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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80