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Lidstrom vs. Harvey for #2 Dman of all time?

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06-23-2011, 12:51 AM
  #1
Sticks and Pucks
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Lidstrom vs. Harvey for #2 Dman of all time?

So now that Lidstrom has his seventh Norris, he ties Doug Harvey in that category. He also tied Harvey with 10 First Team All Star selections. With respect to guys like Bourque and Coffey, I would say it has to be between Lidstrom and Harvey for second all time behind Bobby Orr. Who would you guys choose? I would personally say Lidstrom because he has so much more competition in this era. Harvey played in the Original Six era where there wasn't as many people playing hockey back then whereas Lidstrom is playing in a 30 team league. Your thoughts?

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06-23-2011, 12:55 AM
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Ray Bourque and Eddie Shore also need to be included in any serious discussion about the #2 defenseman of all time

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06-23-2011, 01:05 AM
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Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting. And this is against a class of defensemen universally regarded as an easy one to earn awards recognition in.

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06-23-2011, 01:22 AM
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Lidstrom clearly won this on reputation. Lidstrom has taken a serious step back this season defensively and it was illustrated by Babcock’s reluctance to play Lidstrom on the penalty kill.

During the playoffs Lidstrom averaged 0:29 SHTOI, only Rafalski played fewer. Lidstrom was third during the regular season behind Kronwall and Stuart but this has been normal for him in the past. Even during some of his prime seasons Lidstrom was second in SHTOI during the regular season but in the playoffs was always number one. Only averaging 29 seconds a game this playoff should illustrate how far his defensive game has fallen from a statistical stand point.

I have heard the excuse all season that it was his defensive partners fault Lidstrom had a low plus minus and why he seemed worse. Watching Lidstrom play you know he has lost a step speed wise so playing his positional defence is not as effective as it once was. I think people will look back at this Norris and consider it one of the weakest Norris fields of all time.

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06-23-2011, 01:35 AM
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Eddie Shore says hello.

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06-23-2011, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting. And this is against a class of defensemen universally regarded as an easy one to earn awards recognition in.
What if you shuold start to count Cups and Conn Smythe as well? And an Olympic gold medal game winning goal should be beneficial.

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06-23-2011, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by finchster View Post
Lidstrom clearly won this on reputation. Lidstrom has taken a serious step back this season defensively and it was illustrated by Babcock’s reluctance to play Lidstrom on the penalty kill.

During the playoffs Lidstrom averaged 0:29 SHTOI, only Rafalski played fewer. Lidstrom was third during the regular season behind Kronwall and Stuart but this has been normal for him in the past. Even during some of his prime seasons Lidstrom was second in SHTOI during the regular season but in the playoffs was always number one. Only averaging 29 seconds a game this playoff should illustrate how far his defensive game has fallen from a statistical stand point.

I have heard the excuse all season that it was his defensive partners fault Lidstrom had a low plus minus and why he seemed worse. Watching Lidstrom play you know he has lost a step speed wise so playing his positional defence is not as effective as it once was. I think people will look back at this Norris and consider it one of the weakest Norris fields of all time.
Lidstrom was a step down but every bit as deserving as any other defenseman this year. And using the playoffs as a reason to downplay his most recent season is a poor move. Lidstrom was incredible in the playoffs.

He's old, he'll be playing less PK timein the future, but not last year where he had very respectable PK minutes and lined up against the other teams' best on a consistent basis.

Besides, Lidstrom could have just as easily won the Norris in '98, '05 and '09.

He's not better or worse than Bourque or Harvey based solely on the number of Norrises be has won. I consider Harvey/Bourque/Lidstrom/Shore all legitimate #2s, and flip-flop my positions pretty regularly (I had Shore as #2 for a long time and now have him at #4).

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06-23-2011, 02:04 AM
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I don't think that number of Norris Trophies is a good indicator, but on the other hand Lidstrom can easily be considered 2nd best defenseman of all time. And IMHO he will be, at least in most of the media.

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06-23-2011, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Lidstrom was a step down but every bit as deserving as any other defenseman this year. And using the playoffs as a reason to downplay his most recent season is a poor move. Lidstrom was incredible in the playoffs.
As good as he looked Lidstrom was sheltered. Lidstrom averaged 21:49 minutes a night during the playoffs. Playing 22 minutes a night isn’t impressive and it is far easier to look good playing fewer minutes a night while playing in the same offensive situations.

I would have given the award to Weber and the close voting reflects many felt the same (just nine points lower), but Lidstrom’s reputation put him over the top more so than his play.

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06-23-2011, 04:10 AM
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Lidstrom getting the Norris is testament to the fact that no other D-man had a truly outstanding season. In absence of an obvious choice the voters reverted to the mean which still is Lidstrom.

All-time there isn't a whole lot between Lidstrom, Harvey, Shore, Potvin, Bourque and Robinson IMO.

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06-23-2011, 05:02 AM
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The way I see, Bourque is still ahead of Lidström. Longveity is close, but I think Bourques peak value is worth more than Lidstrom's stronger playoff portfolio. I do not think Lidstrom can pass Ray either - I'm guessing it would take another fine season and a Conn Smythe-worthy playoff.

Lidstrom will become a bit overrated because of his trophy case... I would rank him 4th all time, behind Orr, Harvey and Bourque. (Yes, I have Shore at 5th. I value defense more than offense from d-men.)

By the way: isn't it harder to be a great defenceman on a bad team than on a good one (compared to have hard it is to be a forward on a bad one)? My thinking is that defense is much more team dependent. It's also harder to see in stats, while an elite forward on a bottom team still can put up elite point totals.

That would be a point in favour of Bourque.

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06-23-2011, 06:32 AM
  #12
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Lidstrom clearly won this on reputation.
To be fair, this is how life and the NHL in general work. How many Norris votes/wins did Lidstrom lose out on when he first started to become elite because the other late career greats were getting reputation votes? Now it's Lidstrom's time to see SOME benefit from this natural happening. Someday the Shea Webbers *or insert player here* of the world will be getting the same benefit even if he doesn't get it now.

And if you're going to use this against Lidstrom, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that guys like Shore, Orr, and Harvey didn't get SOME votes later in their career because of who they were. So, if all greats get this advantage, it's not an advantage anymore when you compare great against great because they all benefited from it. Unless, you're arguing that Lidstrom had some sort of statistically significant advantage above even other greats in this regard. If anything, I would argue that it would be even more advantageous in a 6, 12, 17 or what ever team league compared to today when there's 30 teams of competition.

Quote:
By the way: isn't it harder to be a great defenceman on a bad team than on a good one (compared to have hard it is to be a forward on a bad one)? My thinking is that defense is much more team dependent. It's also harder to see in stats, while an elite forward on a bottom team still can put up elite point totals.
You're right of course. However, I'm of the opinion that I will never down play a person's acomplishments because of who they play with. Great players generally play on great teams. I don't look down on Roy because he had guys like Sakic and Foresberg in front of him, and I won't look down on Yzermans accomplishments because he has Shanny and Fedorov. Do we think less of the great one's play because he had Coffey and Messier? Or less of the Rocket? Or less of Howe? We could argue all day that those great players were made great because they had greatness a round them, or you could argue they made those around them greater. There's truth to both camps of course, but I would rather just evaluate what's ACTUALLY there.

Quote:
Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting.
I'd take the 7 wins over 5 any day. Although, I'm assuming what you are getting at is that competition was steeper in certain years for Bourque? So basically a 2nd place in that year could theoretically be more meaningful than a 1st place in a weaker year? Correct me if I'm interpreting what you said wrong.

But again, that type of advantage is wiped out over time with variance. For example, some Wings teams lost in the playoffs because there were 3 or 4 STRONG elite level teams, whereas they could have easily won a title had they had the same team in a weaker year.

Quote:
As good as he looked Lidstrom was sheltered this year. Lidstrom averaged 21:49 minutes a night during the playoffs. Playing 22 minutes a night isn’t impressive and it is far easier to look good playing fewer minutes a night while playing in the same offensive situations.
Lidstrom is like 40 or 41 years old and Babcock is trying to keep wear and tear down. If you're going to say he has an advantage by playing less minutes, does he get a boost for the years where he played tons and tons of minutes and was at a "disadvantage" in his play?

I'm more impressed than ever of Lidstrom that he is still good to great at this age. Sure he's lost a step, but he's still worthy of a Norris, and I don't think that it was entirely based on reputation.


Edit: I will also say just to clarify that I'm relatively young (22) so I only saw the tail end of Ray's career, and I didn't see anything of guys like Shore, Harvey, or Orr. I won't sit here and say Lidstrom is better than them, but that I'm just happy that Lidstrom is in the discussion of top 5, regaurdless of where individuals have him in his or her list. However, I will say that Lidstrom is the best defenseman of my lifetime.


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06-23-2011, 06:49 AM
  #13
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Eddie Shore says hello.
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We thought you were dead!

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06-23-2011, 06:54 AM
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Level of Competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting. And this is against a class of defensemen universally regarded as an easy one to earn awards recognition in.
Seventieslord is correct but the level of competition has to be considered throughout the league and by position.

PNEP's 2010-11 AS voting tables:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=930781

Show the following:

By Team
9 out of the 30 teams did not have any players that received AS consideration - Colorado, Columbus,Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota,New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa,Toronto,

4 of the 30 teams had only one player receiving AS consideration - Calgary, Montreal, St. Louis, Washington.

By Position
Goalie - only 10 out of 30 teams had goalies receiving AS consideration.
Defense - only 13 of 30 teams had dmen receiving AS consideration
Center - only 9 out of 30 teams had centers receiving AS consideration.
RW - only 7 of 30 teams had RWs receiving AS consideration.
LW - only 10 out of the 30 teams had LWs receiving AS consideration.

The depth of talent in the NHL is very low. How many games or shifts is a player like Lidstrom challenged by AS quality players?

O6 era dmen would be challenged by AS quality players every game. Today the NHL is far from that level and drifting further away every season.

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06-23-2011, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
By Position
Goalie - only 10 out of 30 teams had goalies receiving AS consideration.
Defense - only 13 of 30 teams had dmen receiving AS consideration
Center - only 9 out of 30 teams had centers receiving AS consideration.
RW - only 7 of 30 teams had RWs receiving AS consideration.
LW - only 10 out of the 30 teams had LWs receiving AS consideration.

The depth of talent in the NHL is very low. How many games or shifts is a player like Lidstrom challenged by AS quality players?

O6 era dmen would be challenged by AS quality players every game. Today the NHL is far from that level and drifting further away every season.
You MIGHT have a point. However, you're going by raw numbers. I think it would be more valuable to look at in percentages.

For example, you say today that 10/30 goalies are considered for all-star consideration. That's 33%. Say in original 6 days, 2 of the 6 were AS consideration. That's still 33%. Perhaps it's the same situation when spread to LW, RW, ect. You must also acknowledge that 6 teams isn't a large sample, so proportions will easily be thrown off by just 1 more player.

Say back then you had 1000 people realistically competiting for those 6 goalie starting spots, today maybe there's 10,000 competing for the 30 spots in the NHL. It could all be in proportion. I will say this that larger pools of people means the people that actually make the show have been hardened by more competition.


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06-23-2011, 07:52 AM
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I consider Nicklas Lidstrom to be no better now than I did last week, because I already saw enough hockey from the 2011 Regular Season to have made a fair assessment as to what it added to his career. I don't rely on the media in June to tell me how good a player was from October-April, if I have seen it with my own eyes.

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06-23-2011, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Seventieslord is correct but the level of competition has to be considered throughout the league and by position.

PNEP's 2010-11 AS voting tables:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=930781

Show the following:

By Team
9 out of the 30 teams did not have any players that received AS consideration - Colorado, Columbus,Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota,New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa,Toronto,

4 of the 30 teams had only one player receiving AS consideration - Calgary, Montreal, St. Louis, Washington.

By Position
Goalie - only 10 out of 30 teams had goalies receiving AS consideration.
Defense - only 13 of 30 teams had dmen receiving AS consideration
Center - only 9 out of 30 teams had centers receiving AS consideration.
RW - only 7 of 30 teams had RWs receiving AS consideration.
LW - only 10 out of the 30 teams had LWs receiving AS consideration.

The depth of talent in the NHL is very low. How many games or shifts is a player like Lidstrom challenged by AS quality players?

O6 era dmen would be challenged by AS quality players every game. Today the NHL is far from that level and drifting further away every season.
When you put some context to your theory you realize the NHL is now an international league and the number of people playing hockey now has grown exponentially since the O6. Therefore Lidstrom has to face tougher and better competition overall than someone would in the O6 when there were really only Canadians playing in the league at a time when the country only had approximately 21,000,000 people. Things have changed so much, but all logic points towards it being tougher to stand out now due to this.

The population explosion and growth of hockey in countries not named Canada has more than made up for expansion in the NHL.

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06-23-2011, 07:57 AM
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I think by now even the naysayers have to start giving Lidstrom credit.

As to who is #2 all time.. a case could be made for any of Lidstrom, Bourque, Harvey, Shore and probably a few others.

Lidstrom's career resume is almost certainly the most well rounded out of them all. He's done it all, and he has been the main constant during the Red Wings success over the last 15+ years.

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06-23-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting. And this is against a class of defensemen universally regarded as an easy one to earn awards recognition in.
Agreed. Maybe if Lidstrom can somehow win another Norris coupled with a deep playoff run then it's possible. I still think Bourque was better, not by much - but enough to definitively put him a spot ahead of Lidstrom for now.

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06-23-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Ray Bourque and Eddie Shore also need to be included in any serious discussion about the #2 defenseman of all time
Agreed. The deeper I dig into this subject (and the further Lidstrom builds up his legacy), the more I see it as a pool of 4-6 guys all well below Orr and all on a similar level to the point where it's not impossible or even unreasonable to argue for any of them.

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06-23-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Let's not get carried away with Lidstrom over Bourque here. He has two more norris trophies, but fewer top-2s, top-3s, top-4s, and top-5s in voting. And this is against a class of defensemen universally regarded as an easy one to earn awards recognition in.
Lidstrom is also one of the very few and easily the most important common denominator on 4 cup winners, he captained a cup winner, and won a Conn Smythe.

Furthermore, while I agree that Bourque faced a tougher class of top defensemen at his peak, lets not try and pretend that Lidstrom and Bourque were not facing the same competition for half their careers that overlapped.

On the other hand, Bourque could have won a Hart. On the other hand there is definite bias towards forwards for the Hart during the majority of Lidstrom's career.

There are a lot of other hands so lets not try and pretend it is all cut and dry. People have been using the same arguments against Lidstrom regarding Bourque for 2-3 Norris wins and a couple Stanley Cups now.. how much more does the guy have to do?

To me there are arguments to be made for several defensemen in those 2 to maybe 7 spots.

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06-23-2011, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Lidstrom is also one of the very few and easily the most important common denominator on 4 cup winners, he captained a cup winner, and won a Conn Smythe.

Furthermore, while I agree that Bourque faced a tougher class of top defensemen at his peak, lets not try and pretend that Lidstrom and Bourque were not facing the same competition for half their careers that overlapped.

On the other hand, Bourque could have won a Hart. On the other hand there is definite bias towards forwards for the Hart during the majority of Lidstrom's career.

There are a lot of other hands so lets not try and pretend it is all cut and dry. People have been using the same arguments against Lidstrom regarding Bourque for 2-3 Norris wins and a couple Stanley Cups now.. how much more does the guy have to do?
For me, Lidstrom would've had to have peaked higher and played better before Konstantinov was hurt. Winning a Norris by 9 points over Shea Weber doesn't remedy this.

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06-23-2011, 08:23 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Lidstrom would've had to have peaked higher
In 2002, he had a Norris and a Conn Smythe on a stacked Red Wings Cup team. How much more of a peak do you need?

Quote:
and played better before Konstantinov was hurt.
Lidstrom was 27 when Konstantinov suffered his accident. I thought it was pretty standard for defenseman to take longer to mature and become elite. So, it's no surprise that he wasn't dominating yet at 24...25..26..

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06-23-2011, 08:31 AM
  #24
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Originally Posted by 5lidyzer19 View Post
In 2002, he had a Norris and a Conn Smythe on a stacked Red Wings Cup team. How much more of a peak do you need?
Being as good or better than Iginla, Roy, Theodore, Burke, or Shanahan that year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 5lidyzer19
Lidstrom was 27 when Konstantinov suffered his accident. I thought it was pretty standard for defenseman to take longer to mature and become elite. So, it's no surprise that he wasn't dominating yet at 24...25..26..
If we're comparing him to a higher standard of defensemen, then we have to hold him to that higher standard.

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06-23-2011, 08:32 AM
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Suppositions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5lidyzer19 View Post
You MIGHT have a point. However, you're going by raw numbers. I think it would be more valuable to look at in percentages.

For example, you say today that 10/30 goalies are considered for all-star consideration. That's 33%. Say in original 6 days, 2 of the 6 were AS consideration. That's still 33%. Perhaps it's the same situation when spread to LW, RW, ect. You must also acknowledge that 6 teams isn't a large sample, so proportions will easily be thrown off by just 1 more player.

Say back then you had 1000 people realistically competiting for those 6 goalie starting spots, today maybe there's 10,000 competing for the 30 spots in the NHL. It could all be in proportion. I will say this that larger pools of people means the people that actually make the show have been hardened by more competition.
Your suppositions have to rank amongst the weakest bluffs I have ever seen. A little research would show the following:

1939 All Star Voting

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=145895&page=17

post #403. You have extensive breakdowns for 1st and 2nd team voting plus the voting looked at right and left dmen as separate positions

5 out of the 7 starting goalies received AST votes, extrapolating to 2011 this means app 20-21 goalies out of 30 teams would have to receive AST votes.

8 centers amongst 7 teams received AST votes, extrapolating to 2011 this means app 32-33 centers out of 30 teams would have to receive AST votes.

and so forth.

1966 All Star Voting

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=145895&page=12

5 out of the 6 starting goalies received AST votes. Extrapolating to 2011 this would be 25 out of 30 goalies receiving votes.

19 dmen amongst 6 teams received AST votes. Extrapolating to 2011 this would be 95 dmen receiving AST votes.

7 centers amongst 6 teams received AST votes. Extrapolating to 2011 this would be 35 centers receiving AST votes.

10 LW amongst 6 teams received AST votes. Extrapolating to 2011 this would be 50 LWs receiving AST votes.

6 RW amongst 6 teams received AST votes. Extrapolating to 2011 this would be 30 RWs receiving AST votes.

Further more, neither in the 1939 nor in the 1966 voting did a team get shutout in AST voting like 9 did in 2011 and every team had at least two players receiving AST votes whereas in 2011 13 teams did not even reach this level.

The level of competition game in, game out or shift after shift was higher, deeper and broader in other eras than it is today.

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