The big question is whether the Detroit Red Wings can pull off the upset and work there way into the playoffs past the Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators.But the Wings lost to the Flames 4-2, but were able to beat the Buffalo Sabres in OT, 3-2. Then the clincher came beating the Flames Monday night 2-1.Will the Wings maintain the momentum and give Motown something to cheer about?
Playoff rounds in Detroit are the norm.If there are no games this season, then the Frozen Four in Detroit will be only event rocking energy in the Motor City.The Red Wings know that not playing for the Stanley Cup is not an option, and has not happened since the 1989-90 season.President Steve Yzerman is taking his triumphs for Team Canada and pushing the pizzazz at the Joe. The Wings have won
The Wings have gone to the Stanley Cup finals the last two seasons. Twenty continuous years in the playoffs is not an option for the Red Wings.They lost last year to the Penguins and won the season before that to those same Penguins.
So who’s to blame for this rumpling of the hockey feathers? Two stars, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk haven’t had the scoring seasons they have had in the past.
Zetterberg has clocked 19 goals as opposed to his 31 last season.His assists reign with 38. Datsyuk has tallied 22 goals this year, while he had 32 last year.He also is doing well in the assist category with 36.But these guys were not signed on to be assist leader.Datsyuk has had a scoring run lately and has been revived- since March 1st, he’s scored three goals, and four assists. He scored six points in February.
No one can dispute the loss of Johan Franzen during most of the season due to injury.He’s had seven goals this year, while captain Nicklas Lidstrom has eight.But what happened to the confident spark of the Wings? Hossa, Hudler and Samuelsson evidently made more of an impact than originally thought.It’s like a Frankenstein created with all the best parts, but something went awry in the process.A few limbs were lost.The team clicked but it cost too much to maintain.Bargains are not always the best buys.
So who’s stepping up?Let’s talk Tomas Holmstrom with 20 goals, 13 assists and the gung-ho attitude expected of the boys playing on the ice at Joe Louis Arena. His late goal against the Calgary Flames burst the Wings into the eighth bunk in the Western Conference.
No one can debate the excellence of play in net for rookie Jimmy Howard, a Calder Cup candidate.But he may need more of a break.There is a huge debate in the Motor City on the Howard-Osgood goalie controversy.
With three Stanley Cups, 396 career wins and a 16-year career in the NHL goaltender Chris Osgood has been sitting, while Jimmy Howard exhausts his play in net.Remember last year when Ty Conklin was the hero going into the playoffs?The fans turned on Ozzie because of some downed games, but they were singing his praise as the Stanley Cup was in sight.Red Wings fans still love Ozzie.
Maybe there is no magic formula but the Wings have had the magic touch for years, making them one of the most despised teams in the NHL.Losing isn’t an option for the Wings and they will fight to the end to earn a chance to redeem their valor.