When you run social media for a professional hockey team, one of the joys you have is seeing a campaign (albeit an unintentional one) go viral.
Over the last few days, as the Red Wings have gone from 0-3, to a dramatic seventh game showdown in San Jose, #WhyNotUs has done just that.
As Jimmy Howard admitted again last night, he borrowed the phrase from Curt Schilling and the 2004 Boston Red Sox, one of the four teams in the history of professional sports to accomplish such a comeback. It would have been a mere throwaway cliché in a press scrum had the 23 men in our dressing room not taken it to heart.
“I don’t think you would have believed it if you came in here and saw when we were down 3-0,” Howard said. “We were in here loose, joking around, laughing, being ourselves. I think that’s key when you dig yourself into that sort of hole.”
That’s the mentality, rather than dwelling on the negative, that must exist to believe the feat is possible.
“The thing is, we weren’t kidding ourselves; we really felt we could do this,” Danny Cleary said. “We focused on one game, not thinking we had to win four.”
Why not let our fans feel the exact same way? We’ve spent the last few days having more fun than anyone else on social media. There was Travolta on the Facebook page after Game 4, Bon Jovi after Game 5 and ‘Throw Your Wings Up’, a music video submitted by some of our social media followers. We used the Animal House speech in between the second and third periods of Game 5. And we’ve spent the last few days celebrating the journey, rather than trying to take that one giant leap to victory.
What happened on Tuesday throughout the Motor City wasn’t just exciting, but simply magical. It started with a pregame buzz and radiated throughout the city and the vast reaches of Hockeytown. There was an electricity that permeated throughout the building, surely felt by our players on the ice.
“I didn’t think the crowd could top Game 4, but last night, the building was unbelievable,” said Justin Abdelkader.
And because of that energy, on and off the ice, the Red Wings will do just as Mike Babcock predicted following Game 5.
They’ll be getting on a plane, bound for San Jose and a Game 7, and once there, anything can happen.
LLLWWW? – TEAMS THAT HAVE FORCED GAME SEVEN AFTER TRAILING 3-0
2011 – Red Wings vs. Sharks
2011 – Blackhawks vs. Canucks (Blackhawks lost Game 7)
2010 – Flyers vs. Bruins (Flyers won Game 7)
1975 – Islanders vs. Flyers (Islanders lost Game 7)
1975 – Islanders vs. Penguins (Islanders won Game 7)
1945 – Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs (Red Wings lost Game 7)
1942 – Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings (Maple Leafs won Game 7)
1939 – Rangers vs. Bruins (Rangers lost Game 7)
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