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

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11-26-2012, 01:22 PM
  #126
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
He should have been in that conversation in '02, '06, '07, and '08 but usually wasn't. I'm not just talking about the regular season because the playoffs should hold more weight but they don't seem to for some.
No, you clearly stated that he should have gotten more Hart Trophy votes in "several seasons where he was the most dominant and effective skater." Don't brush off a statement like that by saying that he could have "been in that conversation" if we include the playoffs in a Hart vote.

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11-26-2012, 01:28 PM
  #127
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I don't think it's a matter of deserving or not-deserving, but I definitely think that defensemen (and goalies for that matter) who are on teams with superstar forwards are at a major disadvantage when it comes to getting Hart recognition.
Probably true. It would be interesting to identify some all-time great defenseman seasons which didn't get Hart recognition and try to figure out why.

Still... Orr won three of them with Esposito. Coffey stole votes from peak-aged Gretzky, and had a high finish while on that all-time-great 1996 Wings team. Of course, Bourque nearly won it in 1990 with a peak-aged Neely on his team. Yes, it's hard to accomplish, but it has been accomplished before.

Lidstrom had Hart votes in 2000, 2001, and 2003... but not 2002. So it's hard for me to buy into this idea that he was simply being overshadowed by hype that went to his forwards. If he was good enough to have a high Hart finish, someone, anyone should have put his name on the ballot.


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

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11-26-2012, 01:34 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Pronger...
Who also received vocal support in the media for the Hart Trophy at mid-season in 2000-01 (Terry Frei, off the top of my head) and 2006-07 (ESPN) prior to his injuries in both seasons.

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11-26-2012, 01:35 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Probably true. It would be interesting to identify some all-time great defenseman seasons which didn't get Hart recognition and try to figure out why.

Still... Orr won three of them with Esposito. Coffey stole votes from peak-aged Gretzky, and had a high finish while on that all-time-great 1996 Wings team. Of course, Bourque nearly won it in 1990 with a peak-aged Neely on his team. Yes, it's hard to accomplish, but it has been accomplished before.

Lidstrom had Hart votes in 2000, 2001, and 2003... but not 2002. So it's hard for me to buy into this idea that he was simply being overshadowed by hype that went to his forwards. If he was good enough to have a high Hart finish, someone, anyone should have put his name on the ballot.
It has to be questioned for most Norris winners. If they are the best defenseman in the league and play half the game then aren't they typicaly more valuable than the top offensive forward who plays less and usually doesn't play a strong defensive game?

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11-26-2012, 01:38 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Who also received vocal support in the media for the Hart Trophy at mid-season in 2000-01 (Terry Frei, off the top of my head) and 2006-07 (ESPN) prior to his injuries in both seasons.
This happens a lot. Someone in the media starts up the hype about a player and sometimes it catches on. It happened with Blake in '98 where people in the media did their hipster routine and said "no one is talking about Blake out west, he's been great for LA". Plant that seed in other peoples minds and some end up running with it.

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11-26-2012, 01:39 PM
  #131
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't think it's a matter of deserving or not-deserving, but I definitely think that defensemen (and goalies for that matter) who are on teams with superstar forwards are at a major disadvantage when it comes to getting Hart recognition.

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

There are also era trends in Hart voting - in the 1980s, you had defensemen like Langway and Howe finishing as Hart finalists - you just don't see that in the late 90s and 00s.
Langway was certainly the Caps MVP during the '80s: They went from a perennial loser to perennial playoff contender the moment he put on a Caps sweater.

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11-26-2012, 01:41 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
It has to be questioned for most Norris winners. If they are the best defenseman in the league and play half the game then aren't they typicaly more valuable than the top offensive forward who plays less and usually doesn't play a strong defensive game?
While that might be a conversation worth having, it doesn't have any bearing on a comparison of two defensemen.

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11-26-2012, 01:41 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I didn't find Lidstrom's 2002 particularly noteworthy for him. Sort of a bland season on the obvious best team in the NHL, not as good defensively as after the lockout and not a special year offensively. Still the best defenceman in the NHL, but not all that noteworthy for a top five defenceman of all time. Lidstrom probably had more to give that year, but it wasn't needed given how strong the team was.

In the 2002 playoffs he was arguably less important than a hobbled Yzerman, on a team without a real standout player carrying the load. In 2007 Lidstrom was clearly Detroit's best player in the playoffs, but obviously he wasn't getting consideration for awards given where they finished. Lidstrom's 2008 playoffs are actually underrated, since people like to act as if Zetterberg single handedly carried Detroit and shut down Crosby. Lidstrom's defence was great in those playoffs.
You know what, I have been itching to say the same thing for a long time now but haven't because I knew how it would be received.
I too thought Yzerman was more important to the 2002 team than Lidstrom. Stevie seemed to will his team and his body to the Cup that year.
And I too also hold Lidstrom's '08 playoffs as the best of his career individually. It was this performance that officially made me decide to move Lidstrom ahead of Potvin on the all-time list.

All that said, it's still not nearly enough to move Lidstrom ahead of Bourque.
IMO, the only reason Lidstrom is close to Bourque at all is due to his playoff and team successes. Bourque dominates him in the regular season in peak height, peak length, career length and years as a top 4 D-man. Like it's not even close kinda dominates.
I keep seeing these arguments saying their regular seasons are close and that Lidstrom's playoffs push him over. I'm sorry but that's simply not true at all. All Lidstrom's playoffs do is make up some of the huge regular season gap and it's not nearly enough.

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11-26-2012, 01:43 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Pronger...
Perfect storm. First off, Pronger was very good, but there were also:
  • a weak season by forwards and goaltenders in the league
  • The best forward in the league was injured 1/4 of the season (and still only lost the Hart by 1 vote - 396-395
  • Pronger's team success was a surprise
  • The Blues had a lot of depth, but Pronger was the best player on the team
  • A media push to finally give Hart recognition to a defenseman

I've posted this before, but here are the Hart voting Top 5 finishes for defensemen since expansion:

1967-68 4) Bobby Orr
1968-69 3) Bobby Orr
1969-70 1) Bobby Orr 5) Brad Park
1970-71 1) Bobby Orr
1971-72 1) Bobby Orr
1972-73 3) Bobby Orr
1973-74 3) Bobby Orr
1974-75 3) Bobby Orr
1975-76 2) Denis Potvin 5) Brad Park
1976-77 4) Borje Salming 5) Larry Robinson
1977-78 5) Brad Park
1978-79 4) Denis Potvin
1979-80 none
1980-81 none
1981-82 none
1982-83 4) Rod Langway 5) Mark Howe
1983-84 2) Rod Langway 5) Ray Bourque
1984-85 4) Rod Langway 5) Ray Bourque
1985-86 3) Mark Howe 4) Paul Coffey
1986-87 2) Ray Bourque
1987-88 none
1988-89 none
1989-90 2) Ray Bourque
1990-91 4) Ray Bourque
1991-92 none
1992-93 none
1993-94 none
1994-95 4) Paul Coffey
1995-96 none
1996-97 none
1997-98 none
1998-99 none
1999-00 1) Chris Pronger
2000-01 none
2001-02 none
2002-03 none
2003-04 none
2004-05 lockout
2005-06 none
2006-07 none
2007-08 4) Nicklas Lidstrom
2008-09 none
2009-10 none
2010-11 none

I really don't understand how anyone can use lack of Hart recognition against Lidstrom when the standards have so obviously changed. But credit to Bourque for being the only defenseman to get Hart recognition in the late 80s/early 90s. I still don't think the situations are comparable.

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11-26-2012, 01:46 PM
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Norris trophy shares - 1989-90 to 1998-99

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

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

I realize that this only includes the regular season, and Leetch likely makes up some ground taking the playoffs into account, but Bourque remains the best defenseman by a wide margin.
You wouldn't happen to have Lidstrom's Norris shares for 99/00-08/09 handy?
Would love to see if he even comes close to Bourque's total and I already know what the competition on such a list would look like compared to the above heh.

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11-26-2012, 02:22 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I really don't understand how anyone can use lack of Hart recognition against Lidstrom when the standards have so obviously changed.
Honestly, I'm not sure the standards have changed all that much.

We agree that Langway was a more of an MVP type than a Norris type, right? I mean, the guy made a night-and-day difference to his organization in a way that few players have ever paralleled. And we all agree, I hope, that Bourque was similarly important to the Bruins.

So strike those two guys from the list and what do you have since the WHA merger? A couple of token nods to Coffey and Howe, then many years later a "perfect storm" win by Pronger and a nod to Lidstrom.

It seems to me that the standard has been pretty much the same, that defensemen just don't get a whole lot of consideration at all except for the occasional 4th-place finish after a particularly strong year. The record is skewed by Langway and Bourque, both of whom went above and beyond having a good season and got into the realm of changing the entire direction of their organizations.

And we should note that Langway got that recognition by putting up virtually zero offense, so out the window goes the "flashy players" theory.

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11-26-2012, 02:25 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You wouldn't happen to have Lidstrom's Norris shares for 99/00-08/09 handy?
Would love to see if he even comes close to Bourque's total and I already know what the competition on such a list would look like compared to the above heh.
Norris votes, 2000-2009

DefensemanNorris share
Nicklas Lidstrom 674
Scott Niedermayer 224
Zdeno Chara 208
Chris Pronger 197
Rob Blake 136
Sergei Gonchar 112
Al MacInnis 90
Chris Chelios 79
Mike Green 78
Dion Phaneuf 55


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-26-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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11-26-2012, 02:25 PM
  #138
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Honestly, I'm not sure the standards have changed all that much.

We agree that Langway was a more of an MVP type than a Norris type, right? I mean, the guy made a night-and-day difference to his organization in a way that few players have ever paralleled. And we all agree, I hope, that Bourque was similarly important to the Bruins.

So strike those two guys from the list and what do you have since the WHA merger? A couple of token nods to Coffey and Howe, then many years later a "perfect storm" win by Pronger and a nod to Lidstrom.

It seems to me that the standard has been pretty much the same, that defensemen just don't get a whole lot of consideration at all except for the occasional 4th-place finish after a particularly strong year. The record is skewed by Langway and Bourque, both of whom went above and beyond having a good season and got into the realm of changing the entire direction of their organizations.

And we should note that Langway got that recognition by putting up virtually zero offense, so out the window goes the "flashy players" theory.
This is a good point.

But on the other hand, can Hart voting really be proof that Bourque had a better peak than Lidstrom? Because if you are using Hart voting for defensemen as a proxy for peak, then wouldn't Langway and Howe have also peaked higher than Lidstrom? In fact, based on Hart voting, it looks like Langway (2nd to Gretzky) peaked as high as Bourque (effectively tied with Messier for 1st). And I don't think many people actually believe that.

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11-26-2012, 02:29 PM
  #139
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You know what, I have been itching to say the same thing for a long time now but haven't because I knew how it would be received.
I too thought Yzerman was more important to the 2002 team than Lidstrom. Stevie seemed to will his team and his body to the Cup that year.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Yzerman and how he played in '02 despite playing on one leg but you are getting sentimental here. Yzerman played right wing on a line with Fedorov centering and Shanahan on left wing. Bowman did this because Fedorov was flying and did most of the "heavy lifting" in terms of covering the ice. As heroic as Yzerman was this is because Yzerman couldn't get around well enough on one leg to play centre or carry a line.

I never really cared who won the Conn Smythe when my team won because I was just happy to see them win. In hindsight though, I'm glad they didn't give it to Yzerman for sentimental reasons because he was not as good as Lidstrom was. Lidstrom played 10 more minutes per game than Yzerman on average and logged an incredible 52:03 in the triple OT game.

I think, based on play Fedorov would have been the second skater in line for the Smythe. Hasek and Yzerman were in the conversation but a little behind those two. All great performances of course.

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11-26-2012, 02:36 PM
  #140
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is a good point.

But on the other hand, can Hart voting really be proof that Bourque had a better peak than Lidstrom? Because if you are using Hart voting for defensemen as a proxy for peak, then wouldn't Langway and Howe have also peaked higher than Lidstrom? In fact, based on Hart voting, it looks like Langway (2nd to Gretzky) peaked as high as Bourque (effectively tied with Messier for 1st). And I don't think many people actually believe that.
Why not?
Langway peaked very highly on the defensive side of the game. I've been saying this forever. Enough that he even got recognition of it in the form of a First Team All-star Internationally in the '84 Canada Cup on a USA team that didn't even make the finals.
His peak length isn't in Lidstrom's territory or especially Bourque's but the height was indeed there.
That he was able to do this during the height of 80's run and gun scoring when defensive systems were almost non-existent to basic at best for the most part compared to the last 20 years, is just incredible to me.

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11-26-2012, 02:37 PM
  #141
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is a good point.

But on the other hand, can Hart voting really be proof that Bourque had a better peak than Lidstrom? Because if you are using Hart voting for defensemen as a proxy for peak, then wouldn't Langway and Howe have also peaked higher than Lidstrom? In fact, based on Hart voting, it looks like Langway (2nd to Gretzky) peaked as high as Bourque (effectively tied with Messier for 1st). And I don't think many people actually believe that.
Interesting question. It would certainly seem that Hart =/= best when it comes to defensemen (and probably goalies too...). Hart votes seem to go to guys who were not just Norris winners, but also brought an extra "oomph" that put their teams over the top. But there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to it, with defense-first guys like Langway and Lidstrom getting recognition along with 4th-forward guys like Coffey and Howe. Some were on crummy teams, some were on great teams.

I'm not sure what to make of it, TBH. The explanation that makes the most sense to me is that Langway was simply a one-off phenomenon (edit: a phenomenon in the sense that R71 describes above, not in the sense of a voting irregularity) and the rest of the results were reasonably indicative of performance. Obviously that's an interpretation that favors Bourque, but I don't see a good reason to think his perennial Hart consideration wasn't linked to perennial superiority over the rest of the pack.

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11-26-2012, 02:41 PM
  #142
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Blindly counting Hart votes is just as "smart" as counting Norris Trophies. Actually, it's even worse.

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11-26-2012, 02:52 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Don't get me wrong, I loved Yzerman and how he played in '02 despite playing on one leg but you are getting sentimental here. Yzerman played right wing on a line with Fedorov centering and Shanahan on left wing. Bowman did this because Fedorov was flying and did most of the "heavy lifting" in terms of covering the ice. As heroic as Yzerman was this is because Yzerman couldn't get around well enough on one leg to play centre or carry a line.

I never really cared who won the Conn Smythe when my team won because I was just happy to see them win. In hindsight though, I'm glad they didn't give it to Yzerman for sentimental reasons because he was not as good as Lidstrom was. Lidstrom played 10 more minutes per game than Yzerman on average and logged an incredible 52:03 in the triple OT game.

I think, based on play Fedorov would have been the second skater in line for the Smythe. Hasek and Yzerman were in the conversation but a little behind those two. All great performances of course.
Yzerman still logged more SH time than Fedorov did that year and was all but unbeatable in the faceoff circle at almost 60% winning 9 more faceoff than Fedorov despite taking almost 60 less than him total.
And while 31 mins a game might be impressive, it pales in comparison to the minutes Bourque logged in his prime, especially in the playoffs.
Even as a 40 year old with the Av's, Bourque logged 28.5 mins a game in '01 and almost 30 in '00.
He logged a hell of a lot more than that in the late 80's/early 90's with the Bruins. Easily 40+ a night in non OT games.
I would watch Habs/Bruins series back then and it seemed like Bourque was always on the ice.
There was a game in the '92 Habs/Bruins series that I still have on VHS somewhere where they brought up minutes played so far in the game just before the 3rd period started and Bourque was already pushing 31 minutes. Crazy to say the least. The next closest was Desjardins for the Habs at 17.

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11-26-2012, 02:55 PM
  #144
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Why not?
Langway peaked very highly on the defensive side of the game. I've been saying this forever. Enough that he even got recognition of it in the form of a First Team All-star Internationally in the '84 Canada Cup on a USA team that didn't even make the finals.
His peak length isn't in Lidstrom's territory or especially Bourque's but the height was indeed there.
That he was able to do this during the height of 80's run and gun scoring when defensive systems were almost non-existent to basic at best for the most part compared to the last 20 years, is just incredible to me.
Prime Bourque was tripling prime Langway in point production. Do you think prime Langway had triple the defensive value of prime Bourque?

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11-26-2012, 02:57 PM
  #145
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Yzerman still logged more SH time than Fedorov did that year and was all but unbeatable in the faceoff circle at almost 60% winning 9 more faceoff than Fedorov despite taking almost 60 less than him total.
And while 31 mins a game might be impressive, it pales in comparison to the minutes Bourque logged in his prime, especially in the playoffs.
Even as a 40 year old with the Av's, Bourque logged 28.5 mins a game in '01 and almost 30 in '00.
He logged a hell of a lot more than that in the late 80's/early 90's with the Bruins. Easily 40+ a night in non OT games.
I would watch Habs/Bruins series back then and it seemed like Bourque was always on the ice.
There was a game in the '92 Habs/Bruins series that I still have on VHS somewhere where they brought up minutes played so far in the game just before the 3rd period started and Bourque was already pushing 31 minutes. Crazy to say the least.
The trend since the 80s has been for star players to see their ice time reduced. So you are basically giving Bourque extra credit for playing in the 1980s.

Not to mention, absolute ice time is partly a function of who the other options are.

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11-26-2012, 03:04 PM
  #146
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Blindly counting Hart votes is just as "smart" as counting Norris Trophies. Actually, it's even worse.
I agree.

Please, get us started in picking apart the reasons for each of those voting results. Let's see who deserved their results more.

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11-26-2012, 03:05 PM
  #147
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Prime Bourque was tripling prime Langway in point production. Do you think prime Langway had triple the defensive value of prime Bourque?
Of course not but Langway's defensive play back then was head and shoulders above anything I have seen since, Lidstrom included.
I have never seen a player dominate an entire game defensively like Langway did for a 4-6 year stretch. Seriously, take Lidstrom, add a longer reach, 30 lbs and a physical game that could rival Stevens or Potvin anytime he wanted.
And the criteria for the Hart is not supposed to be who is the best player, it's supposed to be who was the most valuable to his team.
On that front, Langway was just as important to the Caps as Bourque was to the Bruins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The trend since the 80s has been for star players to see their ice time reduced. So you are basically giving Bourque extra credit for playing in the 1980s.

Not to mention, absolute ice time is partly a function of who the other options are.
Even so, Bourque still playing upwards of 30 mins a game at 40 surely shows that he would have played even more minutes when he was younger, no matter the trend or year.
The most Lidstrom logged once he hit 40 was 26 mins in '10, followed by around 21 mins in each of '11 and '12.


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11-26-2012, 03:32 PM
  #148
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Why not?
Langway peaked very highly on the defensive side of the game. I've been saying this forever. Enough that he even got recognition of it in the form of a First Team All-star Internationally in the '84 Canada Cup on a USA team that didn't even make the finals.
His peak length isn't in Lidstrom's territory or especially Bourque's but the height was indeed there.
That he was able to do this during the height of 80's run and gun scoring when defensive systems were almost non-existent to basic at best for the most part compared to the last 20 years, is just incredible to me.
I wouldn't even consider Langway's peak as being close to Lidstrom or Bourque. Any defensive edge is minimal, if it even exists, and his offensive contributions are several levels below what they did.

For all the hand wringing about Blake's Norris over Lidstrom in 98, I think that Bourque losing to Langway in 1984 was far, far worse.

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11-26-2012, 04:02 PM
  #149
Rhiessan71
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I wouldn't even consider Langway's peak as being close to Lidstrom or Bourque. Any defensive edge is minimal, if it even exists, and his offensive contributions are several levels below what they did.
The defensive edge is hardly minimal IMO but I agree, Langway doesn't come close to matching Bourque in even strength or PP scoring and doesn't match Lidstrom for PP scoring.

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For all the hand wringing about Blake's Norris over Lidstrom in 98, I think that Bourque losing to Langway in 1984 was far, far worse.
You might have a case there but Washington went from being a horrible 65 point team allowing 338GA before Langway got there to a 94 point team allowing 283GA in Rod's first year ('83), to a 101 point team only allowing 226GA (a massive 31 goals better than second place) in '84.
That's better than the league average today and this was in the 3rd highest scoring year in the 80's.
You might be right though, Langway maybe should have had a better case for the Hart than he did for the Norris that year.

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Old
11-26-2012, 04:43 PM
  #150
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Of course not but Langway's defensive play back then was head and shoulders above anything I have seen since, Lidstrom included.
I have never seen a player dominate an entire game defensively like Langway did for a 4-6 year stretch. Seriously, take Lidstrom, add a longer reach, 30 lbs and a physical game that could rival Stevens or Potvin anytime he wanted.
And the criteria for the Hart is not supposed to be who is the best player, it's supposed to be who was the most valuable to his team.
On that front, Langway was just as important to the Caps as Bourque was to the Bruins.
Bolded is my exact point! Using Hart trophy voting as a proxy for the quality of a player's season is misguided from the start. At least when talking about defensemen and goalies, where the "most valuable" criteria is still applicable.

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Even so, Bourque still playing upwards of 30 mins a game at 40 surely shows that he would have played even more minutes when he was younger, no matter the trend or year.
The most Lidstrom logged once he hit 40 was 26 mins in '10, followed by around 21 mins in each of '11 and '12.
Clear hyperbole.

Bourque's ATOI regular season

1998-99 (age 38): 29:31
1999-00 (age 39): 27:11
2000-01 (age 40): 26:06

Bourque's ATOI playoffs

1998-99: 32:05
1999-00: 29:38
2000-01: 28:32

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