Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:21 AM
That will probably win, but I like to forget anything that happened in those playoffs.
Cleary was awful in the 2008 playoffs, but the Wings won the Cup. In 2009, he was brilliant and scored a lot, but the Wings lost and he missed that crucial breakaway at the end of game 6 against the Pens.
2007 is a better memory, because the team vindicated itself after choking in the playoffs in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Losing to Anaheim on a deflection sucked, and I still feel we'd have won the Cup if not for that play, but overall, that playoff feels better. Also likely because we won the Cup the following year. 2009 still stings because the Wings haven't won anything since then.
I voted for the Phaneuf hit for the same reasons as yours. The 07 playoffs were a real coming out party for that team. That hit helped define us a team that was able to compete and win in the playoffs and wouldn't be physically intimidated.
"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk