A team that needed all 48 games of the regular season just to clinch a playoff berth suddenly has the Presidents' Trophy winners on the brink of elimination.
Well it's a reality, and the Detroit Red Wings continue to show that seeds matter very little when it comes to playoff hockey.
I think coach Mike Babcock summed up the Red Wings' run best in his Game 4 post game press conference when he said: "We don't do things right all the time, that's for sure … but I think we are doing things hard all the time. We are trying hard."
The Red Wings may not have as much depth or experience as the Blackhawks, but they have pride, and they have heart.
Nobody on the team wanted to miss the playoffs for the first time in 22 years under first-year captain Henrik Zetterberg. So they dug deep and put together a four-game winning streak to secure that playoff spot.
For the past 15 years or so, the Red Wings have had one goal: win a Stanley Cup. Anything short of that was a failure.
This year, expectations were a little different. Many fans were just happy the Red Wings made the playoffs. They continued the streak even after losing Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart leaving the blue line full of youth and inexperience.
Some fans felt like the Red Wings were playing with house money after they beat the Anaheim Ducks in seven games in the Western Conference quarterfinals. They upset the second-best team in the Western Conference and faced series deficits of 2-1 and 3-2 to do it.
But that still wasn't enough for Babcock and the Red Wings.
Now, they have a chance to beat the top-seeded Blackhawks -- a team many predicted would win the Stanley Cup -- in an elimination game Saturday, May 25 in Game 5.
Remember back in April when the Red Wings made no trade deadline moves and Babcock said he was "100 percent" comfortable with the team he has?
Babcock said he was happy with the team but, let's be honest, no coach is completely happy with a team that, at the time, was just two points ahead of the ninth place Edmonton Oilers. Especially for an organization with a rich tradition like the Red Wings.
It looks like Babcock knew a lot more about his team than we ever thought we knew.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can find Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Detroit Red Wings
- Mike Babcock