Not if you visit hfboards. People there will grudgingly put Lids as #5, at best, and always behind Bourque. It's kind of comical.
Players have been giving Lidstrom that respect for a while. I think it comes from three places:
1) he's a living legend and he's treated accordingly (whether consciously or not) by the players and refs,
2) he doesn't drill other players or really develop any kind of physical antagonistic relationship and
3) Lidstrom has a history of slipping checks and making the other guy look silly. A check that you're not likely to actually land is worse than no check at all.
Like you said: a guy like Kronwall will always get hit harder by the other team than a guy who plays the game as elegantly as Lidstrom.
Gretzky was treated the same way by the end of his career. Lidstrom's a guy people mention in the same breath as Orr. And really, it's hard to make an argument for any defenseman other than Orr being as singularly dominant as Lidstom has been in his era. Guys like Bourque and Coffey had peers, Lidstrom and Orr never did.
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