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: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2011 9:09 pm
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Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 8:43 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Sure are alot of Eastern bloggers spouting how fearsome the Bruins and Bolts are ... perhaps a taste of Western pride is in order. Take a look at the Canucks' season record against them, now sit back ... sip a cool one and watch Lord Stanley fly off into the setting sun.

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: May 13, 2011 8:38 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

I'm so proud of the whole entire Red Wings team. They could have easily trown in the towel after going down 3-0 to the Sharks but they didn't. They showed why they are one of the best if not the best team/organization in the NHL....regardless of the outcome. As for the team in itself I really do believe that the Red Wings need maybe a few more big bodies as well as a little more youth added to the team. There's been moments throughout this season when other teams youth of bigger bodies have taken a toll on the Red Wings during the game. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place about the current Red Wings coming to an end because of what I said earlier,but these are some of the same players that were part of several Stanley Cups over the past decade. Regardless of the decision to whether to make changes or keep the current team intact.........HOCKEYTOWN STILL RULES!!!

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2011 7:47 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

2012 Stanley Cup Champions-The Detroit Red Wings! It don't matter if Lidstrom, Holmstrom,Draper,Osgood,Modano, Stuart, Rafalski and Bertuzzi either retire or find some where else to play. The Wings organization is too well oiled of a machine for any team to duplicate, except maybe Tampa. Now I root for the Lightning to win Lord Stanley's Cup! Go Bolts! Go Steve Yzerman!

Since: Aug 28, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2011 5:50 pm

Draft Picks

In response to the touting of our draft wins:  Time to focus those picks on Defense.  Lidstrom and Rafalski are about to call it a career.  Kronwall can lay some hits... Lidstrom he AINT.  Ericsson's not bad for "just another D".  Stuart's a liability IMHO.  How are these guys going to defend next year?

Since: Aug 28, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Oh, I saw a lot more than that...  How about Jiri Hudler?  Million dollar moves with a 10 cent ability to shoot the dam puck!  That guy fanned on a couple shots (broke his stick on one) that we VERY good looks at the goal.  I see that with Hudler a lot actually.  How about the fact that, outside of the Old guys (Lidstrom and Rafalski) our Defenseman have the worst shots I've seen?  No aim, lackluster slaps... Brad Stewart is a liability out there.  Period.  He's got the skill to be good, I think it's a mental problem.  Meaning not enough brain power to have a good hockey IQ.  And Last... How about 60 full minutes of hockey boys?

Since: Jun 15, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2011 5:07 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

You know the only thing i didnt like in this series was the faceoffs.....Seems like alot of wing centers where getting waived off the faceoff alot...Whats up with that just drop the dam puck and play Hockey.....cause i think that hurt the wings also when your centers get waived out most off the time.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

from  era
–noun 1. a period of  marked by distinctive character, events, etc

Is this an end of an era for the Detroit Red Wings? I would have to say yes. This does not imply nor should it be perceived as anything more than what it is. There will be players leaviing this team, there will be others joining it. Heck Stevie Y leaving was the end of an era but it didn't mean the Wings would fall into obscurity. Nor does losing to the Sharks two years in a row. Clearly though, there will be changes. The Hawks had huge changes last year but by the end of the year took the 'Nucs to OT in game 7 and nearly pulled off an upset. There will be changes for this team Red Wing of veterans. I've heard analysts call this team 'old' for years now. If this is 'old', I hope the Hawks get old fast. Virtually every team in the NHL would like to follow the Red Wing model, that's why they all have farm teams, to groom the next batch. But it still means trimmimg salary, improving weak areas and continually building depth, the Green Bay Packers proved what can be done with depth. So. yes, this is an end of an era in my humble opinion. It is also the start of a new one. No more Belfour or Osgood but now it's Howard and Niemi, oops, meant Crawford. I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't wait. Hawks and Wings in the conference finals next year? Hawks with home ice? Yeah, I knew that'd get you fired up.  

Since: Jul 28, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2011 3:42 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

yes no is a punk.

Since: Aug 29, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2011 3:07 pm

Veteran Wings see season, possibly era end

Although I hated see the wings loose, It was one of the best series I have seen in the playoffs ever!!
Forgive me but i had/have been thinking that the winner of this series wouold probably win the whole damn thing.
congrats to the sharks on a hard fought series, get some rest boys.
(I still think that clowe is a punk cheap shot artist!)

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