CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit

Red Wings

The Red Wings Send A Message — But Can They Reach The Post-Season?

View Comments
VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 20: Justin Abdelkader #8, Henrik Zetterberg #40, Pavel Datsyuk #13 and Cory Emmerton #25 of the Detroit Red Wings react on the bench after Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scored during shootout in NHL action on April 20, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Red Wings lost 2-1 to the Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, CANADA – APRIL 20: Justin Abdelkader #8, Henrik Zetterberg #40, Pavel Datsyuk #13 and Cory Emmerton #25 of the Detroit Red Wings react on the bench after Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scored during shootout in NHL action on April 20, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Red Wings lost 2-1 to the Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

CBS Detroit e) Doug Karsch
Born in Champaign, Illinois, Karsch started working at The Tick...
Read More
Red Wings Central
Shop for Red Wings Gear
Buy Red Wings Tickets

NHL Scoreboard
NHL Standings
Team STATS
Team Schedule
Team Roster
Team Injuries

Sports Fan Insider

Keep up with your favorite teams and athletes with daily updates.
Sign Up

By: Doug Karsch

As we round the final turn and head for the tape of the regular season, what we saw Monday night at Joe Louis Arena was a Detroit Red Wings team we had been waiting to see show up. While no one here is accustomed to seeing the Wings in ninth place in the conference as we make that turn, the Wings only have to reel in one of the teams in front of them to accomplish a minimal goal — qualifying for the post-season.

More on that post-season in a minute.

But first, the getting there. Monday night’s 4-0 win over Phoenix was a combination of a hockey team playing with a sense of desperation that belies an organization with the heart of a champion. And while the product hasn’t been up to par around Hockeytown, it’s still a team with a Stanley Cup spine at the core of a weakened frame.

The Wings have struggled all year coming off west-coast trips, going 0-4 in their first game home — until Monday night. Mike Babcock and company decided to flip the script and keep the Wings overnight in Vancouver Saturday night after losing in a shootout to the Canucks. That allowed for a full night’s sleep and made Sunday’s off day — a travel day. The plan appeared to work. The Wings connected on three PP goals, and killed off all four Coyote power plays. In the offensive zone, the Wings looked dangerous throughout — with Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula breaking droughts and connecting on goals — and creating a number of other grade A chances. Johan Franzen still has the ability to score big, big goals in big, big games. And he did it again Monday. Franzen has five goals and five assists in his last 10 games.

And what about that post-season berth that may still loom?

Well, I can’t craft a formula for an 8th seeded Wings team to upset the mighty Blackhawks, but I can’t count them out either. Too often I’ve seen the impossible upset pulled off against a top seeded Wings team. Whether it is Edmonton or Calgary or San Jose or whomever. It was unfathomably done. And in 2003 one of those heavily favored Wings teams lost to the 7th seeded Anaheim Mighty Ducks. A Ducks team coached by a guy named Mike Babcock.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,868 other followers