This Red Wings team has as much heart as any team in the NHL. With their backs against the wall down 3-0, they managed to battle-fight their way back to a Game 7. Win or Loss, getting to a 7th game is admirable in itself, whether or not it's against a team plagued by a "choker" repuation.
In order to be a runaway Cup "favorite", this team must get bigger, faster, and stronger. Smart hockey will get you a long way, and it did in this series, with Pavel Datsyuk joining Ovechkin and that Pre-Pubescent-Penguin in the "best in the game" stratosphere. But in games 1-3, the Wings San Jose beat them like playground bullies. The forwards couldn't penetrate the zone at all, dodging one defender and running into 2 more. But in order for the forwards to get any help at all...
The holes in the Red Wings' defense must be addressed. Lidstrom and Rafalski can't play 60 minutes, and when they were off the ice, the Sharks had enough time and room to carve ice sculptures in the Wings' zone. The Wings already have the "Yankees" reputation of buying off all the talent in the league, they might as well do it to improve what plagued them the entire season.
As talented as the Sharks were, I was FAR less impressed by their fans. Chanting "How-ward! How-ward!" in a 0-0 game? Ooh, you got him on that one. Booing as a defenseman sets up a play behind his own net? That equates to baseball fans that boo a pitcher attempting a pickoff at first - Every team, yours included, does it, and... To be honest, I'm left speechless on that one... No explanation. And who could forget the SUPER-creative chant of, oh yes, "Beat Detroit!"
If the "Atlanta-to-Winnipeg/Wings-to-the-East" rumors are true, I'm definitely going to enjoy getting the Wings out of the brutal Western Conference and away from seeing San Jose and Vancouver every playoff year. Plus, no more late games!