Nicklas Lidstrom is arguably the second best defenseman in the history of the NHL, and at age 40, is still the best in the game today. There will be a changing of the guard sometime in the next few years, but for now, Lidstrom is still dominant, and is probably the most respected player in the league.
In my mind, the most impressive part of Lidstrom's game is how he can so effectively shut down anyone in the league without throwing hits or taking penalties. Lidstrom is on pace for his eighth season with 20 penalty minutes or less.
11 times Lidstrom's plus/minus rating has been higher than his penalty minutes. To put that in perspective, Wayne Gretzky only did it 10 times, and he didn't have to play defense against the best players in the world.
Lidstrom is on pace for 69 points this season, and has an excellent chance to win his seventh Norris Trophy, which would tie him with Doug Harvey for second all-time, and leave him just one behind Bobby Orr. He's also on pace for 18 goals, which would be the second most of his career.
Lidstrom's partner, Brian Rafalski, is no slouch either. He's on pace for the best offensive season of his career at age 37, despite missing 11 games at the start of the season.
Rafalski and Lidstrom both boast the impressive accomplishment of never having posted a minus ranking over a full season, but Lidstrom needs to improve his current minus three to keep that streak alive.
Detroit fans must be hoping that neither Lidstrom or Rafalski are going to retire anytime soon.
Combined Stats: 87GP 15G 59A 74P 26PIM +13