A long time ago, a sportswriter named Grantland Rice wrote about how it isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.
That’s fine, if it’s about youth sports or high school sports or even college athletics, although the latter is a bit of a sham.
In regard to professional sports, Rice’s words generally ring hollow. It is whether you win. It’s the only reason professional teams exist.
But if there is an exception, it is the Red Wings in their just-completed Western Conference semifinal series with the San Jose Sharks.
The Red Wings lost, but their effort in defeat was exceptional.
That isn’t what a lot of Red Wings’ fans want to hear. They are disappointed and looking for scapegoats such as Jiri Hudler, for clocking Danny Cleary with an elbow to the head and not playing particularly well. How can a player elbow his teammate to the head?