Detroit Red Wings
If it isn’t a question of mixing your metaphors, it would be correct to describe Detroit as a hotbed of ice hockey. Because when we speak about the Detroit Red Wings we are talking about one of the original six teams in the National Hockey League (they currently play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference) and their continuing popularity and fan base have led to many commentators describing Detroit as “hockeytown”, a term which has been copyrighted for ninety years.
For their initial years they went under the name of the Detroit Cougars until 1930. For the 1930–31 and 1931–32 seasons the team was called the Detroit Falcons, and in 1932 the name finally became the Red Wings. The Red Wings are an incredibly successful outfit, They have won no fewer than eleven Stanley Cups – more than any other franchise within the United States and third behind the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13).
The roll call of success since 1991 has been highly impressive with the team achieiving six first-place finishes in regular season and then victory in six Stanley Cup finals. Add to this 29 out of 31 playoffs with a streak now standing at 25 in succession, beating the consistency of teams in all major North American pro-sports.
Taking the two Stanley Cup successes in the current century, the first ran out as a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Red Wings became the first team in NHL history to win the Cup after starting the playoffs with two losses at home. After losing the first two games in the Conference Quarterfinals to the Vancouver Canucks, the Red Wings won 16 of their next 21 games en route to win their third Cup since 1997.
Their 23rd appearance in the final, and their most recent Stanley Cup victory to date in 2008 saw the Red Wings triumphant over the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 4-2 margin.
Some of the star names who have featured for the Wings over the years include Gordie Howe who spent 25 out of 26 playing years with the Wings. The best player in franchise history, no one matched his combination of scoring, durability and toughness.
Steve Yzerman led the team to three Cup triumphs. He was a superb defensive player who also managed to score a lot of goals.
Nicholas Lidstrom has been awarded six Norris Trophies (for the top defense players in the NHL) and these awards show him to be the best defenseman in franchise history.
Terry Sawchuk was arguably the best goaltender in NHL history, he won the Calder Trophy, three Vezinas and three Cups while playing for the Wings.
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