When it comes to hockey, there is no fan like a Red Wings fan. I'm not always saying that in a good way.
I have been a Wings fan my whole life, and I have seen a major shift in the attendance at these games. Take this picture for example, This is a huge fan, but is he at the game? Can he afford to go?
Everyone wants to blame the low attendance on the Michigan economy. I'm not saying it isn't, but when the Tigers, Pistons, and losing Lions still sell out their games, you can't really blame the economy. There are two reasons why I think Detroit just isn't feeling hockey these days.
One, Detroit is a rock 'em, sock 'em hockey town. Ever since the lockout, and the new rules were enforced, fans have lost some interest in the game in Detroit.
There isn't as much fighting and grunt work now compared to before the lockout. Sure, it's nice to see the great skills put on display, but there were great skills before, and it was even more exciting because a skilled player would take a shot on the arm and keep going. That's skill.
Now, you just get a free pass when you're skating with the puck. If you are touched ever so slightly that you lose control, a penalty is called. So, no one is going to touch you anymore. That's not what Detroit fans want to see.
They want to see someone get rocked, then have their fighter come on the ice and kick that player's ass for doing it. That's hockey!
Two, the Red Wings fans expect to win the Cup every year. They are always one of the best teams before the playoffs. We have been inching closer and closer to the finals every year, but when you win your conference, and you get beat in the first round, its hard on us die-hard fans to come out and watch that happen.
Coming up short year after year in the playoffs is just plain heartbreaking for Detroit fans. There is hope in the near future. As long as we don't blow this series with Dallas, we will be in the Finals, and I would expect to see every seat filled in Joe Louis Arena!
So, don't worry Red Wings fans, the Cup is in our grasp! Go get 'em, boys!