DETROIT RED WINGS
Team Page | Roster | Stats
Regular Season Record: 51-21-10, 112 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 1-1
Last Stanley Cup Win: 2008
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 2008
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Pavel Datsyuk (2), Henrik Zetterberg (1), Brian Rafalski (3), Jiri Hudler(1), Johan Franzen (1), Nicklas Lidstrom (4), Nicklas Kronwall (1), Mikael Samuelsson (1), Dan Cleary (1), Valtteri Filppula (1), Tomas Holmstrom (4), Tomas Kopecky (1), Kris Draper (4), Brett Lebda (1), Andreas Lilja (1), Brad Stuart (1), Kirk Maltby (4), Aaron Downey (1), Darren McCarty (4), Darren Helm (1), Chris Chelios (3), Chris Osgood (3)
How They Got Here: Despite their status as a Stanley Cup favourite, the Red Wings took their fans on a roller coaster ride over the last six weeks. They dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, scoring at least four goals in each of their victories en route to a four-game sweep. By contrast, the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks were a much more challenging opponent, with forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry spearheading an aggressive attack that pushed the Red Wings to the full seven games and a nail-biting one-goal victory in the final contest. The Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks came in with plenty of youth and energy, but were no match for the more experienced Wings. Mike Babcock's club capitalized on Chicago's mistakes game after game, despite having Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom out of the lineup for a short stretch. With a convinicing victory over the Hawks, the Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the sixth time in 14 years.
A Reason To Cheer For The Red Wings: No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champions since...well, the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. Virtually every member of the team owns a Stanley Cup ring, the exceptions being off-season acquisitions Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin. Ironically, both played for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and were on hand to watch the Wings celebrate their Stanley Cup title. If the Wings do end up winning it all again, will the ageless Chris Chelios retire? (Doubtful).
What They Bring To The Table: By this point you know what you are going to get with Detroit. They are a disciplined, well coached, fundamentally sound team that can roll four lines. They sacrifice individual glory for what is best for the team, which speaks to the professionalism of those inside the organization. Thanks to their victory last year, the Wings - more than any other team - know what it takes to win. Their veteran core of Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Rafalski, Holmstrom and Osgood all have multiple Stanley Cup rings. Head coach Mike Babcock has done a fantastic job keeping his team focused this season when there could have been a serious Stanley Cup hangover. The Wings’ forwards are as good a group as you will find in the league with no fewer than five 20 goal scorers. That scoring depth was on display in the first round as it was generally the role players who provided the offence against the Blue Jackets. What truly separates Detroit from the pack is their defensive unit. Led by perennial Norris Trophy candidate Nicklas Lidstrom, the Wings blueline is absolutely stacked with a nice mix of puck movers and bangers. They are also battle tested thanks to last year’s championship run. Heading into the playoffs it appeared as goaltending was the Wings’ one weak link; however Chris Osgood answered his critics by out dueling star rookie Steve Mason in Round 1. There has to be a great deal of personal satisfaction for Osgood who repaid Babcock’s loyalty to him. If Ozzie is back to championship form than the Wings are an odds-on bet to repeat.