2008 NHL Norris Trophy
Lidstrom, Phaneuf & Chara are Norris Trophy Nominees
The Norris Trophy is presented to the defenseman who best helps his team succeed in all aspects of the NHL game, during an entire season. I think this award usually ends up in the hands of the blue-liner who scores the most points, as opposed to the most well-rounded player, but either way, the best does usually win. Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf and Boston’s Zdeno Chara are all well-deserved to be Norris Trophy nominees with their personal and team statistics in 2007-2008.
Lidstrom’s name is nothing new when it comes to this award. He has won the Norris 5 times in the last 7 seasons, on which Scott Niedermayer won it in 2003-2004 and of course the NHL lockout season in 2005 had no winner. Detroit’s #5 defenseman led all d-men with 60 assists, 70 points, a +40 plus/minus (which does not count special team goals), and was 4th in ice-time, playing over 26 minutes a game. Also, he tied with 5 other defensemen with 4 game-winners.
His 38 year old frame has proved that he can still play at an elite level, making his results almost as good as Bobby Orr’s. There is no doubt in my mind that Lidstrom will win the Norris Trophy this year, adding it to the already won President’s Trophy and possibly, the only trophy that counts, Lord Stanley’s cup.
Dion Phaneuf will be “King Norris” after Lidstrom retires, but until then, he better get used to being #2. He played in all 82 games and finished with 60 points, 10 behind Lidstrom. Phaneuf’s presence is a definite top 5 feared in the league because his hits are powerful enough to severely hurt a human being. His 182 penalty minutes show that he has no fear of rough play and lives to go into the corners. Phaneuf tied with 2 others with 10 power play goals but he also managed a short handed goal as well. This Calgary defenseman is playing years ahead of his time and is a key to the Flames success. Already being a 2 time all-star and rookie of the year nominee 3 years ago, the Norris Trophy will have to wait.
Chara won the hardest shot at the all-star skills competition with his 103.1 mph slap shot, but he also carries the hardest punch. Not too many people would dare go toe-to-toe with the 6-foot-9, 250+ pound crazy Slovak, just ask Brian McCabe. His 51 points did leave him 10th in NHL blue-line scoring, and his near 27 minutes of ice-time finished 3rd. He helped the Bruins make the playoffs with his 17 goals (9 on the PP) and he made everyone around him much better.
I cannot see Chara, who finished 2nd to Niedermayer in the 2004 Norris Trophy race, winning this trophy ever with all the other d-men in the league. His teams are not good enough and neither is his play.
Lidstrom will have his name etched into the Norris Trophy again.
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Notable mention: Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar finished with 65 points, 8 game winners, including 1 in overtime helping the Pens 2nd in the East, behind Montreal.
Hart Trophy | Adams Trophy | Byng Trophy | Calder Trophy | Norris Trophy | Selke Trophy | Vezina Trophy
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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