Nicklas Lidstrom: His Greatest Stat

Nicklas Lidstrom.  We all know he’s the greatest player of the past two decades.  He’s still a top 5 defenseman in the NHL.  My biased opinion says he’s the greatest defenseman of all time AND the greatest Red Wing of all time based on hockey skill.  As of this writing, Lidstrom just happens to be 41 years old (but in robot years, that’s only about 25).  I still think it’s total crap that he was never nominated for the Hart Trophy for NHL MVP.  This is my justification when I say that Lidstrom is underrated.  I stand by it.

Four Stanley Cups.  Seven Norris Trophies.  1 Conn Smythe.  1,550 games played in the regular season and 258 playoff games.  1,137 regular season points.  183 playoff points.  All of these are extremely amazing numbers.  So, what is Nicklas Lidstrom’s greatest stat of all?

Feb. 12, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (third from right) is recognized for playing in his 1,550th career game in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

In my expert opinion (copyright Andy Sutton), Lidstrom’s greatest stat is the amount of games he HASN’T played during his career.  Please take a look at the chart below regarding Nick’s games played and games missed during the regular season and playoffs throughout his career:

Regular Season   Playoffs     Total    
Year Team Games Nick Games Games Missed   Team Games Nick Games Games Missed   Team Games Nick Games Games Missed
91-92 80 80 0 11 11 0 91 91 0
92-93 84 84 0 7 7 0 91 91 0
93-94 84 84 0 7 7 0 91 91 0
94-95 48 43 5 18 18 0 66 61 5
95-96 82 81 1 19 19 0 101 100 1
96-97 82 79 3 20 20 0 102 99 3
97-98 82 80 2 22 22 0 104 102 2
98-99 82 81 1 10 10 0 92 91 1
99-00 82 81 1 9 9 0 91 90 1
00-01 82 82 0 6 6 0 88 88 0
01-02 82 78 4 23 23 0 105 101 4
02-03 82 82 0 4 4 0 86 86 0
03-04 82 81 1 12 12 0 94 93 1
04-05
05-06 82 80 2 6 6 0 88 86 2
06-07 82 80 2 18 18 0 100 98 2
07-08 82 76 6 22 22 0 104 98 6
08-09 82 78 4 23 21 2 105 99 6
09-10 82 82 0 12 12 0 94 94 0
10-11 82 82 0 11 11 0 93 93 0
11-12 57 56 1 57 56 1
 Total: 1583 1550 33   260 258 2   1843 1808 35
Percent 97.92% 99.23% 98.10%

That’s right.  Nicklas Lidstrom has played in 98.1% of total possible games since 1991-92.  He has only missed 35 (!!!!!) games his entire career.  I don’t have any hard sources for this, but I know a couple of those were the last game of a couple of seasons so he could rest for the playoffs.  And just so you know, the reason he missed two playoff games in 2009 was because he was having surgery.  On.  His.  Testicles.  Yeah.  What can I say, the dude’s got balls.

I could go on and on about why I think only missing 35 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) games in almost 20 seasons is amazing, but I think I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.  What do you think?  Is this his greatest stat, or is it something I listed above?  Feel free to contact me by leaving a comment or yelling at me on Twitter – I’m interested in seeing what other people think.

Also, watch this.  Best video on YouTube.

Topics: Detroit Red Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom

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