The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/29/13 at 03:29 AM ET
USA Today's Kevin Allen, Sam Amick and Erik Brady gave the Red Wings a huge compliment by suggesting that their sustination of a superb level of play has a parallel in that of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, and while I'm not a basketball person, the compliment is quite sincere (and reminiscent of the Wings-New England Patriots comparison):
The Detroit Red Wings and the San Antonio Spurs play different sports in different leagues on different surfaces in different states, but make no mistake: They're the same team.
Or, more to the point, they're the same organization — gold standards of their respective leagues for a generation. The Red Wings are in the playoffs for a 22nd consecutive season, the Spurs for a 16th. Each has won four league championships over that span. And each is in contention for a fifth this postseason.
The Red Wings will play Game 7 at the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night (8 ET, NBC Sports Network), with the winner advancing to the Western Conference finals. The Spurs will play in the NBA Finals against the winner of the Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers series starting June 6.
[Nicklas] Lidstrom played for the Red Wings from 1991-92 until 2011-12 without ever missing the playoffs. [Red Wings GM] Holland used to joke that he'd retire when Lidstrom did.
"But with Pavel and (Zetterberg) still here, I will hang in a little while longer," Holland says.
The column continues at extended length, relying heavily on ESPN analyst Bill Polian's observations, and noting that both teams were pioneers in terms of tapping European player markets, but the ending...Is pretty dang cool:
"You have to have respect for what San Antonio has done," Holland says. "I'm a sports fan, and I'm aware of who is making the playoffs and who is doing what and who has been good for a long time. Certainly the San Antonio Spurs have been one of the standard setters in the NBA for a long time, and not only in the winning but also in the class they show in running their operation."
And at this point it is clear Holland is talking as much about his own organization as San Antonio's.
"They are about basketball, and winning, and winning with class, and respect for the game and the league," Holland says. "That's something that we have tried to do, too."
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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.