Rafalski was on fire last night with 4 assists against the Penguins. OK, so it was only preseason and the penguins best players weren't out there, but if it's a glimpse of things to come, this could be his best year. We could use a "best year ever" or two this season.
Rafalski is an offensive minded defenseman who's +/- got an amazing boost thanks in large part to being Lidstrom's line mate. Not that Raf doesn't have defensive skill, it's just not his strength. This season, I would like to see Rafalski as a Norris finalist (along with Nick, of course). To accomplish this, he'll need between 15-19 goals, 50 assists and be at least +20. I think the main reason Rafalski wasn't mentioned for the Norris last season isn't because he doesn't have better numbers than Lidstrom, it's because he plays on the same line as Lidstrom. This season, I want to see Rafalski out-shine Lidstrom. Way easier said than done, but if he can (and I think he can), this is the year to do it.