While the NCAA men’s basketball tournament captivated sports fans across the nation Thursday with upsets reining supreme, a case could be made that perhaps the most dramatic buzzer-beater of the night actually took place on the ice.
Hockeytown witnessed one of the most thrilling games of the entire NHL season as the Detroit Red Wings knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4 in overtime. The back and forth game featured three of the Red Wings’ goals deflecting off Penguin defenders, a 5 minute game misconduct penalty to David Legwand in the final minutes of regulation, and eventually a game winning goal by Daniel Alfredsson with 0.4 seconds left in overtime.
That’s March madness at its finest. Not to mention it was an upset!
The Penguins hold the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference with 95 points. The Wings are on the outside looking in with the two points gained putting them a point back on the New York Rangers for the last wild card spot in the East. The good news is they have an extra game to play to make up those points.
It’s hard to single out certain games in a 82-game season that decided a team’s fate but this was one of the those game. Their ability to fight and not fold even though they were missing over half their team is genuinely unbelievable. Please, give me another team in the league that can bring up 10 or more players from their AHL team and still be competitive, let alone beat one of the best teams in the NHL.
This is a new brand of Red Wings’ hockey. The young guns are no longer considered the future of the organization, but now have become the present. They have been thrown into the fire and, so far, have come out alive. But, how far can they really carry this team?
Personally, I think that depends on how much help they get from the veterans. It’s a role reversal. Daniel Alfredsson carried the Wings past Pittsburgh and has 3 goals in his past 2 games. Before Alfie got hot it was Johan Franzen. The Mule just had a span of 6 games with 12 points (6 goals and 6 assists) a couple of weeks ago.
The young guns may make up around half the team but, like we saw last night, the veteran presence can’t be overlooked. They will be the difference makers down the stretch because they have been through this before; just last year as a matter of fact.
While I agree the motto for this season should be, “From Calder Cup to Stanley Cup,” extending the playoff streak may take a few more magical moments from the veterans.
If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Detroit Red Wings story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form.
Read more Red Wings rumors, news and opinion on our Detroit Red Wings page.