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Toast of the Town: Nicklas Lidstrom

Thursday, 04.30.2009 / 12:27 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale
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Toast of the Town: Nicklas Lidstrom
Is there any question Nicklas Lidstrom will conclude his career as the greatest defenseman in the history of the Red Wings?

That's saying a lot, considering the storied history of the organization. But ask any Red Wings fan, player or coach and they'll point to No. 5 as the player who best exemplifies the identity of this franchise.

Lidstrom was recently nominated for the Norris Trophy as the League's best defenseman, an award he's already won in six of the last seven seasons. He's the highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history and one would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent contributor on the power-play -- he's averaged 33.08 power-play points over his last 12 seasons.

Then there's this one other statistic that boggles the mind. Since the 1991-92 season, Lidstrom has posted an incredible plus-409 rating -- not too bad for a third-round draft pick in 1989.

During Detroit's opening-round sweep over the Columbus Blue Jackets, Lidstrom was, yet again, a tower of strength. He has possessed one of the best sticks in the game -- capable of sweeping the puck or forcing an opponent wide just by his positioning. He's not overly physical because he doesn't need to be. That speaks volumes about his ability to excel in any situation.

Not only do most Wings fans consider the 10-time All-Star a role model, but the vast majority of the League's fans do as well. He's cordial with the media and is a big reason Detroit is favored to defend their Stanley Cup crown this spring.

In June 2006, Lidstrom signed a contract to remain in Detroit for the same annual salary he earned during the 2005-06 season, setting a new standard in team and fan loyalty. That decision obviously impacted several of his teammates, who recently re-signed with the team instead of testing free agency.

"I think a big part of playoff hockey is trust, and the trust you have within your room and the trust you have between the coach and the players, because if you don't trust people they don't get out there," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Nick is one of the best obviously in the world, as we all know, and he's been great."




 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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