At the end of each calendar year there are countless countdowns of “the best plays” or “the worst plays” of the year, I’ve decided to compose a list of the five most memorable moments in the year 2013 for the Detroit Red Wings.
#5. Pavel Datsyuk’s magic
On February 19th against the Nashville Predators, Pavel Datsyuk showed the world again why he is considered to have the best hands in the NHL. The Wings trailed 3-2 with six and a half minutes left in the game when Datsyuk carried the puck through the neutral zone and created a highlight which will be played for years to come.
As the “Magic Man” entered the Predators’ zone he made a deke to his backhand in order to split three defenders, as he blows by a fourth defender he brought the puck back to his forehand and fired a shot that squeaked by the Predators’ goaltender. Not known to show much emotion after lighting the lamp, Datsyuk skated around the net with his arms in the air then fist pumped as his teammates joined in his celebration.
#4. Playoff push
Due to another lockout, the 2012-13 NHL season was limited to just 48 games. The Red Wings went 7-3-3 in the final month of the season to make the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season. Questions arose throughout the season regarding the likelihood that the Wings would receive another playoff berth and the general feeling in Detroit was that this would be the season that the streak would come to an end. It was close. With just five games remaining on the schedule, there were four teams fighting for the final two playoff spots. The Wings made an unbelievable run in the last five games of the season, posting a 4-0-1 record to reach the playoffs as the seventh seed.
#3. Honoring the legends
Just last month, the Red Wings honored recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductees; Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios. As Shanny walked the red carpet on November 21st, fans cheered to the sound of the “Irish Jig” playing through the loud speakers at Joe Louis Arena. Just two days earlier, on November 19th, the Wings held a pregame ceremony honoring the career of one of the best American-born defenseman to have ever played the game; Cheli.
#2. Hoisting the Calder Cup
On June 18th the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, won their first Calder Cup. Many of the guys who were on this team play a big role for the Red Wings this year, such as; Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar. These are the future faces of the Wings and it was great for them to experience what it takes to win a championship, regardless of the level of play.
#1. The collapse
Despite taking a 3-1 game lead over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wings ended up losing in the Western Conference Semifinals in seven games. After being dominated in Game 5, the Wings failed to close out the series at Joe Louis and lost 4-3 in Game 6. Game 7 was decided in overtime as Brent Seabrook’s wrist shot beat Jimmy Howard and sent the Wings packing. The Blackhawks were the biggest obstacle standing in the way of any team lifting a Stanley Cup and the Red Wings were the closest team to knock them out.
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