Scotty Bowman on those Lidstrom-Harvey comparisons
Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey and Nicklas Lidstrom have won the most Norris Trophies as the NHL's top defensemen, and it just so happens that the legendary Scotty Bowman has coached two of them, Lidstrom and Harvey.
I thought you hockey fans might be intrigued to hear from Bowman about his coaching experiences with Harvey and Lidstrom. I know I was.
"It's hard to compare them in a way because they played in vastly different eras. I coached Harvey in St. Louis before Nick Lidstrom was born," Bowman told ESPN.com last week. "But the two most common denominators between those two was that it was very seldom either one got caught up ice. Their passing skills were so terrific. Their first pass.
"If you charted a hockey game and you wrote down where the puck went every time those two touched it, it usually went on another teammate's stick unless they were killing a penalty. Their positioning and that sixth sense to be aware of what's going on ... they made a lot of partners looked pretty good."
They also shared a common presence in the offensive zone.
"The thing about the two of them and how they could play the point, they both could get the puck through," Bowman said. "Both were terrific quarterbacks on the power play; they controlled the puck."
Harvey and Lidstrom always played against the top offensive players from the opposing team.
"Harvey always played against Gordie Howe, for example, which was real tough," Bowman said. "And with Nick, his plus-minus numbers are not padded. He's always drawn the best right winger of the other team. Harvey was the same way."
One final thought from Bowman on Lidstrom's offensive numbers throughout the years: "The thing I always said about Nick, for all the points he's had, his offense has been so good, but the thing that's always amazed me about him is that very, very seldom have I seen Nick caught up ice. Very seldom does he leave his partner alone."