I unfortunately missed the Wings road trip to New York this weekend. Two games in two nights is a rare occurrence in these parts and the Wings made the most of it. While they lost to the Devils in a shootout at the Prudential Center Saturday night they rebounded Sunday to beat the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. So three out of a possible four points culminating with a fine Jimmy Howard performance Sunday against the Rangers. Not a bad weekend.
It's been a tough road for the Wings since that horrible night in June when they dropped game 7 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. My heart and thoughts go out to fans of any team that makes it to a game 7 and doesn't close out the championship. You go all that way with your team only to watch another team take it all. For Detroit fans it turned out to be the second time in 4 years that not only did our teams lose a game 7 championship but came one game short of being back-to-back champions.
And things haven't improved for the Wings since then. They continue to get older and lost key players to free agency and started this season with a number of injuries to their top line forwards. Though it's still early, the Wings are on the playoff bubble at 9th place in the conference standings.
But hell it's only been five months since the Wings finished their Stanly Cup run. We still have a good 5 months before the 2009-10 season regular season is over. It's hard to get your head into hockey or basketball when football is still playing. I'll meet you there in February.
In better news, and hopefully given for what the Wings are instead of what they have been, Coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland were named #1 respectively as coach and GM of the decade by the Yahoo Puck Daddy Blog.
Mike Babcock honors include his stint with Anaheim. I know there are rumblings that the players don't like Babcock but he has picked up where Scotty Bowman left off and is a more fiery presence than the docile Dave Lewis.
Kenny Holland proved that he could win both with money swinging big trades and in the salary cap era. His moves are further proof of my own hypothesis that often the best business and monetary decisions lead to the best results on the rink. Of course it was tough to lose Marian Hossa who the Wings might have kept had they had salary cap space. But the way Holland has drafted, and the way the organization takes the time to season the prospects in juniors and the minors before they join the team has meant the Wings have not lost a competitive step the whole decade.