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Unsung hero of the season


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#1 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:42 AM

Just wondering who everyones unsung hero was of this season? By that I mean the player who didn't really have the story following him, or may not have been the best player, but still did all he could and helped the wings to the cup?

I have to say mine this year has been Rafalski.

He came in to replace Schnieder (who I didn't really like anyway) but was a vet none-the-less and had performed relatively well for the Wings during his time.
He never really received the spotlight from many fans or the media despite being an amazing player.
And he had to put up with being on a line with Lids most of the season - THIS IS NOT KNOCKING LIDS IN ANY WAY - it's just that pretty much every time they got the puck into the opposition zone the pass was always fed to Rafalski who would feed it to Lids. He knows Lids is the more accomplished player and he played to that. I was so happy for him when he scored in the final two games of SCF series because it was as if all of his hard work throughout the season was being rewarded with some personal glory.

Thats just my view and feel free to criticise... I've only been in hockey for about 3 years so I'm still a little naive about it all.

But also... Post your unsung player of the year!!

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#2 ifonlyicouldskate

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:48 AM

The Mule............. Who would of thought he would go on the tear that he did towards the end of the season and into the playoffs.

#3 Viperar

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:51 AM

Rafalski is a good choice, ill go with him as well
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#4 Cicada

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:54 AM

gotta say Downey..

great team guy. Didn't play in the playoffs but gets his name on the cup, and it's richly deserved

Edited by Cicada, 05 June 2008 - 10:54 AM.

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#5 Waterfordwinger

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:55 AM

Draper always comes up when this is asked. He works very hard when he's out there...


#6 Opie

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:55 AM

Mule
Ralf
Flip
Lebda (Played some very good d when Cheli and Lils were not dependable)
Huds
Kronwall
Stuart (These two were a great pairing, way better than I expected)
Maltby (I thought his best days were past him, he was a pest and a very good defensive player)
Helm (Well actually the whole fourth line)
Drake

This was truly a team victory everyone played their asses off and it showed!


Edit to waterfordwinger:

I was going to put Draper on this list, but to me he isn't unsung, without a doubt to me Cleary and Draper are two of the main reasons this team won. The defense they played and Drake was unreal!

Edited by Opie, 05 June 2008 - 10:56 AM.

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#7 Superman54

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:55 AM

Rafalski for sure! This man was very much under appriciated on these boards at times.

#8 David

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:05 AM

So many of the guys who were struggling or looking out of it during the regular season really stepped it up in the playoffs.

I'd put Draper, Maltby, Drake, Samuelsson, Lebda, and maybe even Lilja on that list. All of those guys were considerably better when it counted.

Helm was also fantastic and showed some resolve coming back from two plays where it looked like his knee could be badly injured.

#9 Wing Fanatic

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:41 AM

I say Kronwall. Let's face it, the more time the opposing teams spend in our end, the greater the chance for being scored on. Kronwall's physical presence and his hockey smarts were a big asset to this years run. Yes, he did have some mistakes along the way, but who didn't? sly.gif
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#10 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:45 AM

Unsung? I'd definitely have to go with Rafalski.

He somehow quietly scored 55 points and was a +27 during the regular season, and had 14 points and was +6 in the postseason.

But beyond stats, he just went about his job as the #2 D-man on the team and did a very good job of it. Yet most of the time I saw his name in a thread here, it was about how he screwed up.


Draper would be a close second. He got some attention, but probably not enough for how great he is defensively. Plus he threw some hard hits that didn't get noticed like Kronwall or drakes did. And he was dominant in the faceoff circle, which is HUGELY important for any team, but especially a puck possession one like Detroit. Draper went 15 for 18, winning 83% of his faceoffs last night. That's insane.

Edited by haroldsnepsts, 05 June 2008 - 11:49 AM.


#11 superdeluxe

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:49 AM

I'm kind of a newer fan.

Mule=??

#12 deltsig87

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:50 AM

can anyone say, OZZIE!!!!!!!! Many of you may say he's not unsung but in my opinion he was. Nobody gave him any respect the whole year even after he started the allstar game, then of course they started "swiss cheese" hasek over him in the playoffs and the rest is history as they say. He posted some of the best numbers in his career this year and we would NOT have won the cup without him, no matter how many people say our defense is so amazing it doesn't matter who the goalie is. GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!

#13 Happy Pancake

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (superdeluxe @ June 5, 2008 - 04:49PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm kind of a newer fan.

Mule=??


Franzen.




#14 Chase

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:52 AM

Rafalski is probably my choice as well. Although I still dont think Flip got enough recognition. He was very solid for us all year.
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#15 CrossCheck24

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:57 AM

The equipment manager, he gets new sticks ready for the players nearly before the other ones break. He is also good at cleaning visors, and sharpening skates tongue.gif

Edited by CrossCheck24, 05 June 2008 - 11:57 AM.

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#16 Opie

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:59 AM

Harold,
You do know how you put up those numbers and go unnoticed, you just haven't thought it through!
When the guy on the other side of the rink is the best player in the world, you are going to be in his shadow.

Ralf did a great job and should be commended for his great play on both ends of the ice, he and Lids did a great job on the Pens big guys!

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"A wise man once told me, ‘Don’t argue with fools. Cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who'." Jay Z, Takeover

"When I was looking for a captain, I wanted a guy with the Red Wings crest tattooed on his chest," said former Detroit coach Jacques Demers, who named Yzerman captain in 1986. "Steve Yzerman was that guy."

“Told him if he wasn't ultra-competitive he couldn't come here. If he didn't bring it every day he couldn't come here, because he was going to hate it if he didn't, dislike the coach and dislike playing here.
“It's real straightforward. If you don't do it right, you're not happy here." Babcock

#17 DatsMyWings13

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:08 PM

I would say the Mule for sure.

#18 Airborn

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:10 PM

How about Brian Burke?

Without him, the Wings would have re-signed Schneider and Bertuzzi.

When Burke signed Schneider Holland turned to Rafalski who ended up being the best D partner Lidstrom's ever had (Lids' words, not mine). As for Bertuzzi, he would have been playing in front of the Mule, likely keeping him in a defensive role.

#19 alpo

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:16 PM

I think Flip played awesome, & showed how he too can perform at an elite level. Hudler impressed me too, although his penalties sure had me doing some cursing.

#20 Crymson

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:25 PM

QUOTE (Cicada @ June 5, 2008 - 09:54AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
gotta say Downey..

great team guy. Didn't play in the playoffs but gets his name on the cup, and it's richly deserved


I was happy for this. He's a true team player.





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