THN.com Blog: Chara's good, but Lidstrom's still best

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

A few postulations while poring over the pages of The Hockey News magazine

• On the Opinion Page of the April 1 edition, Mike Loftus of the Patriot Ledger makes a compelling argument for Zdeno Chara being given serious consideration for the Norris Trophy (the award given to the NHL’s best defenseman, for those of you new to the sport).

There’s no doubt Big Z, with 16 goals, 48 points and a plus-11 rating, has been a tsunami-sized force this season.

The former Ottawa and Long Island blueliner has been a big reason – along with Claude Julien and Tim Thomas - the Bruins have defied pre-season expectations to find themselves in the East’s top eight.

But it’s tough to ignore the fact that, despite missing six games in March, Nicklas Lidstrom continues to lead the NHL with a plus-40 rating and all rearguards in scoring with 63 points.

Beyond the numbers alone, when watching a Detroit tilt it doesn’t take long to realize no one in the league can match the 37-year-old’s composure and game-control at both ends.

For that reason, Lidstrom should claim his third straight Norris and sixth in the past seven seasons.

Chara’s a good pick for the silver.

(Click HERE to vote for who you think should be the NHL’s defenseman of the year.)

CREASE-CROSSED

From the “Really?!?” File: In The Hockey News’s annual Future Watch, Marlies coach Greg Gilbert is quoted as saying “There are no guarantees they (Carey Price and Tuukka Rask) will be better goalies than Justin (Pogge) in three years.”

True, but there’s no guarantee I won’t be married to Pamela Anderson and be the next Prime Minister of Canada in three years, either.

Nothing against Pogge, who, with his No. 43 overall Future Watch ’08 ranking is a solid prospect, but there isn’t a GM in the league who wouldn’t take Rask or, more specifically, Price in a one-for-one deal.

That’s a case of Gilbert wearing Blue and White-colored glasses.

SKATE TO THE BORDER

Yes I’ll be rooting for the Dallas Stars to win the Cup for told-you-so value (they’re my early pick for playoff glory), but I’ll also be quietly pulling for Niklas Hagman, who, in the most recent issue of The Hockey News, said his favorite junk food is Taco Bell.

And any friend of tacos is a friend of mine.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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