5 Moments You Should Never Mention to a Detroit Red Wings Fan
The Detroit Red Wings have had some great moments in their franchise history. With 11 Stanley Cups and plenty more regular season titles, there have truly been some memorable moments in the Red Wings' franchise history.
But along with those great moments, there have been some equally embarrassing moments. Although the Red Wings have some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in hockey, even the most proud Red Wings fan can be humbled by mentioning a few moments in the Red Wings' franchise history.
Here are five moments that you should avoid mentioning to any Red Wings fan.
Most of these moments have to do with the playoffs and the last 40 years.
5. NHL Players Union and Terrible Ted Lindsay
Owners of any kind do not like union representation standing in the way of their ownership and management.
The same can be said for hockey.
The Red Wings' Ted Lindsay tried to get the Red Wings players on board with the NHL Players Association in the late 1950s. Before the 1957-58 season, the Red Wings' management—mainly head coach Jack Adams—got fed up enough with Lindsay to trade him to the Chicago Blackhawks, via Hockey Hall of Fame.
Lindsay put up 85 points the previous season, his best as an NHL player, but was traded to the then lowly Blackhawks.
The Red Wings had won the Stanley Cup in 1954-55, but after the Lindsay trade, Detroit would go another four decades before winning it again.
While Lindsay's presence on the team wouldn't have assured another Stanley Cup the following season, the Red Wings still had another decade of Original Six hockey before league expansion in 1967. Needless to say, it is easier to win the Stanley Cup with fewer teams.
Clearly Red Wings' management cared more about getting rid of players that would disturb the status quo through the new NHLPA than giving their fans another Stanley Cup.
4. The Dead Wings Era
During that 42-year Stanley Cup drought between 1954 and 1997, the Red Wings went through the most depressing time in their franchise history. During this era, the team was affectionately known as the "Dead Wings."
From 1967 to 1983, the Red Wings made the playoffs just twice, winning just three playoff games over that span.
The "Dead Wings" era was difficult on Red Wings fans, but nothing compares to agonizing playoff defeats. So, the Dead Wings era will remain relatively low on this list.
3. 1994 Series Loss to the San Jose Sharks
When a team goes 11-71-2 in a season, it is hard to take them seriously in the following year, no matter what their record is.
The San Jose Sharks went 11-71-2 in the 1992-93 season, but made the playoffs for the first time in just their franchise's third season in 1993-94.
The Red Wings hosted Game 7 of their first round series with the Sharks, but it was the Sharks that took the game by a 3-2 score off of a Chris Osgood clearing gaffe.
Osgood was relatively inexperienced at that point and the series was a learning moment for the team.
That learning experience didn't make it any less painful for the fans and players alike, as the Red Wings were the No. 1 seed and the Sharks were the No. 8 seed, squeaking into the playoffs with a 33-35-16 record.
2. 1995 Stanley Cup Final Sweep vs. New Jersey Devils
The near end of the Red Wings' 42-year Cup drought was not ended in 1995, as the Red Wings were swept in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Detroit came into the playoffs as the President's Trophy winners, with a 33-11-4 record, while the Devils came into the finals as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils frustrated Detroit in the final, holding the offensive juggernaut Red Wings to just three goals in the first two games, and seven goals in the series.
When a team gets to the Stanley Cup Final, it hurts to lose, but sometimes it hurts one's pride even more to be swept in the series.
This marked the first time since 1966 that the Red Wings appeared in the Stanley Cup Final, so Red Wings fans were likely even more heartbroken than they were in subsequent playoff losses after Detroit finally won the Cup in 1997.
1. 2009 Stanley Cup Final Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Stanley Cup playoffs are great because at the end of a seven-game series, one team wins and one team loses. Such was Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Red Wings were looking to defend home ice in Game 7, as well as become the first team since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings to win consecutive championships.
That simply didn't happen.
For almost 54 minutes of game time, the Red Wings couldn't buy a goal and the Penguins sat on a 2-0 lead. Jonathan Ericsson scored with 6:07 remaining in the third period, but the Red Wings couldn't get any puck luck and watched the Penguins skate away with their first Stanley Cup since 1992.
There are two words that will get Red Wings' fans blood boiling in the playoffs.
When Red Wings' fans watched Crosby skate around with the Cup, it almost felt like a slap in the face because Crosby played under 10 minutes of ice time in Game 7. He injured his knee when he tried to piggy back onto Johan Franzen in the second period.
The Penguins did everything in their power to win the game and indeed deserved to win, blocking 20 shots in Game 7 compared to three by Detroit.
Whether Crosby deserved to be the first one to hoist the Cup after he "couldn't" come out to play in the third period is another story.