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Hockeytown12

Lidstrom leads Red Wings up for awards

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I thought something new to talk about would be nice.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has no doubt that Nicklas Lidstrom would win the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman if voting were held today, based on his entire body of work, regular season and playoffs.

But since balloting is based only on the regular season, Lidstrom's three-year Norris winning streak, as well as his bid to win the award for a seventh time, is in jeopardy.

Washington's Mike Green and Boston's Zdeno Chara pose a strong challenge.

Lidstrom is among three Red Wings up for hardware at Thursday night's NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.

Pavel Datsyuk is a finalist for the Hart Trophy (MVP), the Selke (best defensive forward) and the Lady Byng (sportsmanship). Chris Chelios was nominated for the Masterton Trophy (dedication, perseverance).

After a slow start this season, by his standards, Lidstrom finished strong. His 59 points were tied for third among defensemen, and his plus-31 rating was third among blue-liners.

Green led all defensemen with 31 goals and 73 points.

"Nick closed the gap. Did he close the gap enough to win the Norris?" Holland said. "Some get more points, some get more highlight-reel plays, some are more physical. The one advantage he has is he's the complete package at both ends of the rink.

"It's no coincidence that we've never missed the playoffs with Nicklas Lidstrom in uniform."

Only Bobby Orr (eight) and Doug Harvey (seven) have won the Norris more often than Lidstrom.

Datsyuk is the first Red Wings player to be nominated for the Hart since 1994, when Sergei Fedorov won the award.

But Holland noted Datsyuk is in a "tough class" with Washington's Alex Ovechkin, last year's winner who led the league with 56 goals and was second with 110 points, and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer with 113 points.

Datsyuk scored a career-high 32 goals and matched last season's career-best total of 97 points.

"He deserves to win the Hart, but given all the media hype and the statistics of the other two guys, Pav would surprise me to win," Holland said. "I'd like to think he's going to win the other two awards."

Datsyuk, last year's Selke winner, ranked third in the league in plus-minus rating (plus-34) and was second to Malkin in takeaways (89). He is competing with Mike Richards of Philadelphia and Ryan Kesler of Vancouver.

Datsyuk also is trying to become just the second player to win the Lady Byng three years in a row, joining Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers (1933-35). The other Byng finalists are Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay and Zach Parise of New Jersey.

At 47, Chelios is the second-oldest player in NHL history (Gordie Howe played at 52) and embodies dedication and perseverance.

"It's amazing what he's done at the age of 47 and still competing," Holland said. "To play in the NHL at 47, it's a year-round commitment. You can't just show up a week before training camp and think you're going to play."

Holland expects to meet with Chelios shortly to discuss the veteran defenseman's future. The club is not expected to re-sign Chelios, who says he has no plans to retire and hopes to sign with another team.

The other Masterton finalists are Richard Zednik of Florida and Steve Sullivan of Nashville.

Zednik had his external carotid artery cut from teammate Olli Jokinen's skate blade in a game last season. Sullivan missed half of this season and all of 2007-08 with a back injury.

MLive

Edited by Hockeytown12

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Unfortunately i don't see Lids winning the Norris this year. If his streak has to end then i would much rather it be broken by Chara. Mainly because he is the only other dman up for it from what i can see :P

I have a bad feeling Green will get it though. Don't get me wrong he had a great year, but it doesn't seem like he should get any kind of defensive award.

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When I think of best defensman in the league, Green honestly doesn't come to mind. In fact, if the media didn't hype out his offensive knack (which don't get me wrong, is definitely impressive) I wouldn't even know whether he was one of Washinton's top defensman or a 5th/6th dman.

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Waaaaaaiiiiit a minute here...

Green's a defensemen? NOWAI!!

At this point, I just want Pavel to win everything so we're treated to his multiple award acceptance speeches. They are magical :wub:

Edited by EuroTwin

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It pains me to say that I believe Nicks streak will come to an end. No doubt he is the best defenseman though, but I think Green will take this one. Pav won't get the Hart this year, but should take the Selke and Byng again...at least I hope. Holland said it best...

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I think the Norris is pretty much up in the air. Anyone could win it. Green is probably the front-runner just because of all the hype. After seeing him in the playoffs it would feel pretty ridiculous for him to win it though. Shame the voting is held at the end of the regular season, but I also realize why that is.

It would be a huge upset if Pavel won the Hart. I'd say there's a 1% chance he does it. I do expect him to win atleast the Lady Byng, and probably the Selke.

Cheli has no chance of winning the Masterton.

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Mike Green is going to win the Norris, I feel confident in saying. I'd be very surprised if Nick won it.

Pavel should win the Selke and Byng, I figure, but obviously he's got no chance at Hart. Could be either of them, but my money's on AO.

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I'll probably end up watching, but only to see if they break out the "Lindstrom" jersey again this year because our chances aren't really all that good with most of these. I'll be absolutely shocked if we end up with anything more than the Selke/Byng, and even there, "give it to someone else" sentiment might win out, who knows.

It's unfortunate, but with Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby around, Datsyuk might end up being this generation's Yzerman, doomed to finish 2nd and 3rd to Gretzky and Lemieux for major awards. I still say he's the best all-around forward in the game though.

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I'll probably end up watching, but only to see if they break out the "Lindstrom" jersey again this year because our chances aren't really all that good with most of these. I'll be absolutely shocked if we end up with anything more than the Selke/Byng, and even there, "give it to someone else" sentiment might win out, who knows.

It's unfortunate, but with Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby around, Datsyuk might end up being this generation's Yzerman, doomed to finish 2nd and 3rd to Gretzky and Lemieux for major awards. I still say he's the best all-around forward in the game though.

:clap:

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