Blog Entry

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Posted on: May 13, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 12:44 am

Entering Game 7, it was clear which team would have the advantage in the intangibles: experience, momentum, poise, etc. Those all belonged to the Red Wings. And it showed. They were the veteran group comfortable in the spotlight as they had been there so many times before.

Perhaps Detroit was too comfortable. The Wings came out knowing all too well they had to stem the tide in a rocking arena on the road. They weren't taking many chances, trying to make their way through. As a result, they were outworked and outplayed in the opening period. And they left it trailing by two.

They did have 11 shots on net in the first, but a lot was just firing from beyond the dots. The quality chances weren't there. The team was not interested in being caught in transition. They were relaxed. It looked like they weren't willing to take the risk for a shot at the rewards.

But the somewhat sleepy first period doesn't explain the night away. As much as they were dominated in the first period, they were as dominant in the second, getting one goal to show for their efforts.

"We pushed the issue the rest of the game, but their goalie was outstanding. I thought this series was a good series. It was entertaining, it was fast," coach Mike Babcock said after the game.

Babcock credited some line changes necessitated by the injuries to Todd Bertuzzi and later a friendly-fire hit on Dan Cleary as being the catalyst to get them back in. Yes, for a team that had erased a 3-0 deficit to get here, a 2-0 lead in a game didn't seem insurmountable. That doesn't mean those guys going down didn't hurt.

"We missed those guys, but it was an opportunity for other guys. I'm proud of our group, our group worked real hard," Babcock said.

On this night, though, it was the special-teams battle that didn't go Detroit's way. Not only did they give up a goal on the penalty kill, but they couldn't get much going on their own opportunities a man up. It seemed that everytime there was a faceoff in the offensive zone, it went the Sharks way. Then it was an adventure just to get the puck back into the zone for a great puck-controlling team.

The special-teams difference was one goal, and wouldn't you know that was the difference.

"Your disappointed tonight for sure, you're disappointed in your heart as you felt you were going to win tonight for sure."

Now you have to wonder if this is the last we've seen of this group of Red Wings. No, the window isn't completely closed. If we've learned anything in the last two decades it's that Detroit always does a goob job of restocking without becoming irrelevant. Take, for example, that this is the 20th straight season the Red Wings have been in the postseason, the same number of seasons the Sharks have been in existence.

"I'm pleased with the growth of our young players. Our high-end forwards. [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg were fantastic in this series and I think that's real important," Babcock said. "They showed great leadership quality, which is fantastic. We still feel we have a real young core and an opportunity to get better. As we continue to change our organization to try and be current, we need these guys to be great."

It's very possible Nicklas Lidstrom has played his last NHL game. But would anybody be surprised if he returns after watching the way this team never quit in this series? Regardless, the stalwarts from the last decade-plus are going to make way for the next generation of Wings soon.

Either way, we're talking about probably the classiest franchise in the game. There's a reason the Red Wings have become a playoff mainstay. It was on display all series long. It was a team that never quit, never panicked. They did Hockeytown proud.

-- Brian Stubits

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 2:46 pm
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Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2011 1:40 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

I went to the game at the Shark Tank and had a great time except for the score.  Too bad Todd and Cleary got whacked but so it goes.  "Beat Detroit" was a lot nicer to hear than the usual "Detroit Sucks" I hear in most away venuses.  I think the Sharks are a little more beat up than they admit and the Canucks will dispatch them in short order.  It's good to see the haters blog in with their usual crap, don't worry the Reds Wings don't Rebuild they Reload"' To all the real hockey fans, enjoy the rest of the playoffs and see you next year.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2011 9:37 am

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

who cares. if it wasnt for the refs giving them games they would never be in the playoffs at all!

Since: Jan 11, 2011
Posted on: May 14, 2011 7:32 am

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

being a canucks fan im glad to maybe see detroits whole team fall apart. lidstrom i think is probably done, plus its not like their getting any long to a team that got away with so many penalties in the playoffs.

Since: Aug 4, 2010
Posted on: May 14, 2011 12:25 am

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

I think you mean that Montreal is the most class-less organization in the NHL.

.... but good riddance to Detroit anyway !

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:56 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Brenden Smith & Jakub Kindl.  they will be ready.

Since: Jun 6, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

good riddance

Since: May 16, 2010
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:53 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Montreal the place where they booed the american national anthem , montreal the place that cheated to win all those cups by having first rites to any french canadian hockey player , you are talking about those canadiens right warrior   LMAO

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:40 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Brian, Are you drunk? Montreal is easily the classiest organization. End of story.

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:08 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

A buddy and I were going over who will most likely be gone next season through FA or retirement.  It was roughly about 11 to 12 million dollars in cap space coming off the books.  That is only if Nic retires.  That is a lot of cap space.  I would hate to see Nic retire, but 11 to 12 mill can buy a lot of talent.

With that money we can get two solid defensemen.  I would say one stay at home guy and one offensive player. 

Then I think we can go after one big name player.  I would love to land Parise, but I see him going someplace like LA.  We can pay him well.  How bad does he want to win a cup?  Money or a much better chance for a cup?  There will be other good Wingers out there also, but one can wish can they?

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