This week's video: San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings Western Conference semi-finals Game 1
Game Date: 5/21/1995
Notable Nostalgic Names To Look For: Doug Brown(ov), Ray Sheppard, Dino Ciccarelli, Paul Coffey, (young) Al Sobotka, Craig Janney, Jim Kyte
Uploader: (Prolific uploader of Red Wings You Tube material) awood40
Cultural Significance: In this lockout abbreviated season, it was believed that Detroit, now led by legendary coach Scotty Bowman, and 1989 Stanley Cup winner Mike Vernon in net, had found the right balance to escape previous playoff demons.
Yes, playoff demons.
It's hard to believe that at one point the Red Wings were cast similarly to how the Washington Capitals are today; all the skill, great regular seasons, but somehow it'd fall apart in the playoffs.
The second round match up against San Jose was perhaps one of the larger ghosts looming in the Wings' attic. The previous season, with young Chris Osgood in net, the Sharks upset the Cup-favorite Wings in seven games when Jamie Baker scored late off an Osgood turnover. Osgood famously broke down in tears after when talking to the media after the game. San Jose, in their first ever franchise playoff appearance, was moving on, while questions continued to swirl around Steve Yzerman's leadership--yes, imagine that.
This was supposed to be a redemptive series for Detroit. And they got redemption. San Jose got off to quite a jump in the first period but Vernon provided the steady veteran goaltending they sought when acquiring him.
Detroit's balanced attack of vision, speed and net-front doggedness took it from there and poor Wade Flaherty was abandoned like Goldberg tied to his posts in Mighty Ducks. He did not start the following game.
The Red Wings went onto sweep the series behind Slava Kozlov's Jofa Helmet scoring nine points. They survived a brutal series vs. Chris Chelios and the Blackhawks before being swept themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals by the New Jersey Devils.
Follow the rabbit hole in the 'recommended videos' section on You Tube and let me know what old Red Wings videos you dig up in the comment section!