely on the plus side of the column and who was now no longer worthwhile offensively. I am saying that it is a terrible measure of how good a defenseman plays as it has more to do with how good your team is and that it does a disservice to your argument that you keep bringing it up. Niedermayer's best +/- came in 93/94 when he was an offensive specialist on a powerhouse team, meanwhile he was barely positive in his Anaheim years. Chris Chelios's 2 best +/- years came in his first 2 full seasons in Detroit, when he no longer had to take the top forwards every single time and his team was super good. Mario Lemieux was -18 in 1990 despite scoring 123 points in 59 games because, you guessed it, the Penguins were real bad! Yzerman's +/- was better in 2004 then it was in 89. Wayne Gretzky's +/- going from Edmonton to LA is night and day even as he was still a regular Hart candidate.

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Feel free to tackle Mario Lemieux next, since he was the runner-up.
He was runner-up because he was by far the best and most interesting story but that was a lot of voters voting with their hearts and not their brains. I don't think he should have been given consideration.

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08-04-2013, 05:08 AM
  #59
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His save percentage on the road was .906 as well.
What was Osgoof's road save percentage? Where do you even find home/road splits for goalies by season?

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08-04-2013, 11:28 AM
  #60
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What was Osgoof's road save percentage? Where do you even find home/road splits for goalies by season?
Haha, amazing typo!


Most of my numbers are from NHL.com, Hockey-Reference, Hockey Goalies, THN, HSP, or LexisNexis. In this case, I'm pretty sure Hockey-Reference does home/road splits going back to 1988.

Chris Osgood was also .906 on the road. Obviously, 2001 wasn't a particularly strong year for either player, but it should be noted that .906 is still an above average number.

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08-04-2013, 12:41 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
What was Osgoof's road save percentage?...
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Haha, amazing typo!
Ya, pretty much. Had to get my glasses out just to make sure.


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08-05-2013, 02:02 AM
  #62
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What was Osgoof's road save percentage? Where do you even find home/road splits for goalies by season?
best typo ever.

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