Detroit Red Wings
1926/27: In 1925 the fledgling WCHL had one last gasp when the Victoria Cougars broke won the Stanley Cup breaking the NHL’s stranglehold on hockey’s most prestigious trophy. The Cougars would make the finals again in 1926 but the league was dead. Several East Coast investors would buy the remaining WCHL teams moving them to Eastern Cities in the NHL. The Cougars were purchased by a group of 26 investors led by Charles Hughes who moved them to Detroit. However, an arena was not ready for the Cougars and they played their first season in the nearby town of Windsor Ontario. On November 18th the Detroit Cougars played their first game losing to the Bruins at Windsor’s Border Cities Arena. That first year playing without a true home the Cougars would struggle finishing last in the American Division with a 12-28-4 record.
1927/28: The Cougars get a new coach and a new arena as Jack Adams takes over behind the bench at Olympia Stadium opens in Detroit. The Cougars would play much better in their first season in Detroit missing a playoff berth by just two points while finishing with a 19-19-6 record.
1928/29: The Cougars rise continues as they make the playoffs for the first time finishing in third place with a 19-16-9 record. However, in the playoffs the Cougars are blown away losing a total goal series to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 7-2.
1929/30: The Cougars take a step backward missing the playoffs for the third time in four years with a disappointing 14-24-6 record.
1930/31: Seeking a new identity the Cougars are renamed the Detroit Falcons. However, the team still struggles missing the playoffs again with a 16-21-7 record.
1931/32: Despite another losing record the Falcons make the playoffs by finishing in third place in the American Division with 18-20-10 record. In the playoffs the Falcons would have another quick exit losing to the Montreal Maroons 3-1 in a total goal series.
1932/33: James D. Norris purchases the team renaming the franchise again while borrowing the Winged Wheel insignia from a Montreal Athletic Association hockey team for which Norris once played with, and becoming the Detroit Red Wings. The new look would pay off as the Wings finished with a solid 25-15-8 record finishing tied for first place. After losing a tiebreaker for the Division the Wings would win their first playoff series beating the Montreal Maroons 5-2 in a total goal series. However, in the semifinals the Wings would lose a goal series to the New York Rangers 6-3.
1933/34: The Red Wings win their first division title claiming the American Division with a solid 24-14-10 record. In the semifinals the Wings would battle the Toronto Maple Leafs n bitter five game series winning the final game 1-0 to advance to their first Cup Final. In the Finals the Wings would be shut down by Chicago Black Hawks Goalie Chuck Gardner who limits the Wings to just two goals in the first two games at Olympia Stadium. After exploding for five goals in Game 3 in Chicago to stay alive the Wings Cup hopes are ended in Game 4 as Harold March breaks a 0-0 tie 30 minutes into extra time.
1934/35: The Wings would suffer disappointment coming off their Finals Appearance missing the playoffs by finishing last in the American Division with a 19-22-7 record.
1935/36: The Red Wings would bounce back and reclaim the American Division Title finishing with a league best 24-16-8 record. In the playoffs the Wings would make quick work of the Montreal Maroons sweeping them in three straight games, limiting them to just one goal. In the Finals the Red Wings would continue to fly high scoring 12 goals in the first two games to take a 2-0 series lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the Leafs took Game 3 in Toronto the Wings claimed the first Stanley Cup with a 3-2 win at Maple Leaf Gardens.
1936/37: The Red Wings followed up their first sip from the Stanley Cup by repeating as Division Champions with a 25-14-9 record. In the playoffs the Wings would get off to a fast start beating the Montreal Canadiens by a combined score 9-1 in the first two games. However, the Habs would battle back taking the next two games by twin 3-1 scores. However, with the Cup slipping form their grasps the Wings would win the decisive fifth game in overtime 2-1. In the Finals the Wings would get off to a shaky start losing 5-1 to the Rangers in New York. However, with circus coming to the big apple the Wings would have the benefit of playing the rest of the series at home. However the Rangers still put up a fight winning Game 3 to 1-0 to get one step from the Cup. However, Wings rookie goalie Earl Robertson would turn into a brick wall blanking the Rangers in the final two games as the Wings won the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row.
1937/38: The Red Wings quest to win the Stanley Cup for the third year in a row never got off the ground as they struggled all year missing the playoffs by finishing in last place with a 12-25-11 record.
1938/39: The Red Wings struggle again but make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place in the NHL with an 18-24-6 record. In the first round the Wings would overcome a Game 1 loss to beat the Montreal Canadiens in a three game series winning the final game in overtime. However in the semifinals the Wings would be clipped losing a wild three game series to the Toronto Maple Leafs, dropping the decisive third game in overtime 5-4.
1939/40: The Red Wings continue to struggle but make the playoffs again with a 16-26-6 record. In the playoffs the Wings would once again advance beating the New York American in a three game series that went the distance. However, in the semifinals the Wings are beaten by the Toronto Maple Leafs in two straight games.
1940/41: The Red Wings end a string of three straight losing seasons by finishing in third place with a solid 21-16-11 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings would knock off the defending Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers in a hard fought three game series. In the semifinals the Wings continued to fly high beating the Chicago Black Hawks in two straight games. However, in the Stanley Cup Finals the Wings are swept in four straight games by the Boston Bruins.
1941/42: Despite struggling with a 19-25-4 record the Red Wings make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs the Wings would knock off the Montreal Canadiens in three games series that went the distance. Moving on to the semifinals the Wings continued their momentum beating the Boston Bruins in two straight games. In the Finals the Wings continued to fly high taking a commanding 3-0 lead scoring 12 goals in the first three games. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs would make an unbelievable comeback winning four straight games, a feat that has only been repeated two other times, in all professional sports.
1942/43: The Detroit Red Wings were able to shake their sudden finals collapse and win the regular season title by finishing with a solid 25-14-11 record. In the semifinals the Red Wings would exercises the ghost of their Finals collapse by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games. In the Finals the Red Wings would not let another Stanley Cup slip away sweeping the Boston Bruins in four straight games, as Goalie Johnny Mowers blanked the Bruins in the final two games at the Boston Gardens.
1943/44: The Red Wings are among the best in NHL again finishing in second place with a 26-18-6 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would stun by a Chicago Black Hawks team with a losing record in five games.
1944/45: The Red Wings put together another solid regular season finishing in 2nd place with a 31-14-5 record. In the playoffs the Wings would survive a tough seven -game series with the Boston Bruins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in the Finals the Wings ran in to the hot goalie being shutout in the first three games by Toronto Maple Leafs net minder Frank McCool. However, the Wings would get off the mat with a five goal outburst and would rally to force a seventh game. In the Game 7 McCool was strong again as the Wings fell 2-1.
1945/46: Despite playing mediocre hockey all season and finishing with a 20-20-10 record the Red Wings are among four teams that make the layoffs. However, in the playoffs it would be a quick exit as they fall in five games to the Boston Bruins.
1946/47: Despite a losing record or 22-32-6, the Red Wings make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place in the season Gordie Howe made in NHL debut. In the Playoffs the Wings would be clipped right away losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games.
1947/48: The formation of the production line of Sid Abel, Gordie How and Ted Lindsay sees the Red Wings challenge for first place, before finishing a solid second place with a 30-18-12 record. In the playoffs the Wings would make the finals by beating the New York Rangers in six games. However, in the finals the Wings are swept away by a veteran laden Toronto Maple Leafs squad who won their second straight Stanley Cup.
1948/49: The Red Wings rise continues as the finish as regular season champions with an impressive 34-19-7 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings made the finals for the second year in a row battling off the Montreal Canadiens in a tough seven game series. However, for the second year in a row the Wings would be swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the finals.
1949/50: With Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, and Gordie Howe finishing in the top three in scoring the Red Wings continued soaring winning the regular season title with a 37-19-14 record. The playoffs would get off to a disastrous start as the Red Wings lost Game 1 of the semifinals to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0, while losing Gordie Howe to a serious head injury he suffered sliding headfirst into the boards. The Wings would recover and would win the series in seven games winning the last games on shutouts including a 1-0 overtime win in Game 7. In the finals the Red Wings found themselves down again after five games, but playing the entire playoffs on the road caught up to the New York Rangers as the Wings forced Game 7 with a 5-4 win. In Game 7 the Wings would go into overtime again before Pete Babando won the cup 8:31 into double overtime.
1950/51: With Gordie Howe returning from injury and leading the league in scoring, the Red Wings win the regular season title for the third year in a row with a 44-13-13 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would be clipped right away losing to the Montreal Canadiens in six games.
1951/52: By scoring 47 goals Gordie Howe captures his first Hart Trophy as the Red Wings continue to dominate the regular season inning their fourth league title in a row with a 44-14-12 record. In the playoffs the Wings started flying right away as goalie Terry Sawchuk blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the semifinals 3-0. Following the game a few fans had the idea of throwing an octopus on the ice being that it had eight arms and to win the Stanley Cup you need to win eight games. The Wings would go on to sweep the series in four straight as the octopus tossing began to catch on. In the finals the Wings won the first two games on the road in Montreal and came home where Terry Sawchuk blanked the Canadiens with twin 3-0 scores to complete the sweep. With the Red Wings winning eight straight they became the first team to sweep through the playoffs ensuring the octopi tossing would become a tradition for years to come.
1952/53: Gordie Howe narrowly missies becoming the first player in league history to score 50 goals in a season as he captures the Hart Trophy for the second straight season with 49 goals. The Red Wings would go on to capture their fifth straight league title with a 37-19-14 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would be stunned in six games by the Boston Bruins.
1953/54: The Wings fly high again winning the league title for the sixth straight season with a 37-19-14 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings would reach the finals by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games. In the finals the Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens would alternate victories setting up a decisive seventh game at Olympia Stadium. For the Red Wings it was deja vu in Game 7 as the game went into overtime when Tony Leswick won the Cup with a goal 4:29 into the extra session.
1954/55: The Red Wings continue to dominate the NHL winning their seventh straight league title by holding off the Montreal Canadiens with a 42-17-11 record. In the playoffs the Wings would stay red hit as the swept away the Toronto Maple Leafs in four straight games. In a rematch with Montreal Canadiens the Red Wings and Habs each won high scoring games on their own home ice setting up a 7th game at Olympia Stadium. In Game 7 the Wings would keep the home fire burning as they knocked off the Canadiens to win their second straight Stanley Cup with a 3-1 record. In the finals Gordie Howe was the star scoring 12 points to set a new Finals record.
1955/56: The Red Wings lose their grip on first place settling for second place with a 30-24-16 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings once again knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs n five games for a trip to the finals against the Montreal Canadiens. However, in the finals the Wings are tripped by the Habs falling in five games.
1956/57: With Gordie Howe winning the Hart Trophy for the third time the Red Wings reclaim the regular season title with a 38-20-12 record. However in the playoffs the Wings would be stunned losing to the Boston Bruins in five games.
1957/58: Despite Gordie Howe winning his fourth Hart Trophy the Red Wings fall into third place with a mediocre 29-29-12 record. In the playoffs it would be a quick exit for the Red Wings as they are swept by the Montreal Canadiens in four straight games.
1958/59: The Red Wings would struggle on defense all season allowing 218 goals as they miss the playoffs for the first time in 21 years by finishing in last place with a 25-37-8 record.
1959/60: Gordie Howe recaptures the Hart Trophy as the Red Wings rebound and make the playoffs by finishing in 4th place with a 26-29-15 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would be knocked off in six games by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1960/61: The Red Wings make the playoff again despite a losing record at 25-29-16. However in the playoff the Wings would hit another gear, stunning the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games. However, in the finals the Red Wings are defeated in six games by the Chicago Black Hawks.
1961/62: After a surprise trip to the finals the Red Wings struggle all year and fail to even make the playoff finishing in fifth place with a 23-33-14 record.
1962/63: Gordie Howe captures the scoring title and wins his sixth and final Hart Trophy as the Red Wings finish in fourth place with 32-25-13 record. In the playoffs the Wings would survive a seven game war with Chicago Black Hawks to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the finals the Red Wings would be beaten by the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games.
1963/64: The Red Wings coast through the regular season making the playoffs by finishing in fourth place, with a 30-29-11 record. In the playoffs the Wings would turn it up a notch beating the Chicago Black Hawks in 6 games for a finals rematch with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In each of the first three games the winning goal was scored in the final minute. The Wings looked poised for victory playing Game 6 in Detroit, but a heartbreaking loss in Overtime would lead to a 4-0 defeat in Game 7 as the Leafs won their third straight cup.
1964/65: The Red Wings were flying high all season capturing the regular season title with a 40-23-7 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would lose a heartbreaking seven game series to the Chicago Black Hawks losing the final two games by a combined score of 8-2.
1965/66: After winning the regular season title and losing in the first round the Red Wings make the playoffs again as the 4th seed finishing with a 31-27-12 record. In the playoffs the Wings would exact revenge on the Chicago Blackhawks knocking them off in six games. However, in the finals the Wings would fall to the Montreal Canadiens in six games. Despite the loss Goalie Roger Crozier is named playoff MVP winning the Conn Smythe award with a 2.17 GAA in 12 games.
1966/67: In the final season before expansion the Red Wings struggle all season missing the playoffs with a disappointing 27-39-4 record.
1967/68: The Red Wings are non-factor in the playoff race finishing in last place with a 27-35-12 record that was worse than all but one of the six new expansion teams, the Oakland Seals.
1968/69: Despite finishing with a winning record that was better than three of the Western Conference Playoff teams the Red Wings finish in fifth place with a 33-31-12 record and miss the playoffs.
1969/70: After missing the playoffs three years in a row the Red Wings make back into the postseason by finishing in third place with a 40-21-15 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings would be swept in four straight by the Chicago Black Hawks.
1970/71: In Gordie Howe’s final season the Red Wings struggle all season finishing in last place with a terrible 22-45-11 record. Howe would retire holding all major goal-scoring record. However, it would not be Gordie Howe’s final season after being enshrined in the Hall of Fame right away he would play in the WHA, and would eventually make a return to the NHL with Hartford Whalers.
1971/72: The Red Wings miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six years by finishing in fifth place with a 33-35-10 record.
1972/73: Despite a solid 37-29-12 record the Red Wings miss the playoffs finishing in fifth place in the Eastern Division.
1973/74: The Red Wings miss the Playoffs for the fourth straight year and the seventh time in eight years by finishing in 6th place with a 29-39-10 record.
1974/75: The Red Wings continue to struggle finishing out of the playoffs again with a 23-45-12 record that landed them in fourth place in the Norris Division.
1975/76: The Red Wings struggles continue as they continue to be among just six teams missing the playoffs finishing in fourth place with a 26-44-10 record.
1976/77: The Red Wings go from bad to worse finishing with worst record in the entire league at 16-55-9.
1977/78: The Red Wings double their win total finishing in second place with a 32-34-14 record to end a seven year playoff drought. In the playoffs the Red Wings quickly douse the Atlanta Flames beating them in two straight games. However, in the second round the Red Wings are crushed by the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
1978/79: The Red Wings take a step backward falling back into last place with a 23-41-6 record, while missing the playoff for the 11th time in 13 years.
1979/80: The Red Wings change addresses playing their final game at Olympia Stadium on December 15th and their first game at the brand new state of the art Joe Louis Arena 12 days later. However, the Wings struggles continue as they are one of just five teams missing the playoffs while finishing in last place with a 26-43-11 record.
1980/81: In their first full season at Joe Louis Arena the Red Wings continue to be one of the worst teams in the NHL finishing in last place again with a horrid 19-43-18 record.
1981/82: The once great Red Wings franchise now firmly supplanted as one of the league doormats misses the playoffs for the 14th time in 16 years by finishing with a 21-47-12 record, as five decades of Norris ownership comes to an end when the team is sold to Pizza kingpin Mike Ilitch.
1982/83: The Red Wings continue to struggle missing the playoffs again with a 21-44-15 record, that see them finish in last place in the Norris Division.
1983/84: With a solid rookie season from Center Steve Yzerman the Red Wings end their playoff drought by finishing in third place with a 31-42-7 record. However, in the playoffs the Red Wings are bounced right away losing three games to one to the St. Louis Blues.
1984/85: Despite a poor 27-41-12 record the Red Wings make the playoffs for the second straight season by finishing in third place. However, in the playoffs the Red Wings are swept in three straight games by the Chicago Black Hawks.
1985/86: With injuries limiting Steve Yzerman to 51 games and 14 goals the Red Wings hit rock bottom finishing in last place with a franchise worst record of 17-57-6 record.
1986/87: At the age of 21 Steve Yzerman is named the youngest captain in team history by new Coach Jacques Demeres. The move would work as the Red Wings double their win total finishing in second place with a 34-36-10 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings would make quick work of the Chicago Blackhawks sweeping them in four straight games, to reach their first Norris Division Final. In a Norris Division Final match up of resurgent teams the Red Wings overcome a 3-1 deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games to reach their first Conference Finals. In the Campbell Conference Finals the Red Wings take Game 1 by a score of 3-1 stunning the Oilers in Edmonton. However, the superior Oilers would roar back winning four straight on the way to their third Stanley Cup in four years.
1987/88: The Red Wings win their first division title in 23 years topping the Norris Division with a solid 41-28-11 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings would knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games to make the Norris Finals. In the Division finals the Red Wings would tally 21 goals in five games dispatching the St. Louis Blues to reach their second straight Campbell Conference Finals. However, once again the Edmonton Oilers were too much to overcome as they fell in five games to arguably the greatest team in NHL history.
1988/89: Despite a mediocre 34-34-12 record the Red Wings win their second straight Division Title as Steve Yzerman finishes third in scoring. However, in the playoffs the Red Wings are beaten by the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
1989/90: The Red Wings suffer through a season and poor play as they miss the playoffs by finishing in last place with a 28-38-14 record. Following the season Coach Jacques Demers is fired and replaced by Bryan Murray.
1990/91: Red Army star Sergei Federov makes his debut, after defecting from the Soviet Union scoring 31 goals as the Red Wings rebound and make the playoffs by finishing in third place with a 34-38-8 record. In the Playoffs the Red Wings were a goal scoring machine scoring 17 goals while jumping out to a 3-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues. However, the Wings would only score three goals the rest of the way as they fell in seven games.
1991/92: The Red Wings continue to raise among the NHL elites winning the Norris Division with an impressive 43-25-12 record. However in the playoffs the Red Wings would find themselves in 3-1 hole to the Minnesota North Stars. In a reversal of last year the Wings would rally to win next three games, outscoring the Stars 9-3. However, there would be no rally in the Norris Division finals as the Red Wings are swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in four straight games.
1992/93: The Red Wings hit the 100-point make for the first time in 41 years as they finish in second place with a 47-28-9 record. However, in the playoffs the Red Wings are knocked off in seven games by the Toronto Maple Leafs losing the final game in overtime. Following the season the Wings would fire Coach Bryan Murray as they brought in legendary Coach Scotty Bowman.
1993/94: With a 46-30-8 record the Red Wings finish with best record in the Western Conference, as Sergei Fedorov wins the Hart Trophy. However, in the playoffs the Red Wings would be stunned by the San Jose Sharks in seven games.
1994/95: In a season shortened to 48 games by a four month lockout the Red Wings capture the President’s Trophy marking the best record in the NHL at 33-11-4. In the playoffs the Red Wings continued to soar beating the Dallas Stars in five games. In the second round the Wings made up for their slip up the year before by sweeping the San Jose Sharks in four straight scoring six goals in each game to outscore the Sharks 24-6. In the Western Conference Finals the Red Wings remained the dominant force in hockey beating the Chicago Blackhawks in five games to advance to their first final in 29 years. However, in the finals the Wings would be frustrated by the neutral zone trap employed by the New Jersey Devils, as they are swept in four straight games.
1995/96: The Red Wings have one of the finest seasons in NHL history winning a record 62 games on the way to claiming their second straight President’s Trophy with a 62-13-7 record. In the playoffs the Red Wings would beat the lame duck Winnipeg Jets in six games. In the second Round the Wings would be taken to the limit by the St. Louis Blues needing an overtime goal in Game 7 to win the series. However, the Red Wings lose the first two games in the Conference Finals at home to the Colorado Avalanche and never recover, falling in six games.
1996/97: After two straight President’s Trophies the Red Wings finish in second place in the Central Division with a 38-26-18 record. In the first round the Wings would beat the St. Louis Blues in six games. The Red Wings would pick up a full head of steam in the second round sweeping the Anaheim Mighty Ducks as Mike Vernon established himself as the hot goalie. In a reversal of last year’s Western Conference Finals the Red Wings take the first two games from the Avalanche in Colorado and would go on to win the series in six games. In the finals the Red Wings took command early beating the Flyers in the first two games in Philadelphia. As the series shifted back to Hockey Town USA the Wings went in for the kill completing the sweep to win their first Stanley Cup in 42 years. While Goalie Mike Vernon who out played Chris Osgood, to end the rotating goalie tandem was rewarded with Conn Smythe award for Playoff MVP. However the celebration would be short lived as star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov are critically injured in a one-vehicle limousine accident following a team party. The limo driver was stoned on pot when he crashed the limo, but he would never face serious charges. Konstantinov would remain in a coma for months when he emerged, he was left severely brain damaged, as was Mnatsakanov.
1997/98: Dedicating the entire season to Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakanov the Red Wings put together another solid season finishing second place with a 44-23-15 record. With Mike Vernon traded before the season the Red Wings turned to Chris Osgood who played shaky in previous playoff tests. In the first round he showed a little of his shakiness as the Red Wings needed six games to knock off the Phoenix Coyotes. In the second round Osgood played stronger as the Wings beat the St. Louis Blues in six games. Facing the Dallas Stars who won the Presidents Trophy the Wings landed in the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight season as they knocked off the Stars in six games. With wheelchair ridden Vladimir Konstantinov and masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov on hand the Red Wings turned it up a notch crushing the Washington Capitals in four straight games to win their second straight Stanley Cup. Longtime fan favorite Steve Yzerman would be presented with the Conn Smythe. Also serving as Captain Steve Yzerman when presented with Stanley Cup skated over and placed it in Konstantinov’s lap as the entire team joined in for an emotional scene that touched fans throughout the sports world.
1998/99: In a quest to win a third straight Stanley Cup the Red Wings finish in first place with a solid 43-32-7 record that lands them in first place in the Central Division. In the playoffs the Red Wings would get off to a fast start sweeping the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in four straight games. However, the Wings reign would be ended in the second round as they fall in six games to the Colorado Avalanche.
1999/00: The Red Wings once again are one of the best teams in the NHL finishing second in the Central Division with the second best record in the NHL at 48-24-10 record. In the playoffs the Wings got off to a flying start again as they swept the Los Angeles Kings in four straight games. However, the Wings would fall apart in the second round losing in five games to the Colorado Avalanche.
2000/01: The Red Wings put together another solid season winning the Central Division with a 49-20-9-4 record. However, as the season ended the Red Wings aging veterans would go through string of injuries. As the playoffs began the injuries continued to mount up even claiming Steve Yzerman, as the Red Wings are beaten in six games by the Los Angeles Kings.
2001/02: After falling in the first Round the Red Wings retooled adding future Hall of Famers, Luc Robitalle, Brett Hull, and Dominick Hasek to a team already laden with future Hall of Famers. The Red Wings would get off to a fast start and would never look back easily establishing the best record in the NHL by the Olympic Break. After the Olympics the Wings put it to cruise control allowing injured players to rest up as they won the President’s Trophy with a 51-17-10-4 record. However, in the playoffs the Wings remained in cruise control as they lost their first two games to the Vancouver Canucks. However, in Game 3 Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot from center ice gave the Wings a lead and turned the entire series around as the Wings went on to win in six games. In the second Round the Wings really got rolling beating the St. Louis Blues in five games. In the Conference Finals the Wings found themselves in trouble again trailing the Colorado Avalanche three games to two. Facing elimination the Wings would rally to win Game 6 on the road. In Game 7 the Red Wings buried Colorado in Avalanche of goals winning 7-0 to advance to their third finals in five years. In the Finals the Wings would suffer a setback losing Game 1 to Carolina Hurricanes in overtime. However, the Wings would shake it off and would win the next four games to win the Stanley Cup. Nicklas Lidstrom whose goal got the Wings started was named Conn Smythe, as legendary Coach Scotty Bowman retired during the on ice celebration. Following the season Goalie Dominick Hasek would also retire, but the Red Wings would quickly sign Curtis Joseph to replace him keeping them as the team to beat for the Stanley Cup.
2002/03: Under new Coach Dave Lewis the Red Wings remained a top contender in the NHL despite missing Steve Yzerman for the first 80% of the season, and a mediocre season from new goalie Curtis Joseph, posting a record of 48-20-10-4, good enough to win the Central Division. Along the way Brett Hull became the 6th player in NHL history to score 700 career goals in February 10th game against the San Jose Sharks at the Joe. In the playoffs the Red Wings were matched up against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, most thought it would be a cake walk for the defending champions, but after losing Game 1 in triple overtime 2-1, despite 64 shots on goal it was apparent the Wings were facing a tough task in Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Game 2 would bring more frustration as the Ducks rallied to win 3-2 and take a 2-0 series lead to Anaheim. A year after rallying from 0-2 against the Vancouver Canucks the Red Wings hole would get deeper as they lost Game 3, by a score of 2-1 despite peppering Giguere with 37 shots. The Wings would not recover as they would lose overtime again 3-2 in Game 4, becoming the first defending champion in 52 years to be swept in the first round.
2003/04: The return of Goalie Dominick Hasek from a one year retirement had the Red Wings crowded in the net with three quality net minders, but the inability to trade Curtis Joseph forced them to send the one time star to the minors. Despite their solid net minders and solid team the Red Wings would get off to a slow start as they held a 6-7-1 record on November 8th. The Wings would begin to turn it around as November wore on, but they would end up doing so without Hasek who would end up being lost for the season after playing just 14 games to a groin injury. With the situation in the nets cleared up the Red Wings began to play better as Manny Legace slowly began to establish himself as the number one goalie with 23 wins and a 2.12 GAA as the Red Wings rose to the top of the NHL winning the President’s Trophy for the second time in 3 years with a 48-21-11-2 record. Helping to lead the way was Kris Draper who with 40 goals and a +/- of +22 won the Selke Trophy as the game’s top defensive forward. In the playoffs the Red Wings would avoid the home ice stagger of the previous two years winning the first two games against the Nashville Predators. However as the series shifted to the Music City the Wings would struggle losing both as the Predators in their first ever playoff appearance battled back to even the series. Seeking to give the Wings a jump start Legace was benched for CuJo in Game 5 and played solid in a 4-1 win as the Wings regained control of the series. Joseph would remain in the net for the remainder of the postseason as the Wings won the series in Game 6 with a 2-0 win. In the second round the Wings faced the Calgary Flames and were stunned in Game 1 as they lost in overtime 2-1.The Wings would rebound to win Game 2, and would split the next two games in Calgary as the series stood tied two games apiece with Game 5 in Detroit. Game 5 would bring frustration for the Wings as they outshot the Flames 31-21, but could not get the puck in the net as they lost 1-0 on a second Period goal by Craig Conroy. Game 6 in Calgary would be more of the same as the Wings were blanked again as the game went into overtime scoreless. In Overtime the Wings would suffer more heartbreak as they were eliminated 19:13 into extra time on a goal by Martin Gelinas.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Red Wings had a new coach in Mike Babcock, but the roster remained intact, as Steve Yzerman decided to return for one final season as the Red Wings Captain. The Wings jumped out of the gate fast and never looked back winning 12 of their first 13 games, as they spent the season in their familiar first place perch in the Central Division. November would see some bumps in the road and a scary moment as Defenseman Jiri Fischer suffered a seizure on the Wings bench and needed CPR with a defibrillator to be revived in a November 21st game against the Nashville Predators that was stopped just seven minutes of the game and later rescheduled. Fischer would not return, but the veteran Red Wings continued to roll using a balanced attack four players toped 80, including Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom who had a team high 64 assists while winning the Norris Trophy for the fourth time in five seasons. However, it was while the NHL was off for three weeks that Lidstrom played perhaps his best hockey as he dazzled during the Torino Olympics while leading Sweden along with fellow Wings Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Holmstrom, and Niklas Kronwall to a Gold Medal. As the season wound down it was time to focus on Steve Yzerman who got standing ovations every game including on the road who scored 14 goals and ended his career with 692 goals all while playing for the Wings, where he served as Captain an incredible 20 years, while the Red Wings won the President’s Trophy with a terrific record of 58-16-8. However, it would turn out to be the kiss of death as needed overtime to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in Game 1 of the first round despite taking 57 shots. The Wings would pepper Oilers Goalie Dwayne Roloson all game, but they could not solve him, as the Oilers went on to win the next two games to take control of the series as the Wings were stunned in six games.
2006/07: After their playoff disappointment the Red Wings, made a goalie change, bringing back Dominick Hasek who back stopped the Wings 2002 Stanley Cup run, as Steve Yzerman passed the torch to Nicklas Lidstrom, who became the first new captain in 20 years. After a 3-4-1 start the Red Wings started flying winning nine in a row, as they battled the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division all season. At 24-9-5 the Wings entered 2007 as one of the top teams in the NHL, as longtime Captain Steve Yzerman returned January 2nd for a touching number retirement ceremony, with a Captain C added to the banner. Down the stretch the Wings, would get some extra help acquiring Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder for the playoff run. The Wings would once again win the Division, and have the best record in the West as they barely missed the President’s Trophy via tiebreaker with a 50-19-13 record, with Nicklas Lidstrom again winning the Norris Trophy for the fifth time in six seasons. Hoping to avoid another postseason letdown the Red Wings came out flying in Game 1 of their opening round series with the Calgary Flames winning 4-1 as they held a 46-20 Shot on Goal advantage. Game 2 was more of the same as they outshot the Flames 51-15 and took a 2-0 lead with a 3-1 win. However, as the series shifted to Calgary the Red Wings slipped losing the next two games 3-2, as they returned home in a must win Game 5. Returning to the Joe rejuvenated the Red Wings, as they again dominated from start to finish winning 5-1, as Henrick Zetterberg scored two goals. Game 6 would see the Wings get another big shot advantage as they peppered Miikka Kiprusoff with 55 shots. However, the Flames all-star goalie was able to keep the game tied 1-1 deep into overtime, where the Wings finally got out of the first round with a goal by Johan Franzen in double OT. In the second round against the San Jose Sharks, the Red Wings again out shot their opponent 34-19. However, on the scoreboard it did not register as Wings were shutout by Evgeni Nabokov losing the opener 2-0. Game 2 would bring more frustration for the Red Wings as they trailed 2-1 entering the third period. However, the Wings would turn things around on a shorthanded goal by Daniel Cleary early in the period to tie the game, as Pavel Datsyuk scored the game winner with 1:24 left to even the series. After losing Game 3 in San Jose the Wings were in danger of falling behind in the series 3-1 as they trailed late in the 3rd period 2-1, when Robert Lang tied the game with 34 second left with the goalie pulled. In overtime it would be more heroics as Matthieu Schneider scored on a power play to even the series at two games apiece. The win in Game 4 would be the jump start the Wings needed as they won the next two games easily to win the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals against the Anaheim Ducks. Things started well for the Wings as they took the opener 2-1 on a goal by Tomas Holmstrom with 4:54 left in the game. Game 2 would be a seesaw affair as both teams traded leads before the game went into overtime tied 3-3. However, the Wings would be clipped on a goal by Scott Niedermeyer as the Ducks evened the series going back to Anaheim. In Game 3 the Red Wings were able to silence the crowd early as they dominated the game for start to finish winning 5-0. However, the Ducks would rebound to even the series again with a 5-3 win in Game 4. Leading 1-0 in Game 5 the Red Wings looked poised to take back control of the series when Pavel Datsyuk got called for interference with 1:47 remaining, the Ducks would take advantage of the situation tying the game on a goal by Scott Niedermeyer with 48 seconds left. In Overtime it would be more frustration for Detroit as Teemu Selanne took the puck away from Andreas Lilja to win the game 2-1. The Wings would not recover as they lost Game 6 in Anaheim 4-3 to the Ducks who would go on to claim the Stanley Cup.
2007/08: The Red Wings strengthened up their defense by signing free agent Brian Rafalski a Dearborn, MI as they entered the season with aspirations of winning the Stanley Cup. Early on the Wings lived up to those lofty goals, as they won 13 of their first 16 games, with Henrik Zetterberg getting a point in each game to tie a franchise record. The Wings continued to dominate through December, as they held a league best 29-8-3 record at the start of the New Year. The Wings would stay red hot until February when they suddenly dropped five in a row nine out of ten. However, the Wings lead on the rest of the league was so large the losing streak was a mere pothole on a season long cruise down easy street as the Red Wings won the President’s Trophy with a record of 54-21-7, with Niklas Lidstrom winning the Norris Trophy for the sixth time in seven seasons. The Red Wings would also see honors bestowed upon Pavel Datsyuk who added a Selke Trophy to go with his third straight Lady Byng award. Despite the strong season the Red Wings season was to be a success or failure based solely on how they performed in the playoffs. In the playoff the Wings faced the Nashville Predators in the first round, winning the first two games at home. However, as the series shifted to Nashville the Predators stumbled losing, both. Needing to get going the Wings replaced Dominik Hasek in goal with Chris Osgood. IN Game 5 Osgood, had a strong game allowing just one late third period goal as the Wings regained the series advantage with an overtime goal by Johan Frazen. Osgood would earn the start again in Game 6, earning a shutout as the Wings advanced to the second round with a 3-0 win. Chris Osgood stayed in goal for the second round as the Red Wings easily dusted off the Colorado Avalanche winning in four straight games, with Johan Frazen scoring five goals in the first two games. Moving on to the Western Conference Finals the Wings continued to dominate winning the first three games against the Dallas Stars. However, anticipating a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals the Wings stumbled in Game 4, losing 3-1. The Red Wings would also fall short in Game 5, as the Stars held off a furious effort from the Wings who had 39 shots on goal, while losing 2-1. Needing a win in Game 6, to avoid facing a dangerous Game 7, the Wings continued to turn up the pressure on the Stars, scoring three first period goals on the way to a 4-1 win. The Stanley Cup Finals was a matchup of the past against the future, with the Wings and their three Stanley Cups in 11 years matched up against the Pittsburgh Penguins led by Sidney Crosby, who at 20 had already won a Hart Trophy. At the start of the series it was all Wings as they blanked the Penguins in the first two games, winning 4-0, and 3-0, with Mikael Samuelsson providing two big unassisted goals in Game 1. As the series shifted to Pittsburgh, the Penguins finally got on the scoreboard, and got back in the series beating the Wings 3-2. In Game 4 it was the Red Wings defense that came through as they smothered the Penguins young guns holding them to just 23 shots at Jiri Hudler delivered the game winner in the third period as the Red Wings took a 3-1 series lead with a 2-1 win. With the Cup in the house and the champagne on ice, the Red Wings held a 3-2 lead late in the third period of Game 5. However, with 35 seconds left and an empty net on the other side of the ice the Penguins tied the game 3-3 on a goal by Max Talbot. From there it became a war of attrition as another goal was not scored until midway through the third overtime, when Petr Sykora sent the series back to Pittsburgh with a power play goal. In Pittsburgh it would be the Red Wings defense that would come up huge as they held the Penguins to 22 shots, while Brian Rafalski scored the game’s first goal, with Zetterberg scoring the game winner as the Wings captured their 11th Stanley Cup with a 3-2 win, as Zetterberg was awarded with the Conn Smythe trophy.
2008/09: Coming off their Stanley Cup Championship the Red Wings had the full pressure of the defending champion as they added some fire power, with the signing of Marian Hossa to a one year contract worth $7.45 Million. The Wings would get off to a strong start again, posting a 15-4-4 record through the first two months. The Wings continued to play well in December, and entered 2009 with a 24-7-5 record, standing atop the Central Division. On New Year’s Day the Wings would take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second annual Winter Classic played in Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field. With a three goal outburst in the second period the Red Wings spoil they day for the Wrigley faithful, winning 6-4 as Jiri Hudler and Brian Rafalski each had three points. The Red Wings would go on to finish in first place with a 51-21-10 record, with Pavel Datsyuk taking home the Selke Trophy again. In the first round of the playoffs the Red Wings began defense of the Stanley Cup by sweeping the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were making their first ever trip to the postseason in four straight games, outscoring the overmatched Jackets 18-7. In the second round the Red Wings faced the Anaheim Ducks, who stunned the top seeded San Jose Sharks in the first round. After taking the opener 3-2, the Wings suffered their first postseason loss in overtime 4-3 in Game 2. The Ducks would score a 2-1 win in Game 3 as the series shifted to Anaheim. However, the Wings responded with a 6-3 win in Game 4 to even the series as a Marian Hossa notched two goals. After splitting the next two games, the Wings found themselves in a decisive seventh game with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line. In Game 7 the Wings struck first jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period. However, the pesky Ducks battled back and tied the game in the third period. However, with three minutes left Daniel Cleary beat Jonas Hiller to send the Wings on to the Conference Finals with a 4-3 victory. In the Western Finals the Wings faced another upstart team in the resurgent Chicago Blackhawks. Much like the first round series the veteran Wings proved to be too strong for the young Blackhawks, as they won the opener 5-2. The Wings would need overtime to win Game 2, as Mikael Samuelsson buried the game winner. However, even with the Blackhawks taking Game 3 in overtime it was clear the Wings were too strong as they took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a dominant 6-1 win in Game 4. The Red Wings would go on to eliminate the Blackhawks in five games with a 2-1 win in overtime as Darren Helm scored the clincher at 3:58 of overtime. In the Stanley Cup Finals the Red Wings found themselves in a rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Once again, the Wings took control of the series early winning the first two games at Joe Louis Arena with identical 3-1 scores. However, as the series shifted to Pittsburgh the Penguins answered back winning the next two games 4-2 to even the series. Back in Detroit for Game 5, the Red Wings regained control of the series with a 5-0 win that put them one win from a 12th Stanley Cup Championship. However, the Penguins continued to hold their home ice edge as well, with a 2-1 win in Game 6 to force a decisive seventh game in Detroit. After the home team won the first six games, there was no reason to think the Red Wings could not continue the trend at Joe Louis Arena. However, after a scoreless first period the Penguins drew first blood, taking a 2-0 lead on two goals from Maxime Talbot. Needing to score, the Wings cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Jonathan Ericsson with 6:07 left in the game. However, the Wings would not be able to get the equalizer as the Penguins dethroned the Red Wings with a 2-1 victory.
2009/10: After coming within one game of a second straight Stanley Cup Championship, the Red Wings started the season in Stockholm, Sweden with two losses to the St. Louis Blues. Upon returning home the Wings won their first two games at home against the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, who had a mediocre record of 5-4-3 after October. The Red Wings would struggle on and off through much of the first half of the season, as they held a 20-14-6 record at the end of December, as they dealt with injuries to key players like Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, and Niklas Kronwall. In January things took a turn for the worse as they had a 15 game stretch where they only won four games. Fortunately six times they salvaged a point with a regulation tie, so they did not dig a hole that was too deep to climb out of. The Red Wings slump would end on February 13th as they went into the Olympic Break with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. When they returned from the break the Red Wings were health for the first time all season, and ready to look like the championship contenders they were the previous two seasons, as they posted a 13-2-2 record vaulting themselves into the playoffs again. They would go on to grab the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 44-24-14. In the playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Red Wings would start on the road with a 3-2 loss. However, with Henrik Zetterberg scoring a hat trick they earned the all-important split, winning 7-4 in Game 2. As the series shifted to Joe Louis Arena the Red Wings suffered a setback losing 4-2 in Game 3. However, with Jimmy Howard earning a 3-0 shutout win in Game 4, and a 4-1 win on the road in Game 5 the Red Wings had a chance to close the series out in six games. However, in Game 6 the Red Wings special teams struggled allowing a shorthanded goal and three power play goals as the Coyotes evened the series with a 5-2 win in Detroit. Needing to win in Phoenix to reach the second round, the Red Wings offense came alive with six goals in a 6-1 win. Facing the San Jose Sharks, the Red Wings found themselves down 3-0 early in Game 1, as they allowed three goals in 79 seconds in the middle of the 1st period. The Wings would claw their way back in the game, but fell just short of getting the equalizer as they lost 4-3. In Game 2 the Wings led 3-1 entering the 3rd Period, but the Sharks battled back to force overtime on goals by Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. In OT Patrick Marleau delivered the win for the Sharks at 7:07. As the series shifted to Detroit the Sharks and Wings traded four goals in the first period. The Red Wings would take the lead in the 2nd Period on a goal by Nicklas Lidstrom. However, once again the Sharks owned the final 20 minutes, as Pavelski and Thornton scored to give the Sharks a third straight 4-3 win. Down 0-3, the Red Wings would not go down without a fight as they won 7-1 in Game 4 to avoid the brooms. However, back in San Jose the Sharks would close out the series with a 2-1 win in Game 5.
2010/11: Hoping to rebound and get back the Stanley Cup Finals, the Red Wings started the season with a 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, as they won five of their first seven games, as they posted a 17-4-2 record through their first 23 games. Being a veteran team like the Red Wings, could take its toll, as they did, they struggled at times in December and January, though their early start had them out in front in the Central Division. One veteran who struggled was Kris Draper, who eventually would spend much of the second half on the bench. One veteran who excelled was Nicklas Lidstrom who captured his seventh Norris Trophy, just behind Bobby Orr’s record of eight, in the award given to the best defenseman of the year. After a solid February highlighted by a home and home sweep of the Boston Bruins, the Wings struggled in March, losing four straight games to start the month, and five of six to close the month. Despite the end of the season struggles, the Red Wings ended the season with a 47-25-10 record as they won the Central Division. In the playoffs the Red Wings would face the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round again. The Wings would get off to a good start in the playoffs as they scored three goals in the second period to beat the Coyotes 4-2. In Game 2, the Red Wings would score three times in the first period, led by Pavel Datsyuk, who had a goal and three assists as the Red Wings took a 2-0 lead to the desert with a 4-3 win. In Game 3, four continued to be the magic number as the Red Wings won 4-2 to take a 3-0 series lead. They would go on to complete the sweep with a 6-3 win, as Daniel Cleary had a goal and two assists. Against the San Jose Sharks in the second round, the Red Wings lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in overtime in Game 1, as Benn Ferriero got one passed Jimmy Howard who had a stellar game stopping 44 shots. After losing 2-1 again in Game 2, the series shifted to Detroit where the Red Wings desperately needed a win in Game 3. However, the Sharks would in overtime again 4-3, as Devin Setoguchi got a hat trick with the game winner. The Red Wings jumped out to 3-0 in Game 4, but saw the Sharks battle back to tie the game. Just as it seemed overtime was coming again; Darren Helm scored the tiebreaker to keep the Wings alive. Trailing 3-1 in the third period of Game 5 as the series returned to San Jose, the Red Wings rallied to win 4-3, scoring three unanswered goals as Pavel Datsyuk had three assists. Game 6 would be back at Joe Louis Arena, where the first two periods were scoreless. In the third period, the Sharks got on the board first with a goal by Logan Couture. However, the Red Wings would rally again scoring three unanswered goals to win 3-1 and force a seventh game. The Red Wings would fall behind early in Game 7, as the Sharks netted two goals in the first period. Henrik Zetterberg would answer in the second period, but Patrick Marleau respond to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead with just under eight minutes left. Pavel Datsyuk would get the Wing back within one goal, but despite a barrage over the last six minutes they could not get the equalizer as the Sharks held on to win 3-2 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
2011/12: After losing to the San Jose Sharks for a second straight season, the Red Wings hoped to make one more run to a Stanley Cup, as Captain Niklas Lidstrom planned to retire following the season. The Red Wings would get off to a strong start, winning their first five games. However, they would drop their next four six games. However, starting with a 5-0 whitewash of the Anaheim Ducks, the Red Wins turned Nov ember into the month of the Wings as they won 10of their next 12 games. The Red Wings especially strong at home winning all seven home games after a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on November 3rd. There is no place like home for the holidays became the theme of the Red Wings in December, as they continued to dominate at Joe Louis Arena, extending their home winning streak to 12 games as they went into the New Year with a record of 24-13-1. The Red Wings would keep the home fires burning in January, as they won all five home games again, and began to approach the record for the longest home winning streak in NHL history. While they were not awful on the road in the first half of the season, in February that began to change for the Red Wings, as they won just two of five games away from Hockeytown. Meanwhile, at Joe Louis Arena, the Wings continued to fly as they went 6-0 during a six game homestand. The six straight wins, took the Red Wings home winning streak to 23 games, setting a new NHL record previously held by the Boston Bruins over two seasons from 1929-1930 and the Philadelphia Flyers in 1976. The Red Wings would become the first team to win 21 straight games on the road, with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Valentine’s Day, showing that for the Red Wings Home is where the heart is. They would extend the streak to 22 games in dramatic fashion as Pavel Datsyuk scored the game winning goal with five seconds left as the Wings beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on February 17th. Two nights later they would break the record, with a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks as third string Goalie Joey McDonald made 31 saves to preserve the victory. The steak would finally end on February 23rd as the Red Wings lost to the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in a shootout. March would be a rough month for the Red Wings, as they lost all seven games on the road, and were not much better at home, winning just four of seven games as they finished the season playing poor hockey as they settled for the fifth seed, with a record of 48-28-6. Henrik Zetterberg led the Wings in scoring with 69 points, while Johan Franzen led to team with 29 goals.
2012 Playoffs: The Red Wings would begin the playoffs on the road, suffering a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 1. The Red Wings would rebound with a 3-2 win of their own in Game 2, as they came home with a chance to seize control of the series. However, in both games at Joe Louis Arena, Goalie Jimmy Howard struggled, allowing three goals in each as the Predators record wins of 3-2 and 3-1 to take a commanding three games to one lead. With David Legwand beating Howard, 13 seconds into the third period of Game 5, the Red Wings season would end before May for the first time in six years as the Predators won 2-1 to win the series in five games.
2012/13: With the retirement of Niklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings were now led by Henrik Zetterberg who was named the team’s captain. The season would start late as a three moth lockout wiped out nearly half of the season. The season was one of transition for the Red Wings as they were playing their final season in the Western Conference, before moving to the East as part of a realignment plan for the 2013/14 season. When the games finally began on January 19th the Wings got off to a rough start, suffering a 6-0 loss at the hands of the St. Louis Blues. For most of the season the Red Wings threaded water, as they entered April with a record of 17-13-5, as they two decade streak of making the playoffs was in serious jeopardy. However, with their season on the line, the Wings came through once again, winning their last four games, to grab the seventh seed with a record of 24-16-8. In his first season as Captain, Henrik Zetterberg had a fine season, with 48 points, one less than Pavel Datsuk the club leader.
2013 Playoffs: Facing the Anaheim Ducks, the Red Wings found themselves in an early hole after dropping the opener 3-1. In Game 2, the Red Wings took a 4-1 lead in the early moments of the Third Period on Johan Frazen’s second power play goal of the game. The Ducks would score the next three goals and send the game to overtime. With the crowd in Anaheim whipped into a furry, but the Wings quickly silenced them and sent them home unhappy as Gustav Nyquist scored on the power play at 1:21. Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena, would be all Anaheim as Justin Abdelkader was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for his illegal charge of Toni Lyndman, the Ducks would only score once on the power play, but it was enough as they went on to win 4-0. With Abdelkader serving a two game suspension the Red Wings would get another comeback 3-2 win in Overtime to even the series in Game 4, as Damien Brunner scored the game winner. The next two games would also go to overtime, with the Ducks winning 3-2 in Game 5 and the Wings winning 4-3 at the Joe in Game 6, with Henrik Zetterberg netting the game winner. In Game 7 at Anaheim, Goalie Jimmy Howard had perhaps his best playoff performance, stopping 31 of 33 shots was the Red Wings stunned the Ducks 3-2 to advance to the second round. In second round the Detroit Red Wings faced their historic rival the Chicago Blackhawks, who were the best team in the NHL all season. The Red Wings came out flat in Game 1 and suffered a 4-1 loss. Down 1-0 after the first period in Game 2, the Wings suddenly sprang to life as Zetterberg had to big assists as the Wings scored four unanswered goals to win the game 4-1. The next two games, saw Jimmy Howard answer his critics, by winning the next two games in Detroit, stopping 39 of 40 shots as the Red Wings won 3-1 in Game 3, than in Game 4 Howard recorded a 28 save shutout as the Wings won 2-0 to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Blackhawks would battle back, winning Game 5 at the United Center 4-1. Looking to close things out the Red Wings held a 2-1 lead entering the third period in Game 6 at the Joe. The Blackhawks would tie the game just 51 seconds into the final period on goal by Michal Handzus and score three goals, including one on a Michael Frolik penalty shot to win the game 4-3. Game 7 in Chicago would be a battle of the goalies as both Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford were at the top of their game, as overtime would be needed after regulation ended with a 1-1 tie. In overtime it would be Brent Seabrook who would end the Red Wings Stanley Cup hopes with a goal at 3:35. With the upcoming realignment the only way the two teams would meet again would be in the Stanley Cup Finals.
2013/14: Realignment would take the Detroit Red Wings from the Western Conference into the Eastern Conference, reigniting rivalries with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens inside the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings would start well, winning six of their first eight games, but soon began to deal with injuries as they saw ended the season with 421 man games lost, including six key players who missed at least 25 games, 15 players missed ten or more games, resulting in the Red Wings dressing 38 different players during the regular season. November would be a particularly frustrating month for Detroit, as they suffered a seven game losing streak, including five straight games in which they lost in overtime or a shootout. The Wings continued to struggle in December as they lost six of seven games at Joe Louis Arena, and went into the New Year with their postseason streak in serious jeopardy at 18-14-9. On January 1st the Red Wings would set a record as they hosted the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, with 105,941 fans on hand as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Wings in a shootout 3-2. Just before the Olympic Break, the Red Wings began to turn things around, winning four of five games, to sit at 28-20-12. Looking for an extra scorer the Detroit Red Wings picked up David Legwand at the trade deadline, sending Patrick Eaves and Calle Jarnkrok to the Nashville Predators to the in return. As the season hit the final stretch they began to get healthy, and managed to post a 9-4-2 record over their last 15 games to get the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference extending their streak of consecutive playoff appearances to 23, as they finished with a record of 39-28-15. Niklas Kronwall and Daniel Alfredsson would tie for the team lead in scoring, with 49 points, as Henrik Zetterberg had 48 points despite missing 37 games.
2014 Playoffs: The Red Wings would get a difficult draw in the playoffs, against the Boston Bruins who held the best record in the NHL during the regular season. In Game 1 in Boston, the Red Wings put forth their best effort, as Jimmy Howard stopped all 25 shots, with Pavel Datsyuk scoring the game’s only goal with 3:01 left in regulation to score the Wings a 1-0 win. The Bruins would rebound with a 4-1 win in Game 2 to even the series. The Bruins would also win Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena 3-0, to take control of the series. Knowing they needed a win in Game 4 to have any chance to stay in the series, the Red Wings got off to a strong start and took a 2-0 lead early in the second period. However, the Bruins battled back and sent the game to overtime, where Jarome Iginla scored the game winner to give the Bruins a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Bruins would go on to win the series in five games, taking the finale 4-2.
2014/15: The Detroit Red Wings began their second season in the Atlantic Division with a hard fought 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings, played well early in the season, losing just two games in regulation during the month of October. The Red Wings would be even stronger in November, winning six of their last seven games to end the month. On December 6th, Mike Babcock earned his 500th career win as a head coach, becoming the second-fastest coach in NHL history to reach 500 wins; only Scotty Bowman reached the 500-win plateau faster. A key to the Red Wings early success was Goalie Jimmy Howard, who was off to the finest start in his career, posting a 16-7-7 record, with a 2.11 GAA and a .921 save percentage in the season’s first half. After finishing December with a solid record of 20-9-9, the Red Wings turned it up a notch in 2015. This came despite losing Jimmy Howard for five weeks to a groin injury. While Howard healed the Red Wings got strong goaltending from Petr Mrazek, who won eight of ten starts. Jimmy Howard returned and had his struggles as the Red Wings suffered through a 5-8-2 record in March. However, their strong play earlier in the season was good enough to get Red Wings into the playoffs for a 24th straight season, posting a record of 43-25-14 to finishing third in the Atlantic Division. Captain Henrik Zetterberg led Detroit in scoring, with 66 points powered by an impressive 49 assists, while Pavel Datsyuk finished a close second with 65 points. Tomas Tatar also continued to impress, leading the Red Wings with 29 goals in his second full season in the NHL.
2015 Playoffs: The Red Wings would face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. The Lightning were coming of a strong season and attempting to build themselves in the Red Wings image with longtime Captain Steve Yzerman running the team as General Manager. Heading into the playoffs the Red Wings faced an important decision, as Jimmy Howard struggled after returning from his groin injury, posting a 7-6-4 record, with 2.99 GAA and a .896 save percentage over the season’s last two months. The decision was made to go with Petr Mrazek in goal, thanks to his solid 2.38 GAA and 16 wins. Mrazek was up to the test in Game 1, helping the Red Wings earn a 3-2 win on the road by stopping 44 of 46 shots. The Red Wings young goalie would struggle in Game 2, as the Lighting struck back with a 5-1 win. Despite Mrazek’s struggles in Game 2, Coach Babcock showed some confidence in the 23 year old from the Czech Republic by starting him in Game 3. Petr Mrazek rewarded his coach by posting his first career playoff shutout, stopping all 22 shots as the Red Wings record a 3-0 win. Mrazek was strong again in Game 4, as the Red Wings held a 2-0 lead late in the third period. However, Tampa scored twice in 77 seconds and won the game in overtime 3-2. Back in Tampa for Game 5 Petr Mrazek continued to frustrate the high flying Lightning, recording his second shutout in three games as the Red Wings recorded a 4-0 win. However, with a chance to close the series out at home, the Red Wings came out flat in Game 5, suffering a 5-2 loss in Game 6. The series would go to a seventh game in Tampa, and it would be a battle of the goalies with no score at the end of two periods. However, Petr Mrazek would be beaten by Braydon Coburn in the third period. The Red Wings meanwhile would not get anything past Ben Bishop, as the Lightning added an empty netter and won the series with a 2-0 win. The Lightning would go on to the Stanley Cup Finals, while the Red Wings had to focus on the future. That future would be without Coach Mike Babcock, who exercised an option to become to seek a job elsewhere after failing to reach an extension with Detroit. Babcock would eventually sign an eight year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, ending a success decade by the Red Wings bench.
2015/16: Changes were in the air in Hockeytown, as the Detroit Red Wings had a new coach for the first time in a decade. Mike Babcock had exercised an option and left to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jeff Blashill who was the coach of the Red Wings AHL Affiliate in Grand Rapids would replace Babcock behind in the bench in Detroit. Mike Babcock still was on hand Opening Night at Joe Louis Arena as the Red Wings started the season with a 4-0 win over the Maple Leafs as they won their first three games. However, every winning streak was met with a stretch of mediocrity as the Red Wings had plenty of ups and downs in Jeff Blashill’s first season behind the bench. After a mediocre 18-13-7 record through December, the Red Wings began the New Year playing their best hockey of the season, as they won four straight games on the road. The Wings would win seven of eight away from Detroit in January. After not winning a game at Joe Louis Arena in January the Red Wings would not lose in regulation at home in February. In a year in which the entire Atlantic Division struggled, the Red Wings were on the playoff bubble until the end of the season. However, through good fortune a Boston Bruins loss in their final game, the Red Wings kept their streak alive at 25 by posting a record of 41-30-11 to finish third in the division. Henrik Zetterberg was the top scorer for the Red Wings, with 50 points, while Rookie Dylan Larkin led the team with 23 goals.
2016 Playoffs: The Detroit Red Wings would face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round for the second straight season. After hold a brief lead, the Red Wings lost the opener 3-2 as Alex Killorn scored the game winner in the middle of the third period. Game 2 would not be as close, as the Lightning struck down Detroit 5-2. As the series shifted to Detroit the Wings got a big defensive effort to limit the Lightning to 16 shots, as Petr Mrazek netted a shutout win to take the game 2-0. Looking to even the series with Game 4 tied 2-2, the Red Wings committed a back breaking penalty that led to a power play goal from Ondrej Palat to give Tampa 3-2 win. The Red Wings did all they could to stay alive in Game 5, but with 1:43 Alex Killorn scored to give the Lightning a 1-0 win to close the series.
2016/17: As the Detroit Red Wings played their final season at Joe Louis Arena, the theme had to be all good things must come to an end. After losing the first two games of the season on the road, the Red Wings beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 in the final home opener at the Joe. The home opener was the start of a six-game winning streak for the Wings. However, that was as good as things got for Detroit as they never could build off any win to start a significant winning streak, as they went into the New Year holding a record of 16-16-4. On New Year’s Day, the Red Wings faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Centennial Classic at BMO Field kicking off a yearlong celebration of the NHL’s 100th Anniversary. After falling behind 4-1, Detroit staged a furious comeback with Anthony Mantha scoring the game-tying goal with 1.1 seconds left to tie the game. However, as would be the theme of the season it was not enough as the Maple Leafs won 5-4 on a goal by Auston Matthews. As the season hit the stretch drive, it became clear that the Red Wings 25-year streak of making the playoffs was going to end. With the playoffs out of reach, the focus came on saying goodbye to Joe Louis Arena, as they beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on April 9th in the final game of the season as Riley Sheahan scored the final goal at the Joe. The Red Wings would finish the year with a record of 33-36-13. As Henrik Zetterberg was the team’s leading scorer with 68 points, while Tomas Tatar had a team-best 25 goals.
2017/18: Hockey Town is coming off of a year where the Detroit Red Wings failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1990, ending one of the longest streaks in NHL history at 25 years. As they opened their new arena in downtown Detroit, there were low expectations, as years of an ignored farm system had begun to take their toll. The team was handcuffed to aging names and had to rely on building talent in the minors. The Red Wings also lacked cap spaced and were unable to attract young talent. As they prepared to open Little Caesar’s Arena, the Red Wings were the oldest team in the league. Detroit was able to open their new arena with a win on October 5th, as they beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2, but it was one of only a few bright spots in this lost season. Dylan Larkin had a solid season, leading the team in scoring with 63 points, while Anthony Mantha, led the team in goals with 24. Goaltending was an issue all season in Detroit as Jimmy Howard one of many players saddling the team with a bad contract was one of the worst goalies in the league with a 2.85 GAA. As the Red Wings were never in playoff contention, trades were made to begin selling off some of the veterans. Petr Mrazek was sent to the Philadelphia Flyers, while Tomas Tatar was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights, with the Wings receiving little in return. The Red Wings finished the year with a record of 30-39-13, finishing 13th in the Eastern Conference.
Written by Alex Berns
2018/19: It was clearly a new era in Hockeytown, the glory days were over, and more lean years were ahead. The Detroit Red Wings were coming off two straight seasons in which they did not make the playoffs, the first time that it had happen since 1983. As they took the ice for their second season in Little Caesar’s Arena, there was not much hope for the Red Wings, as Captain Henrik Zetterberg was forced to retire due to a degenerative back condition. The season started poorly for the Red Wings, as they were winless in their first seven games, and had one win in their first ten games. With extended homestand, the Red Wings showed signs of life as November began as the won 9-of-11 games to get near .500. The stretch was just a was a mirage of an oasis in a bleak desert of a season. Detroit won only four games in December and held a 15-19-7 record entering the New Year. The losses would continue to pile up for the Red Wings, as they repeated their four wins in both January and February. The Red Wings continued to unload contracts, sending Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick. The Red Wings would end the season on a positive note as they won eight of nine games, late and avoided finishing in last place as they posted a record of 32-40-10.
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Page created on October 11, 2002. Last updated on March 19, 2020, at 11:35 pm ET.