Lions could learn from Red Wings' blueprint for success
It should be what all teams aspire to, not just in the NHL either. This is what the Lions should be watching and I think they are. Lions coach Jim Schwartz tweeted today that he loves playoff hockey.
If the Lions stick to their plan of building for the future now, maybe possibly in years to come the Lions jersey will become special too. Maybe.
It’s not easy. Not many teams have accomplished this.
Watching the Red Wings win Game 6 on Tuesday night, you could almost sense it. This is one of the winningest franchises in sports since 1997. The sweater makes them better, but so does the attitude when they’re wearing it. There’s something about the Red Wings. They can never be counted out, because they never count themselves out. They don’t quit. Ever.
Guys like Nick Lidstrom and Kris Draper have seen it all. Heck so has Pavel Datsyuk who won the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2002. Some of the younger buys like Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader have to be soaking this up.
This doesn’t mean the Wings win every playoff game — although I wouldn’t bet against them in Thursday’s Game 7 at San Jose — but it means they are in every game and every playoff series. Injuries happen, even the best teams stumble. But with the Wings, you expect them to lace up the skates the next season and compete with the best. Then you watch them do it.
General manager Ken Holland can’t get enough credit. Remember when the salary cap era began, and those who didn’t know what they were talking about said the Red Wings could no longer buy championships and would certainly take a big fall. Holland just works his magic within whatever guidelines that he is handed.
They also draft well and exercise patience.
The Wings drafted goaltender Jimmy Howard in 2003 (64th overall) and no one could really be sure he was the future until about now.
It’s legend how all other NHL teams bypassed Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg who were late draft picks — 171st and 210th respectively.
The Red Wings have created a blueprint for success.
The Lions should be watching closely.
(Follow me on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)