The Runner Sports

Don’t Stop Believing In The Detroit Red Wings

The 2016-2017 Detroit Red Wings season was a wild ride with a lot more low points than high. However, the season wasn’t a complete constant headache for fans. Just a very strong recurring one. After a season like last year, fans tend to focus on on the negative aspects, Detroit fans, especially, have been on focusing on the negative because they aren’t used to that kind of season.

I’ll admit, I’ve been dwelling on this disaster of a season.

So now it’s time do something different. Now it’s time to focus on some of the high points of the season that might give Detroit fans hope for the future.

Home Opener

The season may have started off with more of a whimper than a bang. Detroit started away in Florida and lost to both the Lightning and the Panthers. Then they were allowed to travel home for the very last home opener at the Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 and it started a streak that showed what the team could do when they were all working together. It also showed the kind of energy that fans can bring to a game, especially when they are excited about history being made.

It also started showing the memories of former players. I loved hearing alumni talk about their favorite memories and being able to watch it. I’ve been a Wings fan all my life, and it’s nice to be reminded of all the history the team has and how much Red Wing hockey has meant to so many people.

Game Winning Green

 

The best part of the home opener was watching Mike Green get his first NHL hat trick. A hat trick is always exciting but getting one from a defenseman seems like an extra special treat, and it being his first on Howe night made it all the better.

Mike Green had an all around good season. After his hat trick, Green went on to have the most goals on the team for a while. He also reminded everyone why he was known as ‘Game Winning Green’ when he scored in overtime in November to defeat the New Jersey Devils. His goal ended a year-long losing streak in New Jersey. At one point he had the most goals for Detroit. The wasn’t great news for the team, but it was great for Green.

When the season was over Green had about the same number of shots on goal as his last season but double the number of goals. He was one of the players that most Detroit fans could find nothing negative to say about and since it looks like he was finding his stride. It will be great to see what happens in the 2017-2018 season.

Tatar Sauce

Tomas Tatar also got his first NHL regular season hat trick in December against the Anaheim Ducks. Tatar’s hat trick was a high point not only for the forward who had struggled a bit in the middle of the season, but for the team as a whole.  Tatar’s three goals helped Detroit win one of its higher scoring games.  It wasn’t a perfect game, but it did show that when the Red Wings work together and click as a team some magic can happen.

 

 

That wasn’t Tatar’s only touching moment of the season. Tatar ended his goal drought on by scoring on the father’s weekend trip. Tatar’s father had passed three years to the day.  As proof that Tatar’s father is never out of his mind, he paid tribute to his late father. It was a sweet moment in a sport that doesn’t really have a lot of those.

Athan-a-see-you-later

Andreas Athanasiou was a bright exciting highpoint of the season. He may not have gotten a lot of ice time but he always made the most of it. He was one of the most exciting players out there and most of the time when he had the puck you knew something electrifying was going to happen. One of the best parts of the seasons was watching Athanasiou weave in and out of Pittsburgh Penguins to go from one end to the other before putting the puck in the net.

It was almost as satisfying as watching a rookie goalie stop Sidney Crosby during his NHL debut. Which is something Jared Coreau did. Everyone needs to remember that.

Howie

Jimmy Howard also had a good season. It would have been a fantastic season if two things were different:

  • His defense hadn’t left him high and dry most of the season.
  • He hadn’t injured himself and have to spend a good part of the season trying to recover.

Howard only played 26 games during the season. During those 26 games he had 674 shots against (thanks a lot, defense) and out of those 674 shots he only let in 49 goals.

Playing the ‘what if game’ isn’t the best use of time, but after a bad season, it’s kind of hard not to. Howard had a pretty good season and when he came back it was a fantastic bounce back. It’s hard to not think that things might have been different if he had been around the whole time. The season might have been a disaster and Howard probably couldn’t have single handily saved it, but he couldn’t have hurt it.

Farewell to the Joe

This was the last season at the Joe Louis Arena. Throughout the season fans, players, coaches, and alumnus all shared memories of the Joe. Everyone knew that the last game and the ceremonies that were to follow it were going to be something to remember, but no one knew exactly how memorable it all would be.

And the Wings did not disappoint, the sold out crowd at the Joe for their last game.

They defeated the New Jersey Devils but the win wasn’t the best part. Neither was seeing Riley Sheahan get his first and second goal of the season. Neither was seeing all the support and excitement from his teammates when he finally scored. It also wasn’t Henrick Zetterberg scoring during his 1000th game as a Red Wing.

It was all the of these thing, and it was seeing all the fans react. Even though the Wings were ranked in the bottom half of the league last season, the Joe was still sold out and rocking. You could feel the energy coming out of the TV; watching clips from that game is still exciting. Even if the Wings don’t make it to the playoffs this upcoming season, Detroit is still Hockeytown.

That is what it means to be a Wings fan, and that is what everyone needs to remember as they enter a rebuild.

Allison Barbersek
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Allison Barbersek

Writer at The Runner Sports
I love animals and hockey, espeically the wings. I live in the Great Lakes Bay Area of Michigan.
Allison Barbersek
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