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Lidstrom to win Norris trophy?


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#41 paulwoodsfan

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

Lidstrom is the second-greatest defenceman of all time, IMO, but it is folly to suggest he was as good as or better than Orr. There has never been anyone else in hockey able to do what Orr did. Even with bad knees most of his career, his skating was as good as or better than Coffey's, his vision was almost Gretzky-esque and he could more than hold his own physically.

The idea that his accomplishments should be downgraded because he won his Norris trophies in a smaller league is a logical fallacy. When Orr played (mostly in a 12-team league), the worst player he faced was about the 240th best player in North America at that time. Lidstrom plays against guys every night who are at best the 500th- to 600th-best player, albeit in the entire world and not just North America.

There's no surefire way to compare eras, but I am convinced that if 18-year-old Bobby Orr came along today, he would become as dominant a force as he was back then. He would not put up as many points as he did because hockey is less wide open, more well coached and has goalies who are both better and have much bigger equipment. But he would dominate, especially considering that when he played, obstruction was standard practice and now it is (somewhat) gone. And of course if he came along today, his first knee injury would have been fixed with a simple arthroscopic procedure and he likely wouldn't have suffered the ongoing deterioration in his knee that ruined his career.

#42 toby91_ca

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:08 PM

Mike Green would be pissed IMO if Karlsson got it and he didn't get it back in 09

But in 2009, Green finished with 73 pts, 2nd place Dman had 64 points. Quite a bit different from projections this year for Karlsson to finish with 83pts and number 2 at 55pts. Astronomically different actually.

#43 KrazyGangsta

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:39 AM

Lidstrom is the best D to ever play IMO. The NHL has greatly changed from the time of Orr played.

Orr < Lidstrom

2 Stanley Cups < 4 Stanley Cups

#44 GMRwings1983

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

Lidstrom is the best D to ever play IMO. The NHL has greatly changed from the time of Orr played.

Orr < Lidstrom

2 Stanley Cups < 4 Stanley Cups


Please tell me, you're not serious with a crappy explanation like that. Let me try the same reasoning.


Gretzky < Beliveau

4 Stanley cups < 10 Stanley Cups
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#45 55fan

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

Please tell me, you're not serious with a crappy explanation like that. Let me try the same reasoning.


Gretzky < Beliveau

4 Stanley cups < 10 Stanley Cups

Is that anything like
Roenick and Kariya combined < Kopecky?

#46 GMRwings1983

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

Is that anything like
Roenick and Kariya combined < Kopecky?


Well not really, since Kopecky isn't a great player and no one would rank him above those two.

But when you're comparing great players to each other, you can't just go on Cup rings. Too many things factor into that. In this case, Orr didn't play a full career. Also, remember that back then there was Montreal to mess around with. Winning a Cup with any other franchise couldn't have been easy.

At the same time, if Orr did play a full career, he'd have a lot more than 8 Norris trophies. Lidstrom won a few Norris trophies which could have arguably gone to other players. Orr was putting up numbers no defenseman could have dreamed of back then. He was clearly the favorite to take the Norris every year.
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#47 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:53 PM

Lidstrom won a few Norris trophies which could have arguably gone to other players.

I tend to agree with the points you make here GMR, however this one I sort of disagree with. While the above is actually true, so is the reverse of it -- there were several years before Nick started winning the Norris that he was arguably the best Dman in the NHL but instead it went to jerks like Rob Blake.
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#48 wings_fanatic

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

Nick Lidstrom should have won at least 2 or 3 Norris Trophies before he finally got his first one, but that was not the case.

Nick Lidstrom has, for 20 years, done his job of successfully shutting down the other teams' top players and, in the process, having a large part generating our offence. Orr, on the other hand, played a purely offensive game in a time where that was the style to play. To top that, it was significantly easier to score on goalies back then, which has increased his numbers dramatically compared to what they would be in the modern NHL. Yes, Orr's career was cut short whereas Nick has barely missed any games for 20 years, but that says something about Nick and his durability.

Both players are outstanding and unquestionably the best 2 dmen in history, but it is VERY DIFFICULT to compare them as they played completely different games in 2 completely different eras. Given modern NHL, imo Nick Lidstrom is a better defenseman because today's league requires a 2 way dman that can shut down opposing players and provide offence, something that Nick Lidstrom has perfected for 20 years.

#49 GMRwings1983

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

I tend to agree with the points you make here GMR, however this one I sort of disagree with. While the above is actually true, so is the reverse of it -- there were several years before Nick started winning the Norris that he was arguably the best Dman in the NHL but instead it went to jerks like Rob Blake.


Well that's true, but the point is that today's Norris trophy races are closer. Someone could make an argument for being snubbed every year. However, Orr was just way above the other defensemen of his time. And I don't think that means that era was weak. There were plenty of good defensemen in the 70's.

But something is to be said when a guy is just far above the rest. I mean, if the era was weak and defenders weren't as good as they later became, then where did this Orr guy come from? How come he wasn't just slightly better than everyone else? Was he from outer space?

Nick Lidstrom should have won at least 2 or 3 Norris Trophies before he finally got his first one, but that was not the case.

Nick Lidstrom has, for 20 years, done his job of successfully shutting down the other teams' top players and, in the process, having a large part generating our offence. Orr, on the other hand, played a purely offensive game in a time where that was the style to play. To top that, it was significantly easier to score on goalies back then, which has increased his numbers dramatically compared to what they would be in the modern NHL. Yes, Orr's career was cut short whereas Nick has barely missed any games for 20 years, but that says something about Nick and his durability.

Both players are outstanding and unquestionably the best 2 dmen in history, but it is VERY DIFFICULT to compare them as they played completely different games in 2 completely different eras. Given modern NHL, imo Nick Lidstrom is a better defenseman because today's league requires a 2 way dman that can shut down opposing players and provide offence, something that Nick Lidstrom has perfected for 20 years.


Orr dominated his era way more than Lidstrom dominated his. Orr was a player who revolutionized hockey in a sense. Much like Gretzky, he put up numbers way better than anyone else for his era, or any era of defense really.

Lidstrom has been consistently the best defenseman in hockey for about 15 years. But he's not doing anything stats wise every year that no one else could dream of or approach.

And durability is an important factor, but I don't think it's that important in this argument. Potvin, Robinson, Bourque, Coffey, Harvey and many others had a longer career at being great than Bobby Orr. I wouldn't put any of those players ahead of him.

Edited by GMRwings1983, 04 March 2012 - 04:13 PM.

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#50 paulwoodsfan

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:17 PM

Orr, on the other hand, played a purely offensive game in a time where that was the style to play. To top that, it was significantly easier to score on goalies back then, which has increased his numbers dramatically compared to what they would be in the modern NHL. Yes, Orr's career was cut short whereas Nick has barely missed any games for 20 years, but that says something about Nick and his durability.

Both players are outstanding and unquestionably the best 2 dmen in history, but it is VERY DIFFICULT to compare them as they played completely different games in 2 completely different eras. Given modern NHL, imo Nick Lidstrom is a better defenseman because today's league requires a 2 way dman that can shut down opposing players and provide offence, something that Nick Lidstrom has perfected for 20 years.


Did you see Orr play? To suggest he was "only" an offensive defenceman is just wrong. And yes, it was easier to score back then, yet no other defenceman came even close to the kind of points totals Orr piled up. Weren't they all facing the same goalies?

Look, I love Lidstrom and I have already said I think he's second-best all time, but he's not first.





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