The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/06/11 at 03:51 PM ET
Despite the fact that more than a few journalists have decided that Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom is no longer the Norris Trophy’s flavor of the month favorite, ESPN’s Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun suggest that logic and Lidstrom should prevail in a blog entry which reveals B&L’s individual NHL award favorites:
Burnside: An incredibly close race with Anaheim’s Lubomir Visnovsky leading all blueliners in points, Shea Weber having a tremendous second half in Nashville and Zdeno Chara and Keith Yandle making a case in Boston and Phoenix. But for us, Nicklas Lidstrom’s continued blue-chip level of play for a Detroit Red Wings team that once again has had to battle significant injuries gives Lidstrom the edge. As one NHL GM pointed out to us this week, the fact that he isn’t playing as much with Brian Rafalski has put more pressure on Lidstrom and he still does it all at the highest level. As for those who point to Lidstrom’s plus/minus (he is minus-1 through 79 games), never mind. The stat means next to nothing.
LeBrun: For a while, it appeared Lidstrom was going to run away with his seventh Norris Trophy in a cake walk, but hard-charging Visnovsky of the Ducks has made it quite a race with his league-leading 66 points among defensemen. We also point to his plus-15 rating. And that’s where Lidstrom’s detractors are pointing to, the Wings captain’s minus-1 rating as of Wednesday morning. But I attribute that more to the team’s defensive struggles this season and not the legend’s own play. Chara also deserves strong consideration, while Kris Letang, Yandle and Weber also have merit. In the end, I find myself vacillating between Lidstrom and Visnovsky. In the end, even at age 40, “The Perfect Human” still rocks.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.