Wings season preview here.
June 13, 2009
It was a postseason for the ages, a Cup Finals round for the ages, and a Game 7 for the ages. Both teams fought hard, but the Pens wanted it more than my Wings, and when the final buzzer sounded, the Pens held on to a hard-won 2-1 lead, and Crosby hoisted the Cup.
Congratulations to the Pens, congratulations to their fans, who hung in there through a very rough season, to fight through some very intimidating teams to get to the Cup Finals, and who finally prevailed over the mighty Red Wings. I am of course deeply disappointed that the Cup didn’t stay in Detroit, but I cannot begrudge them a very, very well-played series. Very good show, gentlemen!
What makes the Pens’ win more impressive is the adversity they had to overcome during the regular season even to get to the Finals – and then to the Cup Round. Nobody – and I mean nobody – expected them to be a serious contender for the Cup mid-season. But like true athletes, true warriors, they ignored their critics, focused on improving their game, and fought like wild men. They badly wanted a rematch with my Wings, badly wanted to earn redemption from last year’s bitter disappointment of losing the Cup on home ice…and they pulled it off in spectacular form.
I have to admit – it was very cool to watch Crosby hoist the Cup. The kid (and I do mean kid) earned it. He never gave up. Never. Fleury was nothing short of spectacular. And to watch Lemieux hoist the Cup – no longer in a team sweater, but in an owner’s business suit – was bittersweet for me. He is one of those legends of the game, right up there with the Great One and Mister Hockey.
The fans at Detroit who were booing when the Cup was presented to the Pens – you embarrassed yourselves. You embarrassed me. For the first time ever I was briefly ashamed of being a Wings fan because of your boorish conduct. That is not sportsmanship, children. A sportsman accepts defeat as well as victory, and chooses to learn from the defeat and make a go at glory again in the shadow of it, not pout and whine like spoiled brats. My pride was restored, however, when the fans who hadn’t slinked out of the Joe by that time cheered for Lemieux when he hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Now, to focus on the future. The Wings are still the powerhouse in the NHL. Next season should be another 100-pointer, and I really believe we can recapture the President’s Trophy. It will be exciting to watch the Wings go at it again in October, marching towards the Finals, to bring the Cup back home to Detroit.
Questions that it will be interesting to see answered:
- Hossa: he came to the Wings to win the Cup. He took a massive pay cut and signed for a single season. What will he do now? Will he continue to take the lesser pay and remain on our roster? And, if he does, will he actually show up and play next postseason?
- Can Ozzie continue his stellar performance between the pipes? I truly think so, but this regular season really put a question mark on that. Last part of the season he got his game back…but in the wings stands Conklin, another genius netminder. I think right now Babcock’s still very pleased with Ozzie – it was his presence of mind in net which kept the Wings in the running during those times when our defense really didn’t gel. I expect to see the Wizard of Oz remain our primary goalie come next season.
- Will Chelios remain? Will he retire? He’s the oldest player currently in the NHL, but he’s still got a lot of game. I hope he doesn’t; but we’ll see.
- The Griffins players who were called up to plug the gaps in our roster, especially Abdelkader and Leino, performed at an impressive level. Will they stay with the Griffs, and ultimately move up to full-time roster slots with the Wings? Or will they be wooed away by other teams who will doubtless be courting them now that they saw their composure on-ice during the Big Dance? Former Griffs are currently on the Wings full-time roster: Ericksson, Helm, Hudler…
It says something that even now in the era of the salary cap, the Wings can maintain a loyal roster of stars. Players who could get much more on other teams choose to remain with the Wings. There’s something about playing for Hockeytown that draws them and, overall, keeps them.
Here’s to looking very much forward to next year…
LET’S GO, RED WINGS!!!
April 29, 2009
Again, WordPress disappoints me with their handling of video feeds.
March 12, 2009
The University of Michigan will host the MSU Spartan hockey team at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, December 11th, 2010…a rematch of the great Cold War of October 6th, 2001 which resulted in an epic tie between the two Frozen Four titans.
Must…get to…Ann Arbor on…that Saturday…must…muuuuuuuust…
March 11, 2009
Wings are currently tied for top spot in the NHL…
August 14, 2008