From the same article.
According to HockeyFights.com, which tracks these things:
In the 1996-97 regular season, leading to the Wings' first Cup in 42 years, the Wings fought 55 times and were 23rd out of 26 teams in the NHL. The Bruins and Islanders led with 90 fights. The Red Wings fought seven times in the playoffs, more than any other team.
In the 1997-98 regular season, the Wings fought 33 times and were 25th out of the 26 teams. The Canucks led with 105 fights. The Red Wings did not fight in the playoffs.
In the 2001-02 regular season, with a roster laden with future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame and other stars, they fought 21 times, the least of any of the 30 teams. The Panthers led the league with 117. Again, the Wings did not fight in the playoffs.
In 2007-08, the Red Wings again fought 21 times, the least of any of the 30 teams. The Flames led the NHL with 70. The Wings fought once in the playoffs
So we won those 4 cups even though we didn't fight. Wow. The LGW fight slappies are not going to like that....
Its not about the amount of fights. Not sure how many times we need to go over this.
In 1996-97, we had a pretty physical team. McCarty, Shanahan, Kocur, Maltby, and Draper were all willing to go to the dirty areas to battle for a puck, and each finished all of their checks. When things got rough, Kocur, McCarty, and Shanahan could take care of business. It was much the same in 1998.
In 2001-02, McCarty, Shanahan, Draper, and Maltby still provided the physical edge for us. Yzerman, Fedorov, Hull, etc blew teams out of the rink with their puck skills. Hasek played insane.
In 2007-08, the physical edge was provided by Helm, Drake, Maltby, and even McCarty. Osgood played great. Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Filppula, etc provided the puck skills. That team, like the other 3 Championship teams, could physically combat other teams, and win puck battles down low. When things got chippy, they were able to "weather the storm". Gritty bottom 6 guys are just as important of a component to playoff success than the finesse guys are.
If people really think our current team can win it all, they aren't paying close attention. This team can't play at a competitive level on the road. I doubt they will be able to pull many road playoff games out of their hat. If we fight 100 times next year, that definitely doesn't guarantee us a Cup. It's not necessarily about fighting. I respect posters like Konnan, who can at least acknowledge that this team needs a change or two, much more than the posters who blindly believe any team that Ken Holland puts together is destined to hoist the Cup. And for those who plan to reply "Well, well, Abby is physical". Gimme a break. He's not physically consistent at all and took a ton of dumbass penalties last postseason, meanwhile not doing a damn thing offensively.
The "LOL BEING PHYSICAL DOESNT MATTER UR JUST A FIGHT SLAPPY" argument has been crushed many times by multiple people here, but those who can't deal with it continue it because they can't swallow their pride and admit they were wrong.
A balance of finesse, grit, good goaltending, effective special teams, and veteran leadership is the key to Hoist the Cup.