|BACK IN TIME
|NOVEMBER 20, 2007
Scientists discovered a way to make embryonic stem cells without using embryonic stem cells.
|FEBRUARY 12, 2008
General Motors reports that it lost $38.7 billion in 2007, the largest annual loss in automotive history.
|MAY 21, 2008
David Cook wins the 7th season “American Idol” in landslide over David Archuleta.
|WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS
||RED WINGS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
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2007-08 Season in Review
After a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2006-07, the Red Wings geared up for a longer playoff run in the summer after. GM Ken Holland signed offensive defenseman Brian Rafalski and enforcer Aaron Downey, and brought back grinder Dallas Drake and Dominik Hasek for their second and third stints with the Red Wings, respectively.
The Red Wings came flying out of the gate to start the 2007-08 campaign, winning 11 of their first 13 games, and they never looked back. Fan favorite Darren McCarty signed back on with the Wings on February 25, and one day later the team added steady defenseman Brad Stuart from Los Angeles at the trade deadline.
The team finished 54-21-7, their third straight season of 50 or more wins, which was enough to capture the organization’s sixth Presidents’ Trophy. The end of the season saw the emergence of forward Johan Franzen as a dominant force in the NHL. Franzen scored six game-winning goals in the last month of the regular-season to break Gordie Howe’s franchise record, and his goal scoring streak continued into the playoffs.
|11||Dan Cleary||24||Chris Chelios|
|13||Pavel Datsyuk "A"||55||Niklas Kronwall|
|17||Dallas Drake||22||Brett Lebda|
|33||Kris Draper "A"||5||Nicklas Lidstrom "C"|
|51||Valtteri Filppula||3||Andreas Lilja|
|93||Johan Franzen||28||Brian Rafalski|
|44||Mark Hartigan||23||Brad Stuart|
|96||Tomas Holmstrom||39||Dominik Hasek|
|26||Jiri Hudler||30||Chris Osgood|
|25||Darren McCarty|| Mike Babcock (Head Coach)
Paul MacLean (Associate Coach)
Todd McLellan (Associate Coach)
Jim Bedard (Goaltending Consultant)
|40||Henrik Zetterberg "A"|
|WINGS ROAD TO THE CUP
|4/18||NSH||1||-||2*||DET||det won series 4-0||5/17||DAL||2||-||1||DET||6/02||PIT||4||-||3**||DET|
|det won series 4-2||det won series 4-2||det won series 4-2|
|*GAME WON IN OVERTIME **TRIPLE OVERTIME
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FEATURED ARTICLE: RED REIGNS IN 2008 PLAYOFFS
In the second round, the Wings met their longtime rivals, the Colorado Avalanche, and swept them handedly. Franzen continued his torrid pace, recording two hat tricks in four games, and the Red Wings as a whole outscored the Avs, 21-9. The Wings headed into the conference finals for the second consecutive season after an 8-2 thrashing in Game 4.
The Dallas Stars took on the Wings in the third round. Detroit jumped out to an early 3-0 series lead, but lost Franzen prior to Game 3, with concussion-like symptoms. Henrik Zetterberg took over where Franzen left off, scoring the game-winner in Game 3, and the Red Wings clinched another trip to the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-1 win in Game 6.
The Red Wings squared off with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the finals, and jumped out to a commanding lead early. Osgood earned back-to-back shutouts in the first two games at Joe Louis Arena, with wins of 4-0 and 3-0. Mikael Samuelsson led the way in Game 1 with two unassisted goals, and Stuart, Tomas Holmstrom and Zetterberg tallied goals in the Game 2 win.
The series shifted back to the Steel City for Game 3, and the Penguins finally snapped Osgood’s shutout streak, with a 3-2 win. However, the Red Wings responded in Game 4, with Jiri Hudler scoring the game-winning goal in the third period.
Detroit returned home with a commanding 3-1 series lead and a chance to capture the Stanley Cup at home, but it wasn’t to be. The Penguins’ Petr Sykora scored in a triple-overtime thriller to dash the Wings’ hopes of celebrating with the hometown crowd.
Pittsburgh’s last-ditch effort wasn’t enough, however. The Red Wings took to the ice at Mellon Arena, and by the end of the night, were celebrating the team’s 11th Stanley Cup championship. Rafalski, Valtteri Filppula and Zetterberg scored in the 3-2 clinching win. Nicklas Lidstrom became the first European player to captain a team to a Stanley Cup championship, and Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
The Red Wings captured eight individual and team trophies throughout the 2007-08 season. The team brought home the Stanley Cup, the Presidents’ Trophy, and the Clarence Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions. Zetterberg proudly displayed the Conn Smythe during the parade down Woodward Avenue. At the NHL Awards Show in Toronto, Pavel Datsyuk won the Selke Trophy (top defensive forward) and Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship), Lidstrom captured his sixth Norris Trophy (top defenseman), and Osgood and Dominik Hasek shared the Jennings Trophy (team goals against). Detroit legend Gordie Howe was also honored that night with the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award.
In their quest for a repeat, the Red Wings improved their roster even more in the summer of 2008. Holland signed the top free agent of the summer in Marian Hossa, and brought in a more than capable backup netminder in Ty Conklin, replacing the recently-retired Hasek.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Hometown Boy Seals Hockeytown Deal
All it took was a little magic from the hometown kid.
Brian Rafalski, who grew up minutes from Joe Louis Arena in suburban Dearborn, thought he had the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 5. To make up for it, he scored right out of the gate in Game 6.
Rafalski’s fourth goal of the playoffs gave the Red Wings the all-important first goal in Game 6. Taking a pass from Henrik Zetterberg, he skated it in towards the Penguins goal, and fired a wrist shot into the back of the net.
“Yeah that was great for us, to get a score and take the edge off of things, and give us the lead,” Rafalski said. “Put them behind the eight ball a little bit, put some pressure on them, and then (Chris Osgood) responded and played great.”
Valtteri Filppula scored in the second, and Zetterberg scored in the third as the Red Wings marched to a 3-2 victory en route to their fourth Stanley Cup title in 11 years.
“This is what I wanted.” Rafalski said. “This is the whole reason, and for our family, put the other jerseys in the back of the closet, we all wear red and white with pride. It got a little tight at the end, but we played hard, and Ozzie played great, and it was a great win.”
Rafalski learned the game on youth teams at Melvindale’s local ice arena. He spent his teen years at Southfield Christian High School, and some years later, he found his way back home, just in time to win a Stanley Cup with his hometown team.
The 34-year-old took a round-about way to get to this moment. Having not been drafted, the University of Wisconsin graduate traveled to Europe, where he played a season in Sweden and four in Finland. New Jersey signed Rafalski in 1999, and he totaled five goals and 27 assists in his first season. In his seven seasons with the Devils, the right-handed defenseman accumulated 44 goals and 267 assists with an astounding plus-100 rating. Along the way, his name was engraved on the Stanley Cup – twice, in 2000 and 2002.
“It’s a dream come true. … grew up watching, and wishing, and hoping, and to finally have it realized,” Rafalski said. “It’s phenomenal, it’s a great feeling. My family in town, and everybody, I’m part of the Red Wings now.”
Rafalski had 13 goals and 42 assists in the regular-season, finished second in playoff scoring amongst defensemen with 14 points, one behind teammate Niklas Kronwall.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Zetterberg, a Real Conn Artist
Amidst the end-of-game hysteria, Henrik Zetterberg didn’t even hear the PA announcer call him the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
“The guys pushed me to it. It was a great feeling,” Zetterberg said. “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Zetterberg skated around a bit before taking the trophy back to his teammates.
“I wasn’t sure what to do with it,” Zetterberg admitted. “I play among really good players and they make it a lot easier for me to play good.”
He joined Nicklas Lidstrom as the only European-born named most valuable player.
In the Cup-clincher, Zetterberg delivered the final blow to the Penguins when his wrist shot trickled through the legs of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 7:36 of the third period.
Zetterberg’s tremendous two-way play silenced the Pens’ dreams of a miracle comeback. His goal put the Pens in a two-goal hole, which eventually led to the Red Wings’ 3-2 victory. He also assisted on Brian Rafalski’s goal, and again was stellar in his back-checking role, clearing Pittsburgh’s best chance on a long 5-on-3 in the first period.
“Yea, it’s a pretty good night,” the Swede said, smiling. “It’s gonna take a while before can sink in and you really enjoy it. Right now it’s just a nice feeling inside that you won the Cup and that’s been the goal for many years now.”
Zetterberg’s 27 points set a new franchise postseason record, surpassing Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman. And that was while shutting down the top guns from Pittsburgh, Dallas and Nashville.
“You can talk about this game, you can talk about every game of the playoffs — he’s been unbelievable,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “So well deserved.”
In the end, a case could have been made for Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, or even Johan Franzen. There was no clear-cut winner on a team where every skater got at least a point in the postseason.
But while those players have a specialty, Zetterberg is the all-around superstar.
“One of the best two-way players I’ve ever seen,” general manager Ken Holland said. “When your top player is your top defensive player, and he can play in all different types of situations — power play, penalty kill, on a regular shift — you’re going to have a good team.”
Zetterberg made his team great this postseason. He was consistent, with a nine-game point streak midway through the postseason. And he saved his best for last — none better than killing almost the entire 5-on-3 late in Game 3.
NBC broadcaster Doc Emrick called it a “Conn-Smythe worthy shift.”
And it was. That shift tipped the series to Detroit — for good. The Wings won the game off that kill, and they weren’t going to blow three chances to win the Cup.
Zetterberg blocked a Sergei Gonchar point shot, prevented Sidney Crosby from a doorstep dump-in, and stole the puck away from Evgeni Malkin to get a solid scoring chance.
That was the only shot of the 5-on-3, as Pittsburgh fired blanks in the most important 1:26 minutes of the season — courtesy of the man know throughout Hockeytown simply as Z.
Offense, defense? There’s never been a line to cross for Zetterberg, a rare offensive superstar that kills penalties for kicks. And he led the playoffs in shorthand points (five) for some extra pizzazz. He was a plus-16 — best in the postseason and a testament to his diverse game.
“A lot of players don’t get it until later on in their career,” said former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman, who gets credit for morphing Yzerman into a double threat.
Zetterberg’s got it. And he’s 27-years-old, playing just his fifth NHL season.
Hard to believe he was passed over 209 times before being selected by the Red Wings in the seventh round of the 1999 draft.
Now, he’s a Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winner, and likely a Selke winner, too.
Zetterberg’s got everything now. But it’s only the beginning.
|STANLEY CUP||DETROIT RED WINGS||FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY||PAVEL DATSYUK|
|PRESIDENTS' TROPHY||DETROIT RED WINGS||WILLIAM M JENNINGS TROPHY||DOMINIK HASEK|
|CLARENCE S CAMPBELL BOWL||DETROIT RED WINGS||WILLIAM M JENNINGS TROPHY||CHRIS OSGOOD|
|CONN SYMTHE TROPHY||HENRIK ZETTERBERG||PLUS-MINUS TROPHY||PAVEL DATSYUK|
|JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY||NICKLAS LIDSTROM||FIRST TEAM ALL-STAR||NICKLAS LIDSTROM|
|LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY||PAVEL DATSYUK||SECOND TEAM ALL-STAR||HENRIK ZETTERBERG|