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Mr.TaterSalad

Your Best and Worst Memories During the Streak

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Now that the Red Wings playoff streak has ended at 25 years, what are your best and worst memories during the last 25 years of the streak?

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Worst is easy for me....2009 Stanley Cup finals...game 7 specifically of course.  Had a big viewing party at my house that I had just purchased 2 years prior (first home) so I was pumped to host parties.  Had a bunch of big time Hockey Fans there....I still have no idea how we lost that series.

Best...watching Stevie Stick hoisting the trophy the first time.

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5 minutes ago, John_Brian_K said:

Worst is easy for me....2009 Stanley Cup finals...game 7 specifically of course.  Had a big viewing party at my house that I had just purchased 2 years prior (first home) so I was pumped to host parties.  Had a bunch of big time Hockey Fans there....I still have no idea how we lost that series.

Best...watching Stevie Stick hoisting the trophy the first time.

I'm still convinced that we lost that series because Evgeni Malkin acted like a thug at the end of Game 2 and motivated his team back into the series in the process. If Malkin had been suspended per the NHL's own instigator rule, we win that series easily in 5 games. If you are a superstar player in the NHL you are allowed goon it up by to swinging your stick and throw a punch at another player in the last two minutes of the game AND NOT get suspended.

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My personal favorite game in the streak was 1997 play-offs, game 6 vs. Colorado.

Great game, put the Wings in the Cup Final (where they rolled the Flyers), a loss would have forced game 7 in Colorado. 

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28 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

My personal favorite game in the streak was 1997 play-offs, game 6 vs. Colorado.

 

Never been more nervous for a hockey game, before or since.

A dejected hobbling Yzerman skating off the ice in Edmonton after the shock 1st round exit in 2006 was a low point.

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21 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Only because both of us were in attendance.

Speaking of being in attendance, here is a high-low memory followed by a low-high memory from when I was in attendance.

1. 1999 - Was in Denver on business. So had a chance to go to Game 2 of the 2nd round series between Detroit and Colorado. Pretty sure it was the only Avs vs. Wings game I went to during the peak rivalry years. Wings had won game 1 and looked pretty dominant in game 2 as well. I had a great time, there were probably 1,000 Wings fans in attendance, the Avs fans in my row were friendly, no grief at all except of the good-natured kind.  About 45 minutes after the game, as I was wandering away from the arena's back door (McNichols Arena's final season), Claude Lemieux jumps into a sports car and rips past a dozen of us. It looked for all the world that the Wings would roll on to a series victory. Somehow, the series tipped and the Wings lost the next 4. I still don't remember what was the turning point, or if there even was one that we could identify.

2. 2008 - Flew in from Vancouver for Game 5 on a hastily booked flight. Had secured tickets prior to the series, but was intending to give them to family or friends unless it was a clincher. Went with my brother, his wife and my uncle who took me to many Tigers and Red Wings games when I was a kid. My dad, who attended the 2006 ALDS clincher versus the Yankees with me, decided from then on he'd enjoy games from the comfort of his living room couch, so stayed home. When the Wings took the lead on Rafalski's goal midway through the 3rd ("that's one happy human"), rather than sit back they continued to pour it on. Beautiful, dominant. We were sitting directly behind Osgood, albeit in the upper bowl. A minute away from seeing a Cup victory in person, a lot of things need to align for that to happen. When the puck cleared to Zetterberg with under a minute to go it looked like he had an ENG and the Cup on his stick. But either the puck skipped or he got slashed and the play came back into the Wings' end, Franzen made a weak clearing, Osgood left the post exposed, and the rest is history.  The Wings would go on to win the Cup in Pittsburgh a couple of days later but it wasn't quite the same. It was a moment-in-time memory: my dad has since passed away, so did my brother's wife of cancer at an early age, the Wings have declined, the Joe will be gone, etc.

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I was 10 at the time when we had won the Cup in 1997. My mom had allowed me to buy one of those air horns in a can from Meijer. I remember after we won I went running through the house and out the door blaring the air horn. I certainly didn't care if I woke up the neighbors. How could you care when your team just one the Cup for the first time in decades.

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I was downtown Detroit the night they won the cup in 1997, and it was a night I will never forget.  People everywhere celebrating, hugging strangers, sharing beers.

I was 23 then.

 

There's a haiku in there somewhere.

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My worst memory is a toss up between the Konstantinov accident and Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. The Konstantinov car accident speaks for itself as to why it would be such a terrible memory to have. I remember the disappointment I felt as a kid when he didn't take the ice during the 1998 season. The disappointment of knowing there would never be a true "Russian Five" skating on the ice together again.

During the 2009 Stanley Cup run all I remember feeling was anger after Game 7. Like JBK I was having a big party for the game. I was still living at home at the time, but we had just bought my mom a new 50in, 720p HDTV for Christmas. I had around 20 people over at the house. We had two coolers full of Blue and Blue Light, pizza, burrito bar, Win Shulers cheese spread and the biggest killer, the 3 bottles of champagne sitting on ice. Needles to say we were rowdy as all get out. Losing that game with so many people around sucked. It was a total ***** fest with people over analyzing every call in the game, talking about the NHL handing Crosby the Cup, complaining about Malkin being a goon, etc. The worst part of it all though was having to open the fridge and look at those damn champagne bottles for weeks afterwards.

I didn't give a damn that year about the off-season once July 1st rolled around. I didn't really want to watch or think about hockey on general. All I could think back to (and still largely do) is that Malkin should have been suspended after gooning it up at the end of Game 2 and violating the NHL's instigator rule. We all know that the superstars get the best treatment, but when it actually works against your team and costs you a Stanley Cup it is one of the most infuriating realizations in sports. The end of the 2009 season was flat out the suckiest bunch of suck that ever did suck!

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2009 was pretty bad. Wasn't it game 5 where we absolutely destroyed them? I have no memory of game 6. 

I remember having no confidence going into game 7, and my recollection is that we fell behind early, ended up down 2, got a goal to cut it to one. And then not getting anything going for the last 10 minutes and sitting there feeling as if there was no hope for a comeback. 

I also remember getting into an internet fight in the game thread with a couple people that were positive thoughts like "we are going to come back" and the like and it got under my skin because I was no convinced that we weren't going to do it. 

95 and 96 were also downers. Making the final and getting swept was awful. Game 1 of the 95 final is the only cup final game I ever attended. My dad went out of his way to get us in that game. That is a particularly good memory for that reason, and of course it was only game 1. 

96 was such a crappy way to end such an amazing season. 

98 was not very memorable. 2002 didn't do much for me for some reason although it had some great moments, like game 7 against the Avs and larionov's OT winner. Maybe it had to do with it being the first season I was living outside of Michigan or the team being composed of so many mercenaries. Or maybe it was yzerman bringing his daughter out to receive the cup. 

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It's funny, I distinctly the bad feeling of losing Game 7 to the Pens and the bad feeling of Game 163 vs the Twins. But I rarely link them in my mind as being both in 2009. After the Lions had gone 0-16 in 2008. And the Pistons' run of conference finals came to an end that same spring with a losing season. Wow, that was a fair bit of heartache in a short period of time.

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1998 was memorable in that I never listened to WDFN more than I did that spring. So a lot of Art Regner's "I just have one more thing to say ... Go Wings!" and "This team's gonna repeat", and a lot of trolling by Stoney and Wojo by a young Dallas sports radio host named Rocco Pendola who carried the flag for the Stars. 

2002 was memorable to me mostly for the first round against the Canucks, as I live in Vancouver. I went to Game 6, threw an octopus on the ice for the first and only time in my life with around 10 minutes to go in the 3rd, so was out of the arena and back in the comfort of my own home by the time the final buzzer sounded. I was in France during the tail end of the conference finals and as bizarre as this seems to me now, I didn't know the result of the Game 7 until I went to the Louvre the next morning (the game would have ended in the middle of the night France time) and on an Internet kiosk read the Detroit News about the 7-0 blowout. The 2002 finals against Carolina seemed like a foregone conclusion and I was relaxed even during the long 3OT game ended by Larionov - by the 2nd OT I wasn't even watching the game non-stop.

 

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Fairly cliche:

 

Best: first cup win, was in another state for a hockey tournament (I think Colorado) and watched them win it from the edge of the hotel bed, went and ran down the halls yelling and then having a celebratory dip in the hot tub at the hotel

 

Worst: the game 7 loss to the Penguins, I was on a vacation with some college buddies at the grand canyon and I stayed in to watch game seven instead of going on a hike, kind of put a stink on the whole trip for me

 

Honorable mentions for best to personally meeting Yzerman in... I want to say 92? Watching Vladdy with the cup after his accident,  Mnatsakanov getting emotional when being introduced with Vladdy, Fedorov scoring 5 goals against Washington, Avalanche brawl, Dallas Drake lifting the cup, Yzerman OT winner against St. Louis, Datsyuk's shootout moves, Lidstrom being the first Euro captain to lift the cup, Shanny getting to his first game as a Wing late but suiting up....I could go on forever

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29 minutes ago, Shelton said:

or the team being composed of so many mercenaries. Or maybe it was yzerman bringing his daughter out to receive the cup. 

Yeah, I didn't like Yzerman's daughter being with him to get the Cup.

The "so many mercenaries" is the perception that many have, myself included, and it is that single season that clouds people's memory that the Wings "bought" a Cup or multiple Cups. The Wings were largely home-grown, consisting in their peak years almost exclusively of players they drafted. With some notable exceptions such as Vernon and Larionov and Shanahan and Chelios and Hasek all of whom they traded for (the latter being acquired in exchange for Kozlov and a 1st round pick). So even in 2002, the only players airlifted in were Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. It sure felt like more than that at the time. I guess because they were being added to an already star-studded lineup. But honestly, apart from those 2, I can't think of any other notable free agent signings by the Wings from 1995 until Rafalski in 2007 and Hossa in 2008.

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I guess thing about hasek is that it felt like we simply took him from buffalo without giving up anything. Guys like shanahan and Chelios also felt like we got them for nothing. Maybe it is just because at the time no one followed prospects like they do now. I have no idea what we have up in almost any of the trades that brought in important pieces. And there is also the case of them being able to retain guys easily by throwing money at them. 

Of course lots of teams also trade for players and sign free agents. It just seems like the wings were not so much savvy as they were able to flex their financial muscle.

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Well I personally wouldn't say the Shanahan trade was for nothing, the Wings gave up Keith Primeau (post-Wings made a couple All Star games, votes for Hart and Selke a few years, captain in Philly, 389 points in 546 games even with all of his injuries), Paul Coffey (near the end of his career, still able to put up respectable numbers-40 points in 69 games at age 38!), and a first round pick (22nd overall 1997, guy drafted ended up doing nothing) but I think it is correct that most times Holland seemed to take the other teams to the cleaners... boy have the times changed.

 

Would like to add one of my worst Wings memories was going to a Sergei Fedorov hockey camp in Detroit when I was visiting family (I worshiped him growing up) and he didn't show up.  Bill Ranford showed up instead and I was very very sad haha.

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Yeah, I don't remember the details of the trades obviously. But I do remember never liking primeau. 

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6 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Yeah, I don't remember the details of the trades obviously. But I do remember never liking primeau. 

Apparently nobody did (sans young me), doubt he would have worked in Detroit had he stayed.  Even though the Wings gave up a decent amount in that trade, subtracting Primeau and Coffey (playoff struggles for both, Coffey and Bowman hated each other I recall) were a plus on their own even as valuable players.

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17 minutes ago, drownwithyou said:

Apparently nobody did (sans young me), doubt he would have worked in Detroit had he stayed.  Even though the Wings gave up a decent amount in that trade, subtracting Primeau and Coffey (playoff struggles for both, Coffey and Bowman hated each other I recall) were a plus on their own even as valuable players.

I remember Coffey scoring into his own net in game 1 against the Avs in 2006, what a deflater fresh off the high of Yzerman's 20T winner a couple of nights earlier. EDIT: Just checked; apparently it was Game 2.

The Hasek and Chelios trades were somewhat like the Tigers' trade for Miggy. Value was given back to the other team, true, but there was no doubt the next morning whose fans were happier, as none of those trades would have happened if not cheap owners on the other side. Chelios was obtained for two 1st round picks and Anders Ericsson. Hasek was obtained for Kozlov and a 1st. Arguably, that is similar to what stars of those calibre would yield today if they went on the market. But no one really freaked about giving up 1st round picks back then - there were other means of obtaining top talent.

I think you can make the case that the Tigers relied more on deep pockets for their success in the '10s than the Wings did in the '90s. Yes, some homegrown talent like Verlander and bold trades like that of Granderson, but heavily outspending other teams in the Central was a huge factor. I'm not complaining though.

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24 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Bill Ranford.

Somewhere in my binder of hockey cards I have this Billy Ranford card, minus the autograph . . .

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Best Moment -   The second Stevie raised that Stanley Cup over his head.   I cried.   

 

Worst Moment -  Jiri Fischer.   Scary stuff there.   

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2 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:
Best Moment -   The second Stevie raised that Stanley Cup over his head.   I cried.   
 
 

 


Yep, I love how the entire Wings teams stepped back and had Yzerman do a full solo lap of honour. How on a national level Ray Bourque's Cup win with Colorado is considered a more heartwarming moment than that I don't understand.

I also love the moment a few days earlier, during the player intros before Game 3, when the crowd erupted when Yzerman's name was called and Stevie stared straight ahead, determined look on his face, and then acknowledged the crowd with his fist into the air. The Wings were on their way, getting close enough to taste, but there was still hard work to be done to take care of business.  UPDATE: Found it!

 

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