Friday, June 4, 2010
The 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings cruised to the President's Trophy with 115 regular season points from a 54-21-7 record, 7 points ahead of their closest pursuer's, the San Jose Sharks.
Russian Pavel Datsyuk led the team in scoring with 97 points from 31 goals and 66 assists, followed by Swede Henrik Zetterberg's 92 points and team leading 43 goals, the only other player on the team with more than 30 goals.
Next in scoring was defenseman and team captain Nicklas Lidstrom's 70 points. Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek split the goaltending duties and each won 27 times with Osgood having an edge in Save Percentage and Goals Against Average.
Once the playoff began, the Red Wings first drew the Nashville Predators, who they eliminated in six games. They then faced their past rivals, the Colorado Avalanche. This was no longer the Avalanche team of the late 1990's however, and Detroit was able to advance after a four game sweep.
With the #2 seeded Sharks eliminated in the previous round, the #5 Dallas Stars were the opposition in the Western Conference Finals. Detroit continued their march toward the finals by knocking out Dallas in six games to face the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was the Red Wings 23rd Stanley Cup Finals and first since 2002. The often critiqued Osgood had taken over in goal from Hasek during the first round of the playoffs and was now the starting goaltender.
Game 1 went to the Red Wings 4-0 behind Osgood's 19 saves versus the 36 shots taken by Detroit. Game 2 was essentially a carbon copy as Osgood made 22 saves for his second consecutive blanking of the Penguins as Detroit won 3-0.
Back in Pittsburgh for Game 3, the Penguins kept their home winning streak intact with a 3-2 win for their 17th consecutive win at The Igloo. Game 4 saw the streak end when Jiri Hudler scored at 2:24 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie to give Detroit a 3-1 lead, putting the Penguins on the brink.
Back in Detroit, the Penguins spoiled the hoped for celebration when Maxime Talbot scored with 34.3 seconds remaining and Marc-Andre Fleury pulled for an extra attacker to force overtime. Veteran Petr Sykora got the game winner for Pittsburgh with Hudler in the penalty box for the Red Wings.
The series then shifted back to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on this date in 2008. Brian Rafalski opened the scoring with a power play goal for Detroit at 5:03 of the first period and Valtteri Filppula made it 2-0 for the visitors at 8:07 of the second.
Evgeni Malkin got Pittsburgh on the board with a power play goal at 15:26, leaving the Penguins down a goal with 20 minutes remaining to stay alive in the series. Detroit's Zetterberg pushed the Detroit advantage back to two goals at 7:36 of the third and Pittsburgh could not solve Osgood until a goal by Marian Hossa on the power play with just 1:27 left in the contest. After a close call in the final seconds, the Red Wings held on to win the game and capture the 11th Stanley Cup title in team history.
For Osgood, it was his second championship as the starting goaltender and his playoff record of 14-4 with a 1.55 goals against average had him under consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which was awarded to Zetterberg, who led all playoff scorers with 27 points (tied with Sidney Crosby) and goals with 13 (tied with teammate Johan Franzen).
Today's featured jersey is a Reebok 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk jersey. This jersey features the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals patch, worn by Detroit and Pittsburgh. Red Wings jerseys also feature the distinctive radially arched names on the back, used by only Detroit, Colorado and the New York Rangers.
Datsyuk was the fourth leading scorer in the playoffs, and second for Detroit behind Zetterberg, with 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 22 games. After five seasons in the Russian SuperLeague, Datsyuk made the move to North America for the 2001-02 season and joined the Red Wings, who stole him with the 171st pick in the 6th round in 1998. The 2008 Stanley Cup was the second of Datsyuk's career.
The 2007-08 was the first season in which all NHL teams were outfitted with the new Reebok Edge uniform system with it's unique "shirt tail" look, which rethought the entire approach to NHL jersey design and construction to mixed reviews from the players and fans.
Our video selection today are highlights of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.