DETROIT – The Red Wings are back in the playoffs for the 20th consecutive season, and Wednesday night, everything seemed back to normal in Detroit. The first octopus hit the ice during the national anthem, going splat behind Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov(notes). Kid Rock, Eminem and Motown blared from the loudspeakers. Johan Franzen(notes) scored. Joe Louis Arena roared. The Wings won, 4-2, and echoed each other afterward.
“This is one game,” Franzen said.
“Again,” coach Mike Babcock said, “this is just one game.”
It was one game. But it was a playoff game, and it showed why the Wings have won four Stanley Cups since 1997 and remain contenders to win again. When the sun comes out, when the weather warms up, when the fans sneak slimy sea creatures into the rink – as they have been doing since the octopus’ eight legs represented the wins required for the Stanley Cup – something changes. The Wings find their passion, withoutRead More »from The Red Wings and their 'extra' playoff gear