Detroit Red Wings: Ranking Teams In The Cap Era – #4


Over the next two weeks, Octopus Thrower will rank each of the ten Detroit Red Wings teams during the Salary Cap Era which began with the 2005-2006 season.

Regular Season and Stanley Cup Playoff success were both used as the metrics for judging ranking. Stanley Cup Playoff success was given a greater weight when determining final rankings. 

Today we focus on the 2010-2011 Red Wings. 

ICYMI, here are links for the other teams:

#10 – 2013-2014 Red Wings
#9 – 2014-2015 Red Wings
#8 – 2011-2012 Red Wings
#7 – 2012-2013 Red Wings
#6 – 2009-2010 Red Wings
#5 – 2005-2006 Red Wings

#4: 2010-2011 Detroit Red Wings

Record: 47-25-10

Playoff Result: Defeated Phoenix in Western Conference Quarter Finals 4-0;  Lost in Western Conference Semi-Final to San Jose, 4-3

Team MVP (Chosen By Octopus Thrower Staff): Nicklas Lidstrom

Team’s Theme Song: Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

Heading Into the 2010-2011 Season

The Red Wings finished the 2009-2010 season with 102 points, good enough for second place in the Central Division behind the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit’s 102 points were also good enough to barely edge-out the third place Nashville Predators’ 100 points.

Ken Holland attempted to add some veteran-depth to the Red Wings’ roster prior to the start of the 2010-2011 season.

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The Wings signed Mike Modano from the Dallas Stars and Joey MacDonald from the Anaheim Ducks. MacDonald was acquired to replace Chris Osgood and to help back up Jimmy Howard. He would eventually go on to play 15 games for Detroit that season, and finish with a slightly better save percentage than Howard.

The 2010-2011 Regular Season In Review

The Red Wings finished the 2010-2011 regular-season with 104 points, earning them their 19th division title in franchise history. This would also be the last time the Red Wings won a division title. Detroit’s 104 points would also be enough to earn them the third-seed in the Western Conference, only 1 point behind second place San Jose.

Lead by Johan Franzen’s 28 goals, Detroit finished the season second in the league in goals-for with 257, only 1 behind Vancouver’s league-leading 258. Henrik Zetterberg lead the team in points (80) and assists (56).

2010-2011 also gave Detroit hockey fans their first glimpse of Tomas Tatar. Tatar only played in 9 regular-season games for the Red Wings that season, but he scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on December 31, 2010. Jakub Kindl would also score his first NHL goal during this season.

The Red Wings also tried to bring in Evgeni Nabokov from the KHL to help backup Jimmy Howard in January of 2011. Nabokov was unable to clear waivers and was picked up by the New York Islanders.

The 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff

The Moment That Defined The 2011 Playoffs: Daren Helm’s Game 4 game-winner. Watching this goal still gives me chills. The Sharks had the Red Wings on the ropes, leading the Western Conference Semi-Final series 3-0. Facing elimination, the Red Wings came out in Game 4 and took a 3-0 lead before the end of the second period. San Jose eventually answered, and tied the game at 3 before Helm’s late-game heroics.

The Skinny: For the second consecutive post-season, the Red Wings faced the Phoenix Coyotes followed by the San Jose Sharks.  The Wings easily dispatched the Coyotes both years, but struggled with the Sharks. Much like the 2012-2013 playoff series against Chicago, the Wings were just one win shy of advancing to the conference finals. After Darren Helm’s Game 4 heroics, Detroit went on to go the distance with San Jose, but failed to land the KO punch in Game 7.

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Why They Earned Their #4 Ranking:

The 2010-2011 Detroit Red Wings were really the last great installment of the Stanley Cup winning Detroit teams of the early to mid 2000’s. This group was also the last Detroit team to not struggle or fight to the bitter end to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Red Wings’ fans didn’t have to worry about the thought of possibly missing the post-season. Every season since the 2010-2011 season, the Red Wings have had to battle tooth and nail to make the playoffs and keep their post-season streak alive. Sadly, the Red Wings haven’t won a division title since.

Next: The 5 Best Goalies In Red Wings History