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Round 2, Vote 1 (HOH Top Defensemen)

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Old
11-07-2011, 07:44 PM
  #51
overpass
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Player Intangibles

Taken from the stickied intangibles thread. Original sources are polls of NHL coaches published in the Toronto Star.

BOBBY ORR

Best defensive defensemen T-1st 1971
Best playmaker 4th 1974
Best playmaker 4th 1976
Best shot 2nd 1971
Best shot 3rd 1974
Best skater 1st 1971
Best skater 1st 1974
Best skater 1st 1976
Best stickhandler 2nd 1971
Fastest skater 3rd 1976
First player to build team around 3rd 1976
Hardest shot 2nd 1971
Hardest shot 3rd 1974
Smartest player 1st 1971
Smartest player 2nd 1974
Smartest player 3rd 1976

DENIS POTVIN

Best bodychecker 3rd 1976
Best bodychecker 1st 1979
Best bodychecker 2nd 1984
Best defensive defenseman 3rd 1976
Best wrist-shot 2nd 1981
First player to build team around 2nd 1976
First player to build team around 3rd 1979
Hardest hitter 2nd 1981
Hardest shot 5th 1979
Most natural ability 3rd 1979

LARRY ROBINSON

Best bodychecker 2nd 1976
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1976
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1979
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1981
Best slapshot 2nd 1981

RAYMOND BOURQUE

Best Defensive Defenceman 2nd 1993
Best Offensive Defenceman 2nd 1993
Smartest Player t-2nd 1993
Hardest Worker t-5th 1993
Best Shot t-4th 1993
Best Player 3rd 1994
Best Defensive Defenceman 1st 1994
Best Offensive Defenceman 2nd 1994
Best Shot t-4th 1994

CHRIS CHELIOS

Best Player t-2nd 1993
Best Defensive Defenceman 1st 1993
Best Offensive Defenceman t-2nd 1993
Smartest Player t-6th 1993
Best Skater t-6th 1993
Most Infuriating 1st 1993
Toughest Player 1st 1993
Best Shot t-6th 1993
Best Defensive Defenceman 2nd 1994
Best Offensive Defenceman t-4th 1994
Smartest Player t-3rd 1994
Toughest Player t-5th 1994
Most Infuriating t-5th 1994

NICKLAS LIDSTROM
The dates of published polls don't fit his career very well, but he got one vote for best defensive defenceman in 1994.

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Old
11-07-2011, 07:57 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Player Intangibles

NICKLAS LIDSTROM
The dates of published polls don't fit his career very well, but he got one vote for best defensive defenceman in 1994.
Sports Illustated has done player's polls fairly regularly over Lidstrom's career. It would be a worthwhile project for someone to compile them and add them to the Players Intangibles thread. As it relates here, Lidstrom basically owned the "best defensive defenseman" category for the past decade, but finished second to Chara in the close "toughest defenseman to play against" recently.

Here are some specifics:

Finished 1st for "Best shut-down defenseman" in 2010. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...8936/index.htm


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-07-2011 at 08:13 PM. Reason: better link
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11-07-2011, 07:59 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Denis Potvin - consider the following.

-Like Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque won the Calder.
- All Star 6 0f his first 8 seasons against extremely strong competition.
- Won the Norris in his third season. Only Orr won it earlier - second season but Orr had much weaker competition.
- Only defenseman that was a physical presence in the NHL from day one out of junior. Allowing for the age difference, Orr and Bourque entered younger but were not physically imposing at the age of 20.
- Leader and cornerstone of an expansion team that became a dynasty in ten seasons. No other defenseman managed this.
- Dominant 1976 Canada Cup.
- Complete tool box.

Bump Shore or Lidstrom.
Seems to me the argument for Potvin over Lidstrom boils down to 2 things:

1) Potvin was an elite defenseman almost from the start, while Lidstrom took some time to become and elite defenseman
2) Potvin was much more physical

As for #1, doesn't the fact that Lidstrom ended up being an elite defenseman for quite a bit longer than Potvin more than overcome the fact that Potvin hit his stride sooner?


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11-07-2011, 08:07 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Sports Illustated has done player's polls fairly regularly over Lidstrom's career. It would be a worthwhile project for someone to compile them and add them to the Players Intangibles thread. As it relates here, Lidstrom basically owned the "best defensive defenseman" category for the past decade, but finished second to Chara in the close "toughest defenseman to play against" recently.

Here are some specifics:

Finished 1st for "Best shut-down defenseman" in 2010. http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2010..._red_wing.html
In a 2011 NHLPA/CBC player poll, Lidstrom was:
2nd in "toughest to play against" (behind Chara, just ahead of Pronger)
2nd in "which active player would you take to start a franchise" (way behind Crosby)
2nd in "which active player is the best role model" (Crosby)
3rd in "smartest player" (Crosby).

2008 SI Players Poll: Who is the best player in hockey? 2nd (Ovechkin).
2008 SI Players Poll: If you were starting a team, who would be the first active player you'd pick to play on it? 5th.
2006 SI Players Poll: Who is the best player in the NHL? Not in top 4, received multiple votes.
2003 SI Coaches Poll: Who is the most exciting player in the NHL? Received one vote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Seems to me the argument for Potvin over Lidstrom boils down to 2 things:

1) Potvin was an elite defenseman almost from the start, while Lidstrom took some time to become and elite defenseman
2) Potvin was much more physical

As for #1, doesn't the fact that Lidstrom ended up being an elite defenseman for quite a bit longer than Potvin more than overcome the fact that Potvin hit his stride sooner?
Counterpoint: Potvin had the wear and tear of playing on a dynasty, in the finals for five seasons in a row, playing 20-25 playoff games a season with short summers. And he played in an era where few players lasted as stars past age 30 and as players past age 35.


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Old
11-07-2011, 08:13 PM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
In a 2011 NHLPA/CBC player poll, Lidstrom was:
2nd in "toughest to play against" (behind Chara, just ahead of Pronger)
2nd in "which active player would you take to start a franchise" (way behind Crosby)
2nd in "which active player is the best role model" (Crosby)
3rd in "smartest player" (Crosby).
A 40 year old was 2nd in a poll on who to start a franchise with? Even if he was a distant second that baffles me. Almost as much as Crosby being the best role model over Lidstrom.

I think Lidstrom is outstanding and all but did they even read the questions?

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11-07-2011, 08:20 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post

Counterpoint: Potvin had the wear and tear of playing on a dynasty, in the finals for five seasons in a row, playing 20-25 playoff games a season with short summers. And he played in an era where few players lasted as stars past age 30 and as players past age 35.
A further counterpoint would be that Lidstrom has played quite a bit more playoff games than any other player of his era and is still going strong (Source)

Lidstrom is actually 8 games behind Chris Chelios for the most playoff games played all-time by any player (Source)

Of course, it isn't exactly the same as playing for a true dynasty.

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11-07-2011, 08:50 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Seems to me the argument for Potvin over Lidstrom boils down to 2 things:

1) Potvin was an elite defenseman almost from the start, while Lidstrom took some time to become and elite defenseman
2) Potvin was much more physical

As for #1, doesn't the fact that Lidstrom ended up being an elite defenseman for quite a bit longer than Potvin more than overcome the fact that Potvin hit his stride sooner?
You forgot Potvin's edge offensively and the greatest peak of any D-men not named Orr.

That said however, I still give Lidstrom the edge but only because of injuries. Give Potvin another 5 years injury free and we're having a completely different conversation here.

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11-07-2011, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You forgot Potvin's edge offensively and the greatest peak of any D-men not named Orr.
I'm not sure if Potvin's very small offensive edge overcome's Lidstrom's defensive edge, to be honest.

1976: Best Defensive Defenceman - Larry Robinson (Bill White, Denis Potvin, Dave Burrows, Terry Harper)

1979: Best Defensive Defenceman - Larry Robinson (Serge Savard, Borje Salming).

1981: Best Defensive Defenseman 1 Larry Robinson 2 Serge Savard 3 Dave Burrows

1984: Best Defensive Defenceman - Rod Langway (Mike Ramsay, Ken Morrow)

Quote:
That said however, I still give Lidstrom the edge but only because of injuries. Give Potvin another 5 years injury free and we're having a completely different conversation here.
I think that without injuries, Potvin would be right up there with Harvey, Shore, Bourque, and Lidstrom. But IMO, he'd really have a pretty noticable advantage in peak performance to overcome it.

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11-07-2011, 09:07 PM
  #59
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Is there anyone who thinks Lidstrom is better than Kelly?

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11-07-2011, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
[B]
Discipline

The conventional argument is that Bourque's physical play gives him an edge over Lidstrom. While I agree that it's an advantage, Bourque's marginally more reckless style also means that he spends more time in the penalty box.

Over the span of their careers, Lidstrom had 486 PIM in 1,494 games (average per 82 games = 27 PIM per year). This excludes 2012. Bourque had 1,141 PIM in 1,612 games (average per 82 games = 58 PIM). That works out to an extra 15 minor penalties per year... assuming an 80% PK rate, Bourque's penalties cost his team an extra 3 goals per year. That's a small advantage for Lidstrom, but it's worth considering.
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Of course you are completely ignoring how difficult it was to produce offense in the playoffs during most of Lidstrom's playoff successes (era).

http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_GoalsPerGame.php

Being a physical presence, or lack of, is as important when talking about Lidstrom as it was for Gretzky. Not being physical has actually prolonged his career and reduced PIMs so it should be seen as a positive factor.
Have you put consideration into how many penalties Bourque drew from his offensive play giving his team a man advantage? Would it be 15 or more a year? Guys who carry the puck a lot draw penalties...

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11-07-2011, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Is there anyone who thinks Lidstrom is better than Kelly?
I think most do.

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11-07-2011, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
1. The consensus seems to be that Bobby Orr is 1st overall. Does anybody disagree? Does anybody want to be the devil's advocate and try to argue that he shouldn't be first?

2. The consensus seems to be that (in chronological order) Shore, Harvey, Bourque and Lidstrom will fill spots 2-5. Does anybody want to argue that another blueliner deserves to be in the top five? Who would that be, and why? Which of those four deserves to be bumped out of the top five?
Orr vs. Harvey is interesting, in that Harvey's main "flaw" when compared to the other three (longevity) is irrelevant when compared to Orr. Still, I wouldn't make that point, and I've always been kindof a Harvey defender.

I think there's a case to be made for Potvin over Lidstrom, but that probably just means that Lidstom is 5th the "first fives".

Quote:
Originally Posted by plusandminus View Post
Being in the right environment and era

I think how a player suceeds depends on several factors, apart from "how good he is", like the team he plays in (chemistry, style of play, good or bad team), "era" ("dead puck", "run and gun", "dump and chase"), and environment (rink size, country/culture).

Some players seem to be able to succeed almost no matter what, while others appear more sensitive to being at a right place at a right time.
Is that something you as a voter consider?
Are the major top 5 candidates guys who likely would have succeeded basically no matter where or when?
I don't consider this aspect that much, and if we did, there would be a good case that Eddie Shore wouldn't even belong in the Top-10. I'd rather NOT go there, but I certainly judge Eddie Shore based on discipline (or lackof).

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11-07-2011, 09:29 PM
  #63
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Is there anyone who thinks Lidstrom is better than Kelly?
When considering time spent as a D, and only time as a D...
Absolutely.

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11-07-2011, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Is there anyone who thinks Lidstrom is better than Kelly?
Without question. Kelly was one of the greatest defenders of the 1950s (only Harvey was his equal), but Lidstrom has been arguably the best player period in the NHL throughout the 2000s, in addition to his impressive body of work in the 1990s. Even taking into account retroactive Norris Trophies (of which I believe Kelly receives three) Lidstrom's all-star and hardware voting record is far superior to Kelly's. He was also more dominant at the position for a vastly longer period of time and has significantly more post-season experience and playoff success. Four Stanley Cups achieved in a twenty six to thirty team league is incredibly impressive. Most of Kelly's team success occurred after he had made the transition to centre with the Leafs upon converting from defence.

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11-07-2011, 09:45 PM
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Without question. Even taking into account retroactive Norris Trophies (of which I believe Kelly receives three) Lidstrom's all-star and hardware voting record is far superior to Kelly's. He was also more dominant at the position for a vastly longer period of time and has significantly more post-season experience and playoff success. Four Stanley Cups achieved in a twenty six to thirty team league is incredibly impressive. Most of Kelly's team success occurred after he had made the transition to centre with the Leafs upon converting from defence.
I rank Lidstrom over Kelly too (whether or not you consider Kelly's time at forward), but you're vastly underestimating Kelly as a defenseman. He was the second most important part of the Detroit dynasty* that won 4 Cups in 6 years

*behind Gordie Howe but over Ted Lindsay and Terry Sawchuk

I plan on posting more about Kelly next week - I don't think he has much of a case to be ranked in the 2-5 range, but there is a case that he could be ranked as high as 6th IMO. Potvin vs. Kelly is an interesting comparison to me, as both men had relatively short but dominant peaks.

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11-07-2011, 10:05 PM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
1. The consensus seems to be that Bobby Orr is 1st overall. Does anybody disagree? Does anybody want to be the devil's advocate and try to argue that he shouldn't be first?

2. The consensus seems to be that (in chronological order) Shore, Harvey, Bourque and Lidstrom will fill spots 2-5. Does anybody want to argue that another blueliner deserves to be in the top five? Who would that be, and why? Which of those four deserves to be bumped out of the top five?
I'm not at all sold on Shore as a top 5 guy to be honest. I'd like to see how he compares especially to Denis Potvin or Slava Fetisov.

He won his two final Hart trophies in years when the runners-up were Hooley Smith and Paul Thompson, respectively. Both good players with good years, but they don't really compare to the kind of competition the other eligible players faced.

From 1933 to 1944 the Hart trophy was won by defensemen 8 out of 12 years, at a time when the defensive position underwent major changes, in part due to players such as Eddie Shore. This is completely unparallelled in history. After Babe Pratt won it in 1944, the Hart trophy has been awarded to defensemen four times. 3 of those times it was awarded to Bobby Orr. Since 1944 defensemen have been the runner up 6 times. Bourque doing it twice. Potvin, Harvey and Kelly once, the last one being Langway.

It's a hypothetical statement, but I do believe that any of the eligible players in this round would possess a much better Hart voting record had they played in the 1930s. Don't get me wrong here, I think Shore clearly deserved his Hart trophies, but I think that the criterion for how the trophy is awarded changed so much after his time that it's nearly a different trophy today.

Aside from his Hart trophies, which is usually his main selling point, he has an impressive number of allstar selections, with 7 1st teams and 1 2nd team. But that is not tremenduously different to e.g. Denis Potvin, Red Kelly, Paul Coffey or Brad Park. He has two Stanley Cups as an important leading figure, but that can be said about any of these players.

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11-07-2011, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I rank Lidstrom over Kelly too (whether or not you consider Kelly's time at forward), but you're vastly underestimating Kelly as a defenseman. He was the second most important part of the Detroit dynasty* that won 4 Cups in 6 years

*behind Gordie Howe but over Ted Lindsay and Terry Sawchuk
Oh I'm more than aware of Kelly's greatness. He was one of the trailblazing defenceman insofar as establishing an effective transition game and skating with the puck. His value on the offensive end is certainly well-documented. However, I would actually contest as to whether or not he was the second most valuable part of those Red Wing championship squads: the list of retroactive Conn Smyth winners compiled by the Hockey Hall of Fame a few years ago had Sawchuck as the recipient in 1952 and 1954, with Howe taking home the award in 1955. And it would certainly be beyond question to debate Sawchuk taking the award in 1952 when he went 8-0 with four shutouts for Detroit.

Quote:
I plan on posting more about Kelly next week - I don't think he has much of a case to be ranked in the 2-5 range, but there is a case that he could be ranked as high as 6th IMO. Potvin vs. Kelly is an interesting comparison to me, as both men had relatively short but dominant peaks.
That's a much more interesting comparison to me given that Total Hockey had Kelly winning three Norris Trophies; his inaugural 1954 win in addition to retroactive selections in the 1951 and 1952 campaigns. That represents the same number as Potvin (it's documented in this thread: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=409927) won during his playing career. He also would have accomplished the three wins over a four season period, just like Potvin. Their seasonal all-star voting record is also eerily similar: Potvin with five First All-Star Team selections in seven seasons and Kelly with six First All-Star Team selections in seven seasons. The two players also had a pair of Second Team selections to their credit and were recognized as being two of the elite offensive defencemen of their day who both played as number one rearguards for well-known dynasty squads. Perhaps I have done Kelly a disservice by ranking him where I did on my list. I would be eager to hear any additional points in his favour from the other participants.

He certainly seems to have become more underrated relative to his peers as time has progressed.

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11-07-2011, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm not sure if Potvin's very small offensive edge overcome's Lidstrom's defensive edge, to be honest.
Are you saying that Potvin only has a very small offensive edge over Lidstrom or are you saying that his offensive edge is only small compared to Lidstrom's defensive edge?

The latter I can almost live with, the former...not a chance.

Offensively, it's really not close and defensively, what Lidstrom gains in finesse and stick-checking, Potvin almost makes up with intimidation and for lack of a better phrase, pure unadulterated meaness.

Yes, players do not beat Lidstrom very often but with Potvin, players didn't even go near his side of the ice if they could help it.

I firmly believe if Potvin has another 5-6 seasons minus the injuries, we're talking about him for #2 not just cracking the top 5.


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11-07-2011, 10:22 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
That's a much more interesting comparison to me given that Total Hockey had Kelly winning three Norris Trophies; his inaugural 1954 win in addition to retroactive selections in the 1951 and 1952 campaigns. That represents the same number as Potvin (it's documented in this thread: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=409927) won during his playing career. He also would have accomplished the three wins over a four season period, just like Potvin. Their seasonal all-star voting record is also eerily similar: Potvin with five First All-Star Team selections in seven seasons and Kelly with six First All-Star Team selections in seven seasons. The two players also had a pair of Second Team selections to their credit and were recognized as being two of the elite offensive defencemen of their day who both played as number one rearguards for well-known dynasty squads. Perhaps I have done Kelly a disservice by ranking him where I did on my list. I would be eager to hear any additional points in his favour from the other participants.

He certainly seems to have become more underrated relative to his peers as time has progressed.
Total Hockey's "Retro Norrises" are a farce. In 1952-53, Kelly was a unanimous First Team All-Star, receiving more 1st place votes than Doug Harvey had total votes, yet the book gave the "Retro Norris" to Harvey. It's obvious that the authors didn't have the data we do now, knew that Kelly and Harvey were 1st Team All Stars for several years before the first Norris and just decided to "split the difference."

Overall, Kelly was a unanimous First Team All Star in each of the three seasons preceding the first Norris Trophy.

1950-51: Red Kelly, Det 90 (18-0-0); Bill Quackenbush, Bos 68 (9-7-2); Jim Thomson, Tor 62 (8-6-4); Leo Reise, Det 50 (0-16-2)

1950-51: Red Kelly, Det 90 (18-0-0); Doug Harvey, Mtl 71 (12-3-1); Hy Buller, NYR 47 (1-13-3); Jim Thomson, Tor 38 (2-6-10);

1952-53: Red Kelly, Det 90 (18-0-0); Doug Harvey, Mtl 56 (8-5-1); Bill Quackenbush, Bos 44 (4-7-3); Bill Gadsby, Chi 30 (3-2-9)

By any reasonable standard, Kelly would have won 4 Norrises in a row, all of them in dominant fashion, had the award existed through his career.

His Hart record is significantly better than Sawchuk or Lindsay's, despite the award already becoming biased against defensemen when he played. I'm sure this will be covered in more detail later.

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11-07-2011, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Are you saying that Potvin only has a very small offensive edge over Lidstrom or are you saying that his offensive edge is only small compared to Lidstrom's defensive edge?

The latter I can almost live with, the former...not a chance.

Offensively, it's really not close and defensively, what Lidstrom gains in finesse and stick-checking, Potvin makes up with intimidation and for lack of a better phrase, pure unadulterated meaness.

Yes, players do not beat Lidstrom very often but with Potvin, players didn't even go near his side of the ice if they could help it.
The data doesn't support your position. Offensively, not close? Lidstrom is the best offensive defenseman of his era by a fair margin. I realize it isn't as strong an era for offensive defensemen, but the "competition" argument can only take you so far when Lidstrom is destroying his competition.

Edit: Potvin played in the era of the puck-rushing defenseman, so I'm sure his offensive attacks were more visibly impressive. Lidstrom put up his offense in a more supporting/defensive role, similar to Doug Harvey.

If Potvin was as good defensively as Lidstrom, than where does that leave Larry Robinson, clearly better defensively than Potvin, if only by a little bit. How bad do you think players are today?

Edit: I have also heard/read mixed stories about whether Potvin was at his best offensively and defensively at the same time. I am under the impression that he was always very good defensively, but didn't become elite until the early 80s when his offense faded a tad. More comments from people who watched Potvin play are welcome.

Double edit: I'm perfectly willing to listen to the argument that Potvin peaked higher than Lidstrom (or Bourque). But I don't think it's reasonable to act like it isn't close.


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11-07-2011, 10:30 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware that Kelly's First Team nods were achieved by such unanimous consent.

That seems to speak volumes about how highly he was regarded in relation to his peers, including the almost-peerless Harvey, who most people appear to have ranked in their top three or four quite comfortably. Is there any argument to be made that Kelly should be ranked ahead of even Eddie Shore on that basis or would that be stretching things? You yourself pointed out the obvious bias against defencemen that became commonplace after Babe Pratt's 1944 Hart victory, and that is Shore's primary trump card in these discussions.

Four Norris Trophies would put Kelly only behind Orr, Harvey, Bourque, Lidstrom (who most agree had fairly weak competition historically-speaking during his victories), and Shore -- retroactively speaking in his case as well. Quite select company, and a well-deserved sixth place ranking as you had discussed above.

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11-07-2011, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Lidstrom put up his offense in a more supporting/defensive role, similar to Doug Harvey.
Both guys played on dynasty teams, with numerous offensive stars up front. Both Harvey and Listrom have inflated offensive numbers. Don't get me wrong, I'm nt slamming either guy. Personally, I love defensemen who are steady, make great decisions, and can consistently create room for themselves to make good outlet passes. You just can't really compare the offensive numbers of these guys, who were getting more assists because the receivers could do more when they had the puck. If I make 100 break-out passes to Maurice Richard, and I make 100 more to Milt Schmidt, who is going to give me more assists by scoring more? 100 of the same passes which result in a major difference in points.

Guys like Harvey, Lidstrom, Fetisov, Robinson, and Chelios were merely a part of their team's strong offense. There rest of them (Orr, Shore, Bourqe, Kelly, and Potvin) created a lot more offense on their own.

That makes a difference to me, especially when looking at their offense.

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11-07-2011, 11:06 PM
  #73
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The data doesn't support your position. Offensively, not close? Lidstrom is the best offensive defenseman of his era by a fair margin. I realize it isn't as strong an era for offensive defensemen, but the "competition" argument can only take you so far when Lidstrom is destroying his competition.
You'll have to qualify that. Last I checked in just the years that both Bourque and Lidstrom played at the same time, Bourque beats Lids by a fair margin, 80 points if I remember right.
In fact breaking Lidstrom's career into halves, he is far from dominating everyone offensively....
First Half:
Bourque 645
Leetch 631
Lidstrom 567
MacInnis 549

What's more is that Lidstrom has any where from 30 to 100+ more games played than the other 3 players on that list.

So tell me, how is it that Lidstrom is only 3rd in points and something like 5th or 6th in PPG for the first half of his career despite scoring almost identical point totals for each. 567 first half, 551 second half.
Then for the second half of his career he is dominating everyone by such a huge margin.
How in the holy hell is that not competition level plain and simple?
Seriously, show me another actual logical way to view this?


Quote:
If Potvin was as good defensively as Lidstrom, than where does that leave Larry Robinson, clearly better defensively than Potvin, if only by a little bit. How bad do you think players are today?
I never said that Potvin was as good on pure defense as Lidstrom or even Robinson.
What I said was that Potvin makes up for some of it through intimidation and being a mean SOB. Just the same as Stevens did.
With Robinson, players knew not to wake the bear. With Potvin and Stevens, the Bear was always awake.

...and I'm sorry but someone being instrumental in shutting down Wayne Gretzky in his prime not once but twice trumps shutting down the LOD line.

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11-07-2011, 11:41 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by matnor View Post
Don't be so sure about that...

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/62cd0

The link shows the share of goals, assists and points scored by defensemen throughout NHL history. As can be seen there was indeed a small drop in the share of assists scored by defensemen during the dead puck era. This can be seen more clearly on the following link:

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/387fb

As can be seen, there is a drop in defensemen assists share with roughly two percentage points or, expressed differently, defensemen assists went down with around six percent. Not a big difference, but something.

However, one possible explanation is that the role of the top defensemen has changed over time, for instance through ice time. To test for this I take the ratio of the 10th highest scoring defenseman (in points now, not assists!) over the 15th highest scoring forward (this deals with potential outliers, plus it leaves Bourque and Lidström largely unaffected since they mostly placed better than 10th in defensemen scoring. The numbers 15 and 10 are chosen to keep the 3/2 ratio between forwards and defensemen on the ice). I then get the following picture, post-expansion:

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/19a29

As can be seen, there is some evidence that top defensemen scoring went down in the middle of the 90s. I can not say whether that is because the top defensemen became relatively worse or because their role changed. However, if I use 30/20 instead of 15/10 I get a similar result so it doesn't seem like the result is just due to the top 5-10 defensemen being better during the 80s and early 90s.
One day somebody will look at all the games on tape and count the number of rushes by Dmen and more but it's been my general impression from watching parts of 1000's of games that Dmen are being coached to not take as many chances and to play defense and safe 1st even at the lower levels like Jr.

Dmen certainly have less time and space to move the puck post lockout than in the clutch and grab era and before.

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11-07-2011, 11:45 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by tony d View Post
The top 10 list is what I expected as well, I'd be interested to see where Shore will end up being ranked. The guy is considered by many one of the best early defensemen in NHL history and won 4 Hart Trophies which is something even Orr didn't do.
It would be very interesting to find out if even the most ardent shore backers actually feel that shore was the best player in the league more years than Orr was?

It's always a good exercise to look back at the seasons in question and determine if the voters got it right or if it was even close.

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