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Potvin vs Lidstrom

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Old
11-18-2011, 09:42 AM
  #76
tarheelhockey
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I'm curious to know more about Potvin's injuries. There have been a few references that they were due to his style of play, but that has to be taken in context with the difference in overall style during the 1970s and 1980s. I wonder how many of his injuries were strictly due to his own style (ie, injuring himself on a check) and how many were due to the style of the era (ie, getting slashed across the wrist by Bobby Clarke).

Here's what I can find on his specific injuries:

1973-74: Suffers a fractured instep in the early season. I can't find a reason, but it sounds like a blocked shot? Plays with a cast on his foot and an extra-large skate, wins the Calder.

1979-80: Broken thumb from an early-season game against the Oilers. I can't find a reason for this one either. Couldn't grip a stick for 3 months, returns in February, scores 41 points in 31 games and captains the Isles to their first Cup.

1986-87: Sprains knee ligaments in a "collision" (unspecific) against a Montreal player in February. Misses 17 games and soon thereafter becomes the first defenseman to reach 1,000 points.

Other than that, all I can find is general commentary about his injuries. Does anyone remember more specifically whether these injuries were random accidents, targeted cheapshots or the result of his own physicality?

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11-18-2011, 09:44 AM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Had to find the data manually:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=1000315&page=5

Post #112 compares PIMs in European leagues to the NHL - 2010-11 season. Most of the leagues have higher PIMs/G. SEL is on a par with the NHL once the number of teams and length of schedule is accounted for.

Suggest that the young Swedish defensemen are well prepared for the NHL because the SEL is very similar.
...and this is why you can't look at raw stats and assume things.

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11-18-2011, 09:53 AM
  #78
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Aging

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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
I'm pretty sure the post-lockout PIMs is pretty unfavourable to any player. You are including seasons where lady byng players like Karyia had 40+ PIMs. The 06 seasons spiked most players PIMs for example Joe Sakic had 60PIM compared to his all-time high of 50.

Lidstrom had never hit 40PIM before that season. So before you start throwing out numbers you might want to give us a little context of those numbers. His career average between 92-04 is .27PIM/G which is more or less the same as Kelly and Tremblay.

I would also ask a question, since when has a raw number average between players from different eras been a good measurement?

Roy/Allaire simplified goaltending, their technique is easy to learn. Lidströms techniques is harder. It's much easier to play a physical defenseman than to rely on positioning, stick-handling and hockey IQ.
2006 season reflects aging and whether players played hockey during the the 2004-05 lock out season. Neither Kariya, Sakic or Lidstrom played hockey during the 2004-05 lock-out yet all three aged.

Quackenbush retired at 33, Kelly moved to forward. J.C. Tremblay hung around the WHA - .28 PIMs/G. Age sets in, game conditioning sags and players take more penalties since skills erode. Averages reflect this. Aging and game conditioning are constants across eras.

The Roy/Allaire technique is harder to learn by far - demands on conditioning, the discipline required to keep the skates in contact with the ice at all times, the proper movement, etc.

Lidstrom's technique is the old, sweep check, poke check, hook check with positioning thrown in. Hal Gill can do it and he is far from a good skater like Lidstrom.

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11-18-2011, 10:05 AM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Their PIM/G numbers and the physical elements that each brings do not fully support this.

A player doesn't need to emulate Lidstrom's style 100% in order to take great influence from his game.

I think the original point still stands (as it relates to Sweden anyhow) - relative to past generations, the recent crop of Swede d-men are displaying more "Lidstrom-esque' characteristics.

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11-18-2011, 10:24 AM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superroyain10 View Post
Lidstrom facing the absolute best at the time? Shea Weber, Kris Letang, Zdeno Chara are more talented than Potvin's contemporaries?

The position of defenseman is unique, because it allows one to control every inch of ice. Both Potvin and Lidstrom excelled at doing that.

Both defenseman were in ideal situations. Good coaching, great teammates, ideal systems; great development. On longetivity, I would argue that Lidstrom's longetivity is much enhanced because Babcock protects him...Lidstrom has always been paired with a puck-moving defenseman who could win the board battle/take the hit in Lidstrom's pace.

It just seems that, objectively, Potvin was more effective than Lidstrom. One of the best blueline-to-blueline passers in the game's history. A physical monster. Defensively, maybe it is hockey eisegesis, but Potvin just seemed harder to beat.

Put in another way, defensively, Potvin could stop 90% of all NHLers with 90% effectiveness, and 10% with 80% effectiveness. Lidstrom could stop 98% of NHLers with 90% effetiveness, but the other 2% he'd only be 50% effective against.

Lidstrom, for example, is a little weak in front of the net, especially against big guys. If you were wizard enough, or big enough, you could finesse or bulldoze around him because he wouldn't play the body. Of course, the list of people talented enough is tiny, but still...
Brian Rafalski (one of the smallest defensemen in the league) is going to win the board battles and take hits for Lidstrom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Nicklas Lidstrom benefits from false comparables that go unchallenged.

You claim that he is changing the wat defensemen play the game in a fashion similar to Patrick Roy as coached by Francois Allaire. Patrick Roy popularized the butterfly and you can see the influence in virtually all the post 1889 goalies - exceptions being Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur.

Bolded you make a claim about the Lidstrom influence.Of course you can name these defensemen and list their accomplishments and honours?

Fact remains that since Lidstrom established himself in the NHL, post 1997 playoffs, the comparables with other non-physical contemporary defensemen are negligible. Visnovsky is a good journeyman at best. All the other leading defensemen with awards and honours are physical to varying degrees.
Paul Martin and Ryan Suter are two of the best defensive defensemen in the league, and both play very similarly to Lidstrom in the defensive zone. There are more, but those are the two I can think of off the top of my head.

Calling Visnovsky a good journeyman is strange to me, considering he's the second leading scorer among defensemen over the last few years (to Lidstrom), but of course, he isn't anything like Lidstrom in the defensive zone.

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11-18-2011, 10:34 AM
  #81
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Style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine View Post
A player doesn't need to emulate Lidstrom's style 100% in order to take great influence from his game.

I think the original point still stands (as it relates to Sweden anyhow) - relative to past generations, the recent crop of Swede d-men are displaying more "Lidstrom-esque' characteristics.
Let's not exaggerate and give Lidstrom credit for a style. The way Lidstrom plays has been taught in Canada since the mid 1980's when contact was removed from youth hockey during the formative ages, thru Pee Wee in some jurisdictions.Previously it was the foundation stage before bodychecking was introduced to youngsters. Today you see it at the single letter levels where contact is not permitted.

Lidstrom is more proficient at it, capable of playing a long NHL career - function of his skating,conditioning and hockey sense, but the defensive techniques have been around for ages, taught in youth hockey and used in the NHL before Lidstrom was even born.

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11-18-2011, 10:36 AM
  #82
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here are placements in scoring race for defencemen.

# name Top-1 Top-3 Top-5 Top-10
1 Nicklas Lidstrom 5 11 12 15
2 Denis Potvin* 3 7 8 10

Here are finishes
Lidström : 1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3,5,6,8,9
Potvin: 1,1,1,2,2,2,3,5,7,9

Equal finishes removed
Lidström: 1,1,3,6,8
Potvin: 7

it´s not like Lidström was bad offensively. since this is a career discussion (judging by the OP) I can´t see how one ranks Potvin ahead of Lidström.

I would compare it to a Sakic/Forsberg debate. Sure it´s fun for highest peak (I might even agree that Potvin takes it slightly) but career is not very close.

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11-18-2011, 10:55 AM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Brian Rafalski (one of the smallest defensemen in the league) is going to win the board battles and take hits for Lidstrom?



Paul Martin and Ryan Suter
are two of the best defensive defensemen in the league, and both play very similarly to Lidstrom in the defensive zone. There are more, but those are the two I can think of off the top of my head.

Calling Visnovsky a good journeyman is strange to me, considering he's the second leading scorer among defensemen over the last few years (to Lidstrom), but of course, he isn't anything like Lidstrom in the defensive zone.
Both are more physical - Suter even fights a bit. As mentioned previously the similar argument goes back generations and down to the roots of hockey. Lidstrom doing it slightly better and longer does mean he invented or pioneered the various techniques which is the impression that is being presented.

Visnovsky - 3 different teams to date. T. Kaberle, Bryan McCabe, Mike McMahon could score under certain circumstances and led teams or positions. Still journeymen types, just a question of the length of the trip.

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11-18-2011, 10:57 AM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Let's not exaggerate and give Lidstrom credit for a style. The way Lidstrom plays has been taught in Canada since the mid 1980's when contact was removed from youth hockey during the formative ages, thru Pee Wee in some jurisdictions.Previously it was the foundation stage before bodychecking was introduced to youngsters. Today you see it at the single letter levels where contact is not permitted.

Lidstrom is more proficient at it, capable of playing a long NHL career - function of his skating,conditioning and hockey sense, but the defensive techniques have been around for ages, taught in youth hockey and used in the NHL before Lidstrom was even born.
Some would argue that style is the main reason to pick Potvin over Lidstrom, right? I mean even if you prefer Potvin, you have to admit that Lidstrom is not one to win "style points."

Also, if Lidstrom's style was taught in Canada since the 1980s, then why did everyone seem to think a defenseman had to play physically to be elite defensively, something Lidstrom finally proved wrong?

Sure there were elite non-physical defensemen before Lidstrom (Quackenbush, Kelly). But there were also elite butterfly goalies before Roy (most notably Glenn Hall). But much like Roy, Lidstrom did popularize the style.


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11-18-2011, 11:08 AM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Had to find the data manually:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=1000315&page=5

Post #112 compares PIMs in European leagues to the NHL - 2010-11 season. Most of the leagues have higher PIMs/G. SEL is on a par with the NHL once the number of teams and length of schedule is accounted for.

Suggest that the young Swedish defensemen are well prepared for the NHL because the SEL is very similar.
Is the point you are trying to make that the SEL is similar to the NHL in physical play? Is the reason for this point that the PIM/G levels are roughly the same?

Being a regular watcher of both leagues, I find that completely absurd. The difference between the SEL and the NHL when it comes to the sheer tempo and physical force in the game is vast.

edit: Also, in every single interview there is with young Swedish NHL players, what they say is that the tempo is higher and the hits are harder. There is less room for mistake and less time to ponder your options. This difference needs no statistical evidence, it's absolutely crystal clear if you follow both leagues.

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11-18-2011, 11:11 AM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Some would argue that style is the only reason to pick Potvin over Lidstrom, right? I mean even if you prefer Potvin, you have to admit that Lidstrom is not one to win "style points."

Also, if Lidstrom's style was taught in Canada since the 1980s, then why did everyone seem to think a defenseman had to play physically to be elite defensively, something Lidstrom finally proved wrong?

Sure there were elite non-physical defensemen before Lidstrom (Quackenbush, Kelly). But there were also elite butterfly goalies before Roy (most notably Glenn Hall). But much like Roy, Lidstrom did popularize the style.
It isn't "style". It's effectiveness. My eyes tell me Potvin had more influence on the outcome of a game.

Who is this collective you refer to?
In essence Lidstrom did the minimum required of a defenceman. Tools learned in minor hockey. Others chose to add tools to their tool box. Potvin had all the tools, though not the greatest of skaters.

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11-18-2011, 11:16 AM
  #87
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Style II

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Some would argue that style is the main reason to pick Potvin over Lidstrom, right? I mean even if you prefer Potvin, you have to admit that Lidstrom is not one to win "style points."

Also, if Lidstrom's style was taught in Canada since the 1980s, then why did everyone seem to think a defenseman had to play physically to be elite defensively, something Lidstrom finally proved wrong?

Sure there were elite non-physical defensemen before Lidstrom (Quackenbush, Kelly). But there were also elite butterfly goalies before Roy (most notably Glenn Hall). But much like Roy, Lidstrom did popularize the style.
Popularize in an age when everything is exaggerated is one thing. Change the way a position is played for more than a generation and counting is another.

Lidstrom showed that he could play a non-physical game but he did not produce a string of successful imitators throughout the world.Showing that he could do it does not prove others wrong or that his approach is better.

Roy showed that he could play the butterfly style successfully AND with Allaire produced a string of successful imitators throughout the world. They took an acrobatic style that Glenn Hall used, imitated by Roger Crozier, removed the unnecessary elements that hindered popular application and brought the butterfly to the goaltending masses.

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11-18-2011, 11:57 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
Lidstrom is better than Potvin I think due to the longevity factor.
you can't be better than someone due to longevity. you can be more valuable to your team but not better.

potvin played 15 seasons and 1000+ games in the nhl.

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11-18-2011, 01:10 PM
  #89
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The Key Question

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Originally Posted by Der Kaiser View Post
Is the point you are trying to make that the SEL is similar to the NHL in physical play? Is the reason for this point that the PIM/G levels are roughly the same?

Being a regular watcher of both leagues, I find that completely absurd. The difference between the SEL and the NHL when it comes to the sheer tempo and physical force in the game is vast.

edit: Also, in every single interview there is with young Swedish NHL players, what they say is that the tempo is higher and the hits are harder. There is less room for mistake and less time to ponder your options. This difference needs no statistical evidence, it's absolutely crystal clear if you follow both leagues.
Making progress. So the bolded admits that there is hitting in the SEL only it is not as hard as the NHL. Obvious follow-up question then is do the defensemen hit or is it only the forwards or both? If it is not as hard then is proper hitting technique taught?

You talk about the tempo. The SEL has a level of penalty minutes that is similar to the NHL. Tempo is very often a function of play stoppages. Penalties may be assessed for physical play or non-physical play - hooking, holding, tripping, etc. Why the high penalty totals in the SEL?

You claim a lower intensity of physical play, slower tempo, better non-physical defensive technique by the followers of Lidstrom on defense.Sel is not known for fighters or yappers. What is producing the high penalty minutes in the SEL?

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11-18-2011, 01:16 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by the edler View Post
you can't be better than someone due to longevity. you can be more valuable to your team but not better.

potvin played 15 seasons and 1000+ games in the nhl.
I agree, but that is a minority opinion here.

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11-18-2011, 01:42 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by pluppe View Post
here are placements in scoring race for defencemen.

# name Top-1 Top-3 Top-5 Top-10
1 Nicklas Lidstrom 5 11 12 15
2 Denis Potvin* 3 7 8 10

Here are finishes
Lidström : 1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3,5,6,8,9
Potvin: 1,1,1,2,2,2,3,5,7,9

Equal finishes removed
Lidström: 1,1,3,6,8
Potvin: 7

it´s not like Lidström was bad offensively. since this is a career discussion (judging by the OP) I can´t see how one ranks Potvin ahead of Lidström.

I would compare it to a Sakic/Forsberg debate. Sure it´s fun for highest peak (I might even agree that Potvin takes it slightly) but career is not very close.
Compare them league wide

Potvin: 5th, 7th, 11th, 17th, 27th
Lidstrom: 17th, 25th, 27th

Potvin against his peers from 1974-1979:
Denis Potvin- 449 points in 390 games
Borje Salming- 321 points in 371 games
Guy Lapointe- 316 points in 352 games
Larry Robinson- 312 points in 384 games
Brad Park- 301 points in 318 games

Offensively it really isnt close.

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11-18-2011, 01:45 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I agree, but that is a minority opinion here.
shouldn't really be an opinion , time shouldnt have something to do with best player , just best career.Also , since people bring an example like Sakic vs Lindros to compare Potvin vs Lidstrom , I would reply that Sakic proved his formula won , Lindros came close but didn't prove it , while both Potvin and Lidstrom also proved their formulas , for multiple years.I think if Lindros won 2 cups , he would be ranked higher than Sakic.It's also not a Gilbert Perreault case where the guy clearly didn't have any real shot at the cup , the 90s Flyers were a powerhouse.

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11-18-2011, 01:52 PM
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the edler View Post
you can't be better than someone due to longevity. you can be more valuable to your team but not better.

potvin played 15 seasons and 1000+ games in the nhl.
I agree that longevity on its own doesn't make one player better than another, but shouldn't length and consistency of peak matter?

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11-18-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Compare them league wide

Potvin: 5th, 7th, 11th, 17th, 27th
Lidstrom: 17th, 25th, 27th

Potvin against his peers from 1974-1979:
Denis Potvin- 449 points in 390 games
Borje Salming- 321 points in 371 games
Guy Lapointe- 316 points in 352 games
Larry Robinson- 312 points in 384 games
Brad Park- 301 points in 318 games

Offensively it really isnt close.
This is a nonsense comparison. The reason why defensemen don't rank as highly league wide now is because defenseman aren't utilized the same way as they were from Orr until the mid 90s. They aren't allowed to take the risks needed to score those points.

And that doesn't even take into account that there are now 30 sets of front line forwards and defensemen to compete against instead of what.. 16 to 21 during Potvin's career?

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11-18-2011, 01:55 PM
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shouldn't really be an opinion , time shouldnt have something to do with best player , just best career.Also , since people bring an example like Sakic vs Lindros to compare Potvin vs Lidstrom , I would reply that Sakic proved his formula won , Lindros came close but didn't prove it , while both Potvin and Lidstrom also proved their formulas , for multiple years.I think if Lindros won 2 cups , he would be ranked higher than Sakic.It's also not a Gilbert Perreault case where the guy clearly didn't have any real shot at the cup , the 90s Flyers were a powerhouse.
What about Sakic vs. Forsberg? Without length and consistency of prime, there is a case to rank Forsberg higher.

What about Scott Niedermayer? His prime only lasted 3 seasons, but what a prime it was! (He would have won 3 straight Norrises in an all-Canadian league).

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11-18-2011, 01:56 PM
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This is a nonsense comparison. The reason why defensemen don't rank as highly league wide now is because defenseman aren't utilized the same way as they were from Orr until the mid 90s. They aren't allowed to take the risks needed to score those points.

And that doesn't even take into account that there are now 30 sets of front line forwards and defensemen to compete against instead of what.. 16 to 21 during Potvin's career?
so if lidstrom was allowed to take more risks, you think he could crack the top 10 twice?

Potvin was also outscoring his contemporaries, who were taking risks just like him, and they are significantly better than lidstrom's contemporaries.

During lidstrom's first 4 seasons, he never came close to being offensively dominant and this is when defenseman were 'taking risks'.

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11-18-2011, 02:01 PM
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I agree with the idea that if one player clearly peaked higher than another and proved it over a decent sample size, then longevity doesn't matter all that much.

But I don't think Potvin's peak was clearcut better than Lidstrom's, though it seems like it was better. Was it "better enough" to throw the length and consistency of prime out the window.


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11-18-2011, 02:03 PM
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
What about Sakic vs. Forsberg? Without length and consistency of prime, there is a case to rank Forsberg higher.

What about Scott Niedermayer? His prime only lasted 3 seasons, but what a prime it was! (He would have won 3 straight Norrises in an all-Canadian league).
I don't know , I don't think Forsberg's best seasons were that better than Sakic's ones.Forsberg was injured almost every year of his career.Having a shorter career is one thing , but being incapable of completing the majority of your seasons is another.Sakic was also a much better goal scorer which is a really important part of being a forward.At absolute peak Forsberg was probably a better player , but I don't think he had a better prime than Sakic.

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11-18-2011, 02:04 PM
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so if lidstrom was allowed to take more risks, you think he could crack the top 10 twice?

Potvin was also outscoring his contemporaries, who were taking risks just like him, and they are significantly better than lidstrom's contemporaries.

During lidstrom's first 4 seasons, he never came close to being offensively dominant and this is when defenseman were 'taking risks'.
I'm very sure he would place higher by being allowed to take more offensive risks.. that only stands to reason.

However, I'm 100% positive he'd look better if you removed half the 1st line forwards and half the first line defensemen in front of him right off the bat every year. You're comparing apples to oranges when you're looking at overall placings between a 16 team league and a 30 team league.

Lidstrom has outscored his contemporaries much more often. And Potvin's competition is not necessarily significantly better, however if you apply the same logic you just did to a comparison of them I can see why you'd think so..

I don't see what Lidstroms first four seasons have to do with anything when we're comparing them at their best.


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 11-18-2011 at 02:10 PM. Reason: clarity
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11-18-2011, 02:04 PM
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
What about Sakic vs. Forsberg? Without length and consistency of prime, there is a case to rank Forsberg higher.

What about Scott Niedermayer? His prime only lasted 3 seasons, but what a prime it was! (He would have won 3 straight Norrises in an all-Canadian league).
I also brought up the Fosberg comparison but nobody answered. He was also a playoff beast without a Conn Smythe but with a lot of nastiness and "eyeball charm" and an equal amount of cups with great team mates so I think it is really suiting. nobody with half a brain would pick Forsberg over Sakic for career.

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