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Lidstrom closes in on 1,000th point

Tuesday, 10.13.2009 / 6:22 PM / NHL Insider

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

"First of all, I didn’t think I was going to reach 1,000 games, let alone, reaching 1,000 points. So that’s something that I’m very proud of to be closing in on."
-- Nicklas Lidstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom already has enough individual NHL awards, Stanley Cup rings and international hockey accomplishments to fill a room.

He's just two point away from adding something unique to his collection.

Lidstrom enters Detroit's home game against Los Angeles on Thursday night with 998 points -- two short of becoming the first European-born defenseman to reach 1,000 for his career.

The 18-year NHL veteran is currently eighth on the list of all-time NHL defensive scorers, trailing only Ray Bourque (1,579), Paul Coffey (1,531), Al MacInnis (1,274), Phil Housley (1,232), Larry Murphy (1,216), Denis Potvin (1,052) and Brian Leetch (1,028). He'll be the 74th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point mark

Lidstrom, who has 228 goals and 770 assists -- but just one assist in Detroit's five games this season -- has scored more points than any other defenseman who's ever worn the Winged Wheel and ranks fourth among all scorers in team history. His 80 points in 2005-06 is also the single-season record for most points by a Detroit defenseman.

"When I first started in the league, it was something I never thought would happen,"  Lidstrom told the Red Wings' Web site. "First of all, I didn’t think I was going to reach 1,000 games, let alone, reaching 1,000 points. So that’s something that I’m very proud of to be closing in on."

The 39-year-old Swede already owns a few firsts -- he became the first European-born winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy when he led the Wings to the Stanley Cup in 2002, and six years later, he was the first European captain of a Cup-winning team when the Wings won again in 2008.

Lidstrom also owns an Olympic gold medal after leading Sweden to first place in the 2006 Games. Individually, he has won the Norris Trophy six times, more than anyone in history except Bobby Orr (8) and Doug Harvey (7). 

"He's exactly the same off the ice as he is on the ice," forward Todd Bertuzzi told the Wings' Web site. "He's quiet, gets the job done and by the end of the night he’s got three points, is a plus-three and he doesn’t say anything after the game. It's just another game to him. He comes prepared each and every day, and to him that’s why he’s been successful and this team has been successful."
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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

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