“To be the man, you have to beat the man.” Wrestling World Champion Ric Flair’s catch phrase also applies to the Detroit Red Wings. Since current General Manager Ken Holland joined the Wings’ front office in 1985, the team has only missed the playoffs twice (1986 and 1990).
Ever thought you’d hear Ric Flair and Ken Holland used in the same train of thought? Neither did I. In 24 years under Kenny, the Wings have only missed the play-offs twice. Some franchises can’t even say that they’ve only missed the play-offs twice over the past 3 years. But let’s not forget, The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have missed the play-offs eight times since Holland took over the Wings, are the model franchise (just ask Gary).
“The Wings have won four Stanley Cups, six Clarence Campbell Trophies (Western Conference Championship), six President’s Trophies, ten Western Conference Finals appearances and 14 Division titles.
Until a team can prove otherwise, all roads in the Western Conference will eventually have to go through Michigan. Since 1994, when the NHL changed the playoffs format from Divisional to Conference seedings, the Stanley Cup or Western Conference champs have either defeated the Wings or were defeated by the Wings in the Finals, ten out of 14 years. The Wings have been in the playoffs each of these years.”
No additional commentary needed. These are FACTS, and we hold them to be self evident.
Hockeytown U.S.A. is alive and well. They have built teams under both the free-spending system and the cap-system. Has the pieces to the puzzle leave due to retirement or unrestricted free agency, Holland just replaces them, either through the draft or going out and finding affordable UFA that can take over the roles of the departed pieces. Players know if they want to win a Stanley Cup and Ken Holland’s number comes up on their cell phones, they definitely better listen.
Amen. Don’t let them fool you, Wings fans. Tune out the drunken idiots from Chicago claiming there to be a change in the guard, they’ll forget about their Blackhawks if the Bears start winning, and pay no attention to the sniveling brats from Pittsburgh, school starts up again soon anyway…we ARE the team to beat. Oh and of course, don’t listen to ESPN, they hate the NHL anyway, they’ve probably covered more Brett Farve “re-tire, don’t retire” BS than they did the entire NHL play-offs. And pay no mind to THN, most Canadian media hate the Red Wings. We’re not re-building, we are reloading. This team is arguably better than the one we iced in 2007-2008, how did that season turn out?
Even with the loss of key players such as; Kopecky, Hossa, Samuelsson and probably Hudler, the Wings are losing 88 goals and 187 points but as is the custom in Detroit, with increased opportunity comes increased production. They will be looking for contributions from Leino, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Williams. They may not score as many goals but they should be better defensively.
And who wouldn’t swap a few goals-for, for a lot less goals-against. I know J.J. from Kansas has been preaching this all along. Forget about mercenary Hossa’s 40 goals if we can clean up the penalty killing this year. Ozzie will be better, Helm will be a PK machine and Ericsson may start to see some time as well as he continues to develop.
To recapitulate, Elliot Fraser knows that the Wings are going to be the team to beat yet again this year due to depth, growing prospects, and the best management in all of sports. Therefore, Elliot Fraser has more since than ESPN and THN put together.
There I said it.