The Detroit Red Wings have won their third National Hockey League Stanley Cup championship in five years with a three-to-one victory late Thursday over the Carolina Hurricanes. The victory brings the Stanley Cup to Detroit for the tenth time in franchise history and third time in the last five years.
Detroit had the best record of any team in the NHL regular season (51-17-10). An impressive all-star line-up of aging but highly- skilled players, many destined for the Hall of Fame, was brought together to win the Stanley Cup.
After losing the first game of the Stanley Cup finals to Carolina, the Red Wings dominated by winning the next four games of the best-of-seven championship series. Team captain Steve Yzerman explained how Detroit approached its quest for the Cup. "All through the playoffs we tried to stay calm and really exert all our energy on the ice and not get too uptight in the locker room. We do not play well when we are all uptight," he said. "We know what we were playing for. We did not really have to psych ourselves up. It was just a matter of taking it easy and things would come for us, not force it and not get uptight."
For some of the veteran players like Czech goalie Dominik Hasek, this was perhaps the last chance to be a part of an NHL championship team. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom was named the Stanley Cup playoffs' Most Valuable Player. As Detroit celebrates, it is not clear whether the team will remain intact for another season.
The victory gives Detroit head coach Scottie Bowman a record ninth NHL championship. Bowman announced his retirement with the victory.