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

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Old
11-27-2012, 12:16 PM
  #226
JackSlater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Someone else might have more definitive numbers and information but his plus/minus in the playoffs over his career in Detroit is quite impressive, considering he is getting top defensive duties for almost all of it.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play..._by=plus_minus
Those plus/minus numbers don't really mean all that much to me. Lidstrom was a great player playing with other great players, I completely expect him to be on the ice for more goals scored than goals against.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Bourque's playoff production drops about 16% from his regular season production while Lidstrom's drops only 4%. Accounting for eras, Lidstrom produces at essentially the same rate as Bourque in the playoffs, in more games, and in deeper runs. If you can accept Lidstrom was better defensively it is pretty cut and dry, even without mentioning 4 Cups and a Conn Smythe versus 1 Cup.
As Dark Shadows said, a team could sell out to stop Bourque most years and know that Boston was finished. The same could not be said for Lidstrom, who usually played with a very good puck moving defenceman and with exceptional forwards in front of him and waiting on the bench. Bourque's 12% drop in production relative to Lidstrom does not indicate to me that Lidstrom was superior in the playoffs, particularly given the context of their teams. There may be other evidence out there, but this doesn't convince.

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11-27-2012, 12:48 PM
  #227
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Bourque's playoff production drops about 16% from his regular season production while Lidstrom's drops only 4%. Accounting for eras, Lidstrom produces at essentially the same rate as Bourque in the playoffs, in more games, and in deeper runs. If you can accept Lidstrom was better defensively it is pretty cut and dry, even without mentioning 4 Cups and a Conn Smythe versus 1 Cup.
I wonder how much of that could be explained by which teams he was generally playing against in the playoffs, vs. the Regular season though? Until the finals, he wasn’t playing any of the Western teams, and I think generally speaking, we all agree that during the 80’s, the Campbell Conference (especially the Symthe) was much more wide open than the Wales (and the Norris was by far the worst division in hockey). In contrast, the Adams was generally the tightest checking division.

I decided to take a quick look at the first 3 years Hockey reference has for splits for Bourque (87/8-90/1):

WALES
GP 130, PTS 124 PPG: 0.95
CAMPBELL
GP: 84, PTS: 102, PPG: 1.21
Variance:
23.5%

Now, I don’t have time to go through all the boxscores, and maybe other seasons paint a different picture, but I think most would agree that the difference in playing styles between 2 conferences has probably never been as acute as it was in the 80’s (except for the original expansion), and it could have been a factor.

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11-27-2012, 12:54 PM
  #228
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Bourque's playoff production drops about 16% from his regular season production while Lidstrom's drops only 4%. Accounting for eras, Lidstrom produces at essentially the same rate as Bourque in the playoffs, in more games, and in deeper runs. If you can accept Lidstrom was better defensively it is pretty cut and dry, even without mentioning 4 Cups and a Conn Smythe versus 1 Cup.
Here's the adjusted playoff numbers I calculated:

Bourque .23 GPG, .81 PPG
Lidstrom .18 GPG, .78 PPG

Bourque > 7% (adjusted) decline from expected PPG
Lidstrom < 1% (adj.) improvement from expected PPG

Playoff plus-minus data:

Bourque +5 on teams whose players were -140 total
Team estimate w/o Bourque = (-140 - (5*5))/5 = (-165)/5 = (-33)

Lidstrom +61 on teams whose players were +600 total
Team estimate w/o Lidstrom = (600 - (61*5))/5 = 295/5 = 59

It's close, but Bourque has the slightly better playoff data. He started from a higher regular season level, so while his adjusted PPG declined some in the playoffs, it was still better (when adjusted for league playoff GPG) than Lidstrom's on a career basis.

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11-27-2012, 12:59 PM
  #229
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Let's not forget Lidstrom maintained that for 50 more playoff games than Bourque, which as far as playoff games go, is quite significant.

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11-27-2012, 01:40 PM
  #230
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Let's not forget Lidstrom maintained that for 50 more playoff games than Bourque, which as far as playoff games go, is quite significant.
That's basically a product of being on a better team, but I would give him a little more credit for 50 more games (20% of Lidstrom's total) and for the generally deeper playoff runs.

Also, Bourque's ES goals were 54% of his total during season and 63% in playoffs, while Lidstrom's went from 46% to 41% (which seems typical, given that PPs should be less frequent in POs).

Lidstrom's case, as usual, relies a lot on the valuation of his team's success. During the season, Bourque created similar ES advantages on generally much worse teams. He was dominant for a longer period against what most would consider substantially stronger competition. His peak was Hart-level type greatness. It doesn't appear the playoff data is clearly in favor of one player or the other, let alone enough to negate and surpass the seemingly clear advantages created by Bourque during the regular season.

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11-27-2012, 01:48 PM
  #231
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Bourque's +5 in the playoffs is profoundly mediocre when talking about defensemen of this calibre. It also fits with what I remember of him in Boston - he would sometimes get burned in the playoffs by trying to do too much.

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11-27-2012, 02:10 PM
  #232
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There's an even simpler explanation.
Teams tighten up in the playoffs and ES goals are harder to come by while PP goals tend to come closer to the same rate as the regular season.
This hurts Bourque production more than it hurts Lidstrom's.

Playoff production Regular season in red
Lidstrom GP-263 G-54 A-129 P-183 ES-66 PP-111 SH-6
Bourque GP-214 G-41 A-139 P-180 ES-87 PP-89 SH-4

Lidstrom ES%-36%(45%) ES/G-0.25(0.33) PP%-61%(52%) PP/G-0.42(0.38)
Bourque ES%-48%(49%) ES/G-0.41(0.48) PP%-49%(48%) PP/G-0.42(0.47)

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11-27-2012, 02:11 PM
  #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Bourque's +5 in the playoffs is profoundly mediocre when talking about defensemen of this calibre. It also fits with what I remember of him in Boston - he would sometimes get burned in the playoffs by trying to do too much.
I'm guessing it would be slightly higher with data from his first four seasons. He tended to be plus in POs in first half of his career and minus in second half. A lot of that is playing on mediocre teams. A mediocre team in the playoffs is like a weak team during the season.

Lidstrom was +27 in his first 192 PO games (through '07), which isn't so impressive given the strong teams for which he played.

Both players' plus-minus data seems lesser in the playoffs. You are probably right that their teams matched lines more consistently in POs.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 11-27-2012 at 07:26 PM.
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11-27-2012, 02:15 PM
  #234
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There's an even simpler explanation.
Teams tighten up in the playoffs and ES goals are harder to come by while PP goals tend to come closer to the same rate as the regular season.
This hurts Bourque production more than it hurts Lidstrom's.

Playoff production Regular season in red
Lidstrom GP-263 G-54 A-129 P-183 ES-66 PP-111 SH-6
Bourque GP-214 G-41 A-139 P-180 ES-87 PP-89 SH-4

Lidstrom ES%-36%(45%) ES/G-0.25(0.33) PP%-61%(52%) PP/G-0.42(0.38)
Bourque ES%-48%(49%) ES/G-0.41(0.48) PP%-49%(48%) PP/G-0.42(0.47)
Interesting. Maybe some teams play their PP QB for full 2 minutes more in POs than during season?

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11-27-2012, 02:27 PM
  #235
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Interesting. Maybe some teams play their PP QB for full 2 minutes more in POs than during season?
There are generally less PP opportunities in the PO's than in the regular season so if you were coaching you would think it would be in your best interest to give your best players as much of that more limited time as possible.

Edit: Doesn't look like that the case though from last year.
2012 Regular season saw 3.3 PPO/G, 2012 Playoffs-3.74/G
2001 however...
Regular season-4.59/G Playoffs- 4.09/G


Last edited by Rhiessan71: 11-27-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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11-27-2012, 02:50 PM
  #236
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
As Dark Shadows said, a team could sell out to stop Bourque most years and know that Boston was finished. The same could not be said for Lidstrom, who usually played with a very good puck moving defenceman and with exceptional forwards in front of him and waiting on the bench. Bourque's 12% drop in production relative to Lidstrom does not indicate to me that Lidstrom was superior in the playoffs, particularly given the context of their teams. There may be other evidence out there, but this doesn't convince.
Ah the good old Bourque vs. Lidstrom arguments where Lidstrom simultaneously gets knocked around on one hand for playing on a strong team and then for doing very well on a strong team at the same time... and round and round we go.

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11-27-2012, 03:28 PM
  #237
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Bourque's +5 in the playoffs is profoundly mediocre when talking about defensemen of this calibre. It also fits with what I remember of him in Boston - he would sometimes get burned in the playoffs by trying to do too much.
(What does "profoundly mediocre" even mean? Seems like an oxymoron.)

I'm not sure how much relevance we're supposed to attach to his career +5, considering he's the only defenseman of this calibre who spent a significant portion of his career on a non-contending team.

Anyway, here it is broken down by year.

SeasonGPBourqueTeam
19843-3-7
198551+2
198630-3
19874-1-9
19882316?
198910-1?
19901711-3
199119-4-7
199212-10?
19934-2-6
199413-5-2
19955-5-5
19965-4-8
19986-2-5
1999121+2
2000134+9
2001219+21

I contstructed the numbers above by hand, from the HSP database, thus the missing data from some seasons. I hope it's all accurate, but it was a lot of counting, so I won't be offended if someone wants to spot-check the table to ensure accuracy.


Bolded are seasons where Bourque outperformed the team's collective +/-. Bearing in mind what we know about his extremely high TOI, one should start from the assumption that he would have a very low +/- during losing efforts and a very high +/- during winning efforts. Beginning from that assumption, his numbers during short-series losses in '84, '86, '87, '93, '96, and '98 are really not that bad at all. From what we can gather from +/-, he was at least managing to hold his team close and then going back to the bench to watch them get slaughtered (this is especially convincing when you consider how important he was to the PP, and how many non-+/- affecting points he scored there).

1994 is the only season where his +/- seems disproportionately low compared to the team, and TBH I don't remember why that would be. I'd blame it on a cold streak, but he nearly led the team in scoring. In any case, that might be his worst playoff and it's still not a train wreck. [ps - TDMM, this may be where you got your memory of him being caught doing too much, considering they were eliminated by the Devils that season] Also interesting are his later seasons in Colorado, where he played half the game and was responsible for roughly half the "plus"es at an advanced age. That's our best glimpse into his value a team that didn't ride on his back, and he was still a very strong contributor at that age.

Disclaimer: I think +/- is a garbage stat and would rather not have to defend any conclusions drawn exclusively from it. This is well established in my posting history. The career leader in playoff +/- is Charlie Huddy, so needless to say I'm holding my nose during this analysis.

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11-27-2012, 03:53 PM
  #238
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Some are doing serious history revisionism. No Red Wings fan would say, that in 2002 Chelios was more valuable or better player. Chelios had an awesome season, but it's fairly obvious who was the best dman on that team.
Revisionism?!

Chris Chelios damn near won the Norris Trophy and took 28 first place votes to Lidstrom's 29. Saying that no one believed in 2002 that Chelios was the better player or that it was fairly obvious who was the best defenseman is a textbook example of revisionism!

It was a divided vote.

Seriously. How is this revisionism on my part?! You're acting like Lidstrom took 62 first place votes.

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11-27-2012, 04:01 PM
  #239
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Heh, "profoundly mediocre" is a rhetorical flourish that Sturminator often uses in the ATD and apparently I've picked up on it.

I get that plus/minus isn't necessarily the best metric, but that doesn't stop some people from using it as an argument in favor of Bourque in the regular season.

Anyway, I don't put much stock into R-on vs R-off ratios, since a player has very little effect on his R-off ratio.

The only ways I can think of a player affected his R-off are by taking the toughest assignments at even strength and making it easier on his teammates or by intimidating the opposition when he's on the ice. But both of those would increase R/off, and a higher R-off is supposedly a bad thing for some reason.

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11-27-2012, 04:23 PM
  #240
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Heh, "profoundly mediocre" is a rhetorical flourish that Sturminator often uses in the ATD and apparently I've picked up on it.

I get that plus/minus isn't necessarily the best metric, but that doesn't stop some people from using it as an argument in favor of Bourque in the regular season.

Anyway, I don't put much stock into R-on vs R-off ratios, since a player has very little effect on his R-off ratio.

The only ways I can think of a player affected his R-off are by taking the toughest assignments at even strength and making it easier on his teammates or by intimidating the opposition when he's on the ice. But both of those would increase R/off, and a higher R-off is supposedly a bad thing for some reason.
Right. Adjusted plus minus seems to be routinely misinterpreted this way.

It actually isn't that valuable (imo) unless you are comparing similarly used players in similar team and opposition situations.

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11-27-2012, 05:35 PM
  #241
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Revisionism?!

Chris Chelios damn near won the Norris Trophy and took 28 first place votes to Lidstrom's 29. Saying that no one believed in 2002 that Chelios was the better player or that it was fairly obvious who was the best defenseman is a textbook example of revisionism!

It was a divided vote.

Seriously. How is this revisionism on my part?! You're acting like Lidstrom took 62 first place votes.
Talk about overreacting...
Where I said that no one believed? I mentioned Red Wings fans. They are not everyone and they don't vote for Norris. Where I'm acting like Lidstrom took 62 first place votes? I pointed out that Chelios was awesome. Lidstrom was just better. And again... those are just Norris votes. They don't tell the whole story. But keep counting them to determine the best player or the more valuable one.

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11-27-2012, 05:47 PM
  #242
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Those plus/minus numbers don't really mean all that much to me. Lidstrom was a great player playing with other great players, I completely expect him to be on the ice for more goals scored than goals against.
This is kind of sad. Not for you, but as a general idea. The idea that we take for granted great players and great lines because good things would ALWAYS happen when they're out there.

That comment betrays a complete lack of love for the game. Greatness as banal.

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11-27-2012, 06:02 PM
  #243
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Ah the good old Bourque vs. Lidstrom arguments where Lidstrom simultaneously gets knocked around on one hand for playing on a strong team and then for doing very well on a strong team at the same time... and round and round we go.
I would love for you to point out where Lidstrom was getting "knocked around" there. It boggles my mind the way people can infer slights on Lidstrom from out of thin air.

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11-27-2012, 06:30 PM
  #244
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This is kind of sad. Not for you, but as a general idea. The idea that we take for granted great players and great lines because good things would ALWAYS happen when they're out there.

That comment betrays a complete lack of love for the game. Greatness as banal.
Are you seriously coming in here to question someone's love for the game?

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11-27-2012, 07:00 PM
  #245
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Bourque's +5 in the playoffs is profoundly mediocre when talking about defensemen of this calibre. It also fits with what I remember of him in Boston - he would sometimes get burned in the playoffs by trying to do too much.
Didn't get to play on a great team until he was 40.

Gretzky post-Oilers was +2 in the playoffs. Coffey post-Oilers was -12 in the playoffs.

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11-27-2012, 07:53 PM
  #246
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Bourque's playoff production drops about 16% from his regular season production while Lidstrom's drops only 4%. Accounting for eras, Lidstrom produces at essentially the same rate as Bourque in the playoffs, in more games, and in deeper runs. If you can accept Lidstrom was better defensively it is pretty cut and dry, even without mentioning 4 Cups and a Conn Smythe versus 1 Cup.
I don't think Lidstrom was cut-and-dry better defensively.

Adjusting for era, both defensemen have very similar ESGA/minutes numbers, and Lidstrom obviously did it with a far superior supporting cast.

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11-27-2012, 09:08 PM
  #247
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I don't think Lidstrom was cut-and-dry better defensively.

Adjusting for era, both defensemen have very similar ESGA/minutes numbers, and Lidstrom obviously did it with a far superior supporting cast.
This is where I just do not care about stats - I feel 100% confident, having seen close to almost every single game Lidstrom has played, in addition to a fair amount of league-wide hockey, as available to viewing, over the last thirty years, to say Lidstrom is easily the greatest defensive defenseman I have ever witnessed. I'll admit to not seeing a lot of Langway at his peak, but I feel quite rational believing Lidstrom is simply on another level than Bourque defensively, while admitting Bourque was on another level offensively.

2002 is a perfect example - I'd be shocked if you could find 1 in a 100 Red Wings fan (watching the majority of every Wings games (unlike the media))who thought Chelios was better that year than Lidstrom. It's laughable... Chelios was great, but Lidstrom was at that "perfect" play peak where as great as Chelios was, you always wanted to see Lidstrom in those critical situations, and that is fortunately how they were played.


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11-27-2012, 09:52 PM
  #248
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
2002 is a perfect example - I'd be shocked if you could find 1 in a 100 Red Wings fan (watching the majority of every Wings games (unlike the media))who thought Chelios was better that year than Lidstrom. It's laughable... Chelios was great, but Lidstrom was at that "perfect" play peak where as great as Chelios was, you always wanted to see Lidstrom in those critical situations, and that is fortunately how they were played.
Yeah, to me the 2002 voting is another strange Norris vote. Lidstrom was clearly the better player, and I don't see how Chelios could be selected as the superior defenceman.

Something that I consider important for Lidstrom is that he is the only top ten defenceman who lost a whole season due to a lockout, at least while he was still in his prime. It's likely that Lidstrom was the best defenceman in the world that year, but there really isn't anything there to look at. I'm not sure how to account for the lockout year, but it's something that puts Lidstrom at an unfair disadvantage relative to the other top defencemen.

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11-27-2012, 10:09 PM
  #249
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Talk about overreacting...
Where I said that no one believed? I mentioned Red Wings fans. They are not everyone and they don't vote for Norris. Where I'm acting like Lidstrom took 62 first place votes? I pointed out that Chelios was awesome. Lidstrom was just better. And again... those are just Norris votes. They don't tell the whole story. But keep counting them to determine the best player or the more valuable one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
2002 is a perfect example - I'd be shocked if you could find 1 in a 100 Red Wings fan (watching the majority of every Wings games (unlike the media))who thought Chelios was better that year than Lidstrom. It's laughable... Chelios was great, but Lidstrom was at that "perfect" play peak where as great as Chelios was, you always wanted to see Lidstrom in those critical situations, and that is fortunately how they were played.

I don't know if you've guys noticed where I live, but I've seen my fair share of Nicklas Lidstrom too, so you can stop using that like it's some sort of trump card.

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11-27-2012, 10:19 PM
  #250
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I don't know if you've guys noticed where I live, but I've seen my fair share of Nicklas Lidstrom too, so you can stop using that like it's some sort of trump card.
And you think Chelios was better? Seriously???

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