The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/04/11 at 06:44 PM ET
I don’t want this to get buried in the game-day thread, because it’s absolutely stellar: Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to the Hockey News’s Ken Campbell about the Wings’ margin for error in the playoffs on a historical basis, as it applies to their series against the Sharks, which they trail 2—0 heading into tonight’s game (8 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/TSN2/WXYT/“Joined in Progress” by Versus) :
He points to the 1995-96 Red Wings, a team that rolled through the regular season with 62 wins and 131 points, then lost in the conference final to the Colorado Avalanche. Then he jumps to the next year, when the Wings had 24 fewer wins and 37 fewer points, then went on to win the first of two consecutive Stanley Cups.
“We were playing keep away most of that season,” Holland says of the ’95-96 team. “One night we went into Calgary and we beat them 4-0, they had 14 shots on home ice. We had the ‘Russian Five’ and nobody could get the puck from us.”
So what does that have to do with Game 3 of the Red Wings second round series against the San Jose Sharks? Well, Holland tells that tale to illustrate how slim the margin is between winning and losing. Then he takes his pen out and draws an imaginary line at the top of the wall.
“People think the difference between the team that wins the Stanley Cup and everybody else is here to here,” he says, drawing another line about three feet below. Then he draws another about three inches below the top line and says, “It’s really between here and here. So what am I saying?” he asks, now putting his thumb and forefinger together. “The difference is about this much.”
Update: And speaking of the past, former Wing Darren McCarty engaged in a pre-game interview on WBBL’s Huge Show:
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