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Cotsonika: Red Wings no longer a powerhouse, remain dangerous

The Detroit Red Wings and their fans have gotten used to the concept of the Wings playing the underdog and/or spoiler's role over the past season, but it's definitely a different and/or unfamiliar position for the team to be in, and ahead of Game 5 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBC/CBC/97.1, with post-game shows on FSD and WDIV), Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke to two members of the Wings' powerhouse teams of yore. Sometimes it's best to begin at the end and suggest that you go back and start at the beginning:

“The Joe is rockin’ – like, stuff I haven’t heard in years,” Draper said. “I mean, how many times did you hear the ‘Jimmy Howard’ chant? … It’s, I guess, relishing the underdog role. Why wouldn’t Detroit rally around that? Detroit, people kind of kick it around. But I’ve been here 20 years now, and people are proud. Now you see the building and the atmosphere, and it’s awesome.”

“We were always an older team, older players, veteran, grizzled guys,” Osgood said. “I think the fans enjoyed that for a while, and now it’s changed. It’s younger guys coming up that the fans have grown to like and enjoy watching fly around the ice. It’s kind of the opposite end of the spectrum than it used to be, but it’s just as fun and just as enjoyable, if not a little more.”

Continued, and Cotsonika's article is worth your time.

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Bugsy's avatar

This is the quote in the article that caught my attention:
“Osgood said Howard rivals the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist more than any other goaltender in the league in terms of giving his team a chance to win every night. “

This can stir some debate. I’ll trust Osgood on this one, but I can see dissenters coming out, that could bring up Quick for example, and say he’s putting that out there because he’s supporting his team.

Sorry, one more, that I think is the quote:
“The tension is gone. The sense of entitlement has faded. The early rounds have become not something to survive, but something to enjoy. Wins are cause for celebration again, not just relief.”

If there’s anything that Detroit has felt like in the last 4 decades, image wise for sure and especially the last few decades financially, it’s as an underdog—made fun of, disrespected, left for dead. I’ve been there for some of it. Maybe that’s part of why this seems sweeter with the Wings coming through as underdog, if nothing else symbolically, for as a city, I hope for Detroit’s revival someway, somehow.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/25/13 at 05:22 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

One more, as a reminder that it’s not just us seeing reinforcements coming on defense, the Pierre McGuire quote from 2 days ago:
““Detroit is not at that level yet,” said McGuire. “I think they will be in time. They’ve got some very good young defensemen coming along: Danny DeKeyser, who’s injured right now; Xavier Ouellet; this kid Ryan Sproul from the Ontario Hockey League who is now playing for Grand Rapids. They’ve got another kid who was an All-American at St. Cloud State, Nick Jensen, so they’ve got some real good young defense.”

If you trust Pierre making that statement,....

Posted by Bugsy on 05/25/13 at 05:47 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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