The Detroit Red Wings’ two decade run of excellence has been all about adapting to changing times, yet the one constant has been Nicklas Lidstrom. That point will be made that much clearer as Lidstrom plays in his 1,500th regular season game against the Washington Capitals tonight. He’ll be just the 14th player in NHL history to cross that barrier.
Head coach Mike Babcock wasn’t exactly modest about his praise for Lidstrom; he told reporters that Lidstrom was “touched by a wand by God.” (To be fair, Babcock hasn’t restricted his semi-awkward comments about deities and defensemen to his own guys; he also said Drew Doughty was “touched by God” last December.)
There should be no doubt that Lidstrom is and was special, though. His all-world hockey IQ makes him seem like a supercomputer on skates. In his first 1,499 regular season games, Lidstrom racked up an amazing 1,111 points and a ridiculous +432 rating on his way to seven Norris Trophies. He’s also won four Stanley Cups and played in a staggering 258 career playoff games.
So yeah, there’s not much left to prove for Lidstrom, but with tonight’s game being a “big” one, chances are that he’ll enjoy trying to do just that again.