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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89