The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/05/14 at 04:24 AM ET
A little after the trade deadline hits at 3 PM EST today, Red Wings will hold a special media availability in which the press will have their only opportunity to speak with Nicklas Lidstrom ahead of tomorrow's jersey retirement ceremony (6:30 PM, FSD, and the Wings now have a special webpage dedicated to the event), so a second wave of news will hit after practice and whatever moves the Wings do or do not make.
The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo's getting ahead of the field to some extent with an article about Lidstrom's legacy, and he's doing so in somewhat controversial fashion, suggesting that it's not Gordie Howe or Steve Yzerman, but instead Lidstrom who is the best-ever Red Wing:
It would be inaccurate to suggest Lidstrom has not been appreciated. Who in this town doesn’t love him? He is widely respected in the hockey world.
It’s just the degree, which suggests he is underrated. While Lidstrom had his share of brilliant games, they didn’t nickname one of hockey’s most famous feats after him, like the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (a goal, an assist, a fight). He didn’t have a definitive goal such as Yzerman breaking a scoreless tie in the playoffs vs. the St. Louis Blues during overtime in the mid-1990s.
You might see Lidstrom play one game and not notice much. Then, after three or four games, you’d start to think, “Hey, this guy is pretty good.” After a full season, his genius would be evident. After two decades, seeing him play night after night, was incredible.
His plus-minus ratio was plus-450, and he was as good as any defenseman in history both on the penalty kill and the power play.
Beyond the numbers, it was Lidstrom’s style.
It was the smooth way he’d “walk the line” on the power play and unleash a shot at just the right moment. Lidstrom didn’t make big hits. It was a waste of energy and time. He’d merely ride opposing forwards off the puck and head the other way literally in the blink of an eye.
There would be times when Lidstrom would be skating backward and in two strides cover ground it would take other defensemen four – and get over to the other side of the ice and make a play.
Caputo continues at significant length, and I'm definitely curious as to what you think...
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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.