Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Wings hit some Milestones

"They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high."

These words came to mind after the Wings made it three straight 50 win seasons. If you remember, after the NHL returned from its suicidal lock-out, many pundits and prognosticators predicted a steady decline and/or rapid demise for the Red Wings. No longer could the Wings pad their roster and pay rolls with their rent-an-overpriced veteran policy, as they did through much of the 90s. Without the money bags of Mike Ilitch to outspend the competition, "they" said, the Wings would need to compete with their competition on an equal footing.

But the salary cap era came about the same time the high payroll strategy was already wearing pretty thin anyway. So it was time to focus more on what the Wings do best. And in recent years, that is scouting Russia and Europe, and more specifically Sweden, for young players that fit the Wings puck possession style.

And the results are in. The Wings will be the President's Cup Trophy Winners for the 2007-2008 season. Though we have seen this before, being the best during the regular season, only to suffer lethal gut punches in the first and second rounds of the playoffs, let's chill at the excellence of this team. Because in addition to that third consecutive 50 win season, this will also be the Wings 17th straight playoff appearance. That is the longest streak in professional sports. (They are about as good as the Lions are hapless.)

And though you can never know what will happen in the playoffs, I like our chances to go deep like we did last season. (The conference finals.) It's time the new generation won a cup.

No comments: