Friday, May 30, 2008

Have I Mentioned That I Really Like Nick Lidstrom?

Nice article about Nicklas Lidstrom by John Vogl in today's Buffalo News. You can read it here but a couple of things really jumped out at me.

First of all, Lidstrom is a plus 378 for his career. That's an average of almost plus 24 a season. I would say that's fairly impressive.

Second of all, Lidstrom has only missed 28 games in 16 years. For those of you who don't do well with numbers, that's less than two games a season. The six games he missed this season were the most he's ever missed in one year. Can you even imagine? I think most of the current Sabres have already missed more than six games in a season. A lot of them have probably already missed 28 games for their career and they're just babies compared to Lidstrom. I think he's a Cylon.

Vogl also touches on my favorite thing about Lidstrom's game. He's not particularly big or strong and he's not overly physical. He's just very, very smart. His success is based on reading the play well and putting himself in the right position. He makes playing awesome defense look pretty effortless. I wish we saw him more often. Shouldn't they be in the Eastern Conference anyway?

About the only thing Lidstrom hasn't done is win a Stanley Cup while wearing a Sabres jersey. He should look into doing that. I really think that would clinch him a spot in the Hall of Fame when he retires (in twenty years).

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On a completely different note, Vogl also had a nice post over at Sabres Edge about Michel Therrien's latest press conference. Therrien responded to a question about how his team is affected by the Pittsburgh crowd with yet another screed about obstruction in this series. He's ridiculous. I hate obstruction as much as the next fan and I hate the idea of putting away the whistle and "letting them play." I don't think that's letting them play. I think it's letting the guys who can't play as well prevent the players who can play at another level from doing so and I hate that. I also hate that there's one set of rules for the regular season and another set of rules for the postseason. But I'm just not seeing what Therrien is evidently seeing. Where he's seeing obstruction, I'm seeing good, smothering defense. I think the chintziest big call in the series actually went in their favor (Lidstrom's no goal due to goalie interference in Game One). I know there's a lot of gamesmanship involved in press conferences and that a lot of coaches say the things they say with very specific intentions but I'm not sure it's a good idea for Therrien to set the officiating up as an excuse for his young, overmatched team to fall back on. Maybe he's saying something else behind closed doors but his public posturing is getting on my nerves. And if I were an official it would really be getting on my nerves.

Any Bills season ticket holders out there want to pick up a couple tickets to the Monday Night Football game for me?


Kirsten said...

I like him, even though he gives the same cold stare as my mom does when she's mad. It freaks me out a lot. Must be a Swedish thing that Homer doesn't have.

Did you see the article in the Hockey News about him where his wife talks about how spoiled he is by his mother and sisters? I have a hard time imagining it, but this makes me smile anyway.

Jennifer said...

Something about his skating reminds me of Tallinder. I don't really know why, but watching him play really, really makes me miss Hank.

Pookie said...

I think that Lidstrom would really like to play in NJ. He'd have a nice young d-corps to teach, he'd have one of the best d-men ever to play the game as his assistant coach, he'd been another in a long line of great d-men to play in Jersey (two is a long line, okay? Very long!), really, it's a perfect fit! I think I'll send him some of those materials teams send UFAs. You know, like DVDs of his head spliced onto Johnny Oduya's body.

Heather B. said...

Kirsten, I didn't read that article. That's very cute! Is he the only boy in the family?

Jennifer, I think there are definitely similarities. In fact, Mark mentioned that this morning and asked if that was why I liked Lidstrom. I think they play the same kind of game and they're both very good skaters.

(For the record, in no way am I comparing Hank to Lidstrom talent-wise. I love Hank but I'm not crazy. Lidstrom is the Superman version of Hank.)

Heather B. said...

Yeah, but Pookie if Nicky wins a Cup in NJ he's just another guy who won a Cup in a Devils uniform. In Buffalo he's a freakin' hero forever! I think that would look much better on his resume. (Which needs so much punching up, you know?)

Kirsten said...

Yeah, I think he has three sisters and is the only boy. His wife called him "the golden boy" and said he was spoiled by all the women.

I really think he would like Minnesota better. There are tons of Swedes here, Finns too, but we won't tell him that or he won't want to come play here.

Heather B. said...

There are tons of Swedes here, Finns too, but we won't tell him that or he won't want to come play here.

Hee! Henrik Tallinder's defensive partner is Finnish (apologies if you already knew that, Kirsten) and in my mind they're BFFs but maybe it's like the Montagues and the Capulets and their families and friends are trying desperately to pull them apart because the other is Swedish/Finnish.

Kirsten said...

No need to apologize. I probably vaguely know who his defensive partner is, but my knowledge of the east is not as extensive as my knowledge of the west, and I am definitely prone to confusion. That is why I read other fans' blogs/converse with them when I get the chance.
I love the Romeo and Juliet analogy there. It made me giggle quite a lot. I hear my grandparents' marriage was not warmly welcomed by their families with my grandma being from Sweden and my grandpa being from Finland.

I tend to keep my crush on Nicklas Lidstrom a secret, but the picture of him smiling made me want to let it be known.

Bobby said...

i personally know his oldest son kevin. i go to school with. nick lidstrom brought stanley to our school too. everyone got to take a pic with it