Somewhere between Game 5 and Game 6, lost amid the buzz, ticket requests and ‘Why Not Us?’ fever, was an office as superstitious as they come. Nobody could do anything that they didn’t do during the previous victory. There were specific rules for home games and road games, weekdays and weekends. Shark piñata’s hung above an office wall, where one was one was ceremonially sacrificed before each game for the sake of the office 3 P.M. sugar rush.
It had the same feel as a college campus around graduation. There was excitement, anticipation, anxiety, fear of the unknown, big dreams and ultimately, pride wrapped around a disappointing Game 7 loss. There was a sadness, not because of defeat, but because the magic carpet ride had come to an abrupt end, at least until the puck drops on the 2011-12 season. The Red Wings and Sharks gave us two weeks of wonderful, heart-pounding, breathtaking hockey. Six games decided by one goal, with an empty netter by Darren Helm in Game 6 that kept it from being a perfect seven for seven.
“We had a good season and it was a great series,” Danny Cleary said. “Obviously you don’t want to put yourself in that type of hole (0-3), but I was proud of the way we responded.
What happens between now and October is anybody’s guess. We’ve got the NHL Awards, the NHL Draft, free agency, and decisions regarding the future of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, Kris Draper and Mike Modano. While we understand that nobody can play forever, all four of these decisions will be emotional for everybody involved, especially the fans.
“If Nick decides he wants to stay, he’ll be playing on a good team with an opportunity,” Mike Babcock said at his season ending press conference, summing up the expectations of fans perfectly.
With Osgood the chatter was about his competitive spirit, Draper talked about family, Modano about the possible opportunity to end on a high note after last November’s wrist injury.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” Modano said. “Your knee jerk reaction is to walk away considering the way things ended and not give it a chance, but I think you need to give it a fair assessment, a long thought process and then hopefully I can come up with answer.”
- Ansar Khan breaks out the pen for his 2010-11 report card.
- Everyone in the hockey world was devastated to hear about the loss of Derek Boogaard.
- On the Wings offers up thanks to its readers.
- The Wings are still in the Western Conference for the time being. We’ll see what happens if there’s some franchise movement.
- The Production Line offers up a post mortem.
- Puck Daddy does a eulogy for every NHL team eliminated in the playoffs, here is the Red Wings version.