In Red Wings Land
Here, though, the tradition is rooted as deep as Lake Superior, and a couple of decades of playoff runs — not to mention four Stanley Cups — have created a more forgiving fan base.
It helps, too, that the icon of those runs is now running the franchise. If you’re looking for an explanation for the Wings’ relatively dedicated and throaty crowds, there it is.
Inside the franchise it’s known as the Steve Yzerman bump. Faith in what he has done and what he will do has allowed for a kind of patience.
Red Wings fans were spoiled with greatness for a very, very long time. That has definitely helped ease the pain of the rebuild. Plus, I think most of us realized it was necessary and coming whether we liked it or not.
Steve Yzerman returning to the franchise was absolutely a shot in the arm and has probably helped keep the fan base from totally abandoning ship. We’re not sure exactly how long the tunnel is, but I think we can all agree that with Yzerman in charge, there’s definitely light at the end of it.
“I definitely never thought I would get here,” Glendening said after the morning skate. “I didn’t even know if I’d ever play one. I feel truly blessed to be able to say that I’ve played that many games for one organization. It’s been a huge blessing to me for sure.”
I didn’t realize Luke Glendening has played that many games. Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of college.
Around the League
But what if the math were different? What if, instead of two wild-card spots, there were four postseason berths on the line? What if, instead of a season that ends in Game No. 82, there were a one-and-done Game No. 83 for the ninth seed or the 10th seed in the conference, with entry into the 16-team Stanley Cup dance on the line?
I don’t hate the idea of play-in games. If the league isn’t going to go back to the old 1-8 format (with division winners getting the top seeds), then I’d probably be okay trying something new. I wasn’t a fan of the play-in game when MLB initially did it a few years back, but I think it has worked out well them.
I could see a world where the top three teams in each division make the playoffs and then four wild card teams have to participate in play-in games. You get WC1 versus WC4 and WC2 versus WC3 with the winners of each game moving on to face the two division winners.
I’m sure there would be a lot of push back from old school hockey purists and/or folks that don’t like change, but, hey, it could be fun?