2011 NHL Playoffs: Is Game 4 the Last Hurrah for Some of the Detroit Red Wings?

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2011

DETROIT - JANUARY 14: Kris Draper #33 of the Detroit Red Wings congratulates teammate, Nicklas Lidstrom #5 after his goal in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena on January 14, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Red Wings won the game, 4-2. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)
Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

The end of an era might take place tonight in Detroit if the San Jose Sharks have anything to say about it.

Niklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood have been stalwarts in the Motor City for years. Mike Modano, though not in Detroit, has had a great career. All four of them could be playing their last game in the red and white.

Lidstrom has spent his entire in Detroit and has been their captain since 2006. He has won the Norris Trophy six times and might win another one this year. Draper has never been a superstar for the Wings but he has one of those glue guys for them and has been crucial to their success. Chris Osgood has been the dependable backstop for Detroit for the majority of his career.

Mike Modano signed with Detroit this off-season after his long-time team, the Dallas Stars, decided that they weren't going to bring him back. Hoping for one last championship, he joined the team that he believed had the greatest chance to win.

Now on the brink of elimination, fans tonight at the Joe Louis Arena better be appreciate what they could be watching. All four men will most likely retire this offseason and the hopes of the Detroit Red Wings will now truly be in the hands of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jimmy Howard.

Of course, if Detroit finds a way to beat the Sharks tonight, their careers will last one more game, and possibly longer if they win Games 5 and 6. The fact is, the way San Jose has been playing, they will ensure the that the final curtain drops on these four great players careers.