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Quick Start: 8-1-0
Final Record: 51-17-14
Playoff Result: Defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 to win the Stanley Cup
The 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings may have been the most talented hockey team ever to take the ice. The team won the President's Trophy with 116 points and went on to win a championship.
The amazing thing is when you look up and down their roster and see great names like Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Dominik Hasek, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille and a rookie named Pavel Datsyuk. Their coach that year was arguably the best ever in NHL history in Scotty Bowman.
The Wings got off to a quick start and never looked back. They were 8-1-0 to open the season and were 12-2-0 in their first 14 games. Their only two losses in this opening stretch were at home to Calgary and Dallas. They outscored opponents 48-33 in the first 14 games and three of their wins came in overtime.
The Ducks won the Central Division and went on a playoff roll. They beat Vancouver in six games in the opening round before dispensing St. Louis in only five games. In the Western Conference Finals, Detroit won a legendary seven-game battle with the Avalanche which saw Hasek blank the Avs 7-0 in the seventh and deciding game. The five-game series win over the Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup was almost anticlimactic after that.
The Wings had another successful season in 2002-03 with 110 points, but they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.