-- The Motor City was paved with red, as the Red Wings
brought home the Cup to the people of Detroit on Friday afternoon.
Whether being there since 5 a.m. in the morning or coming straight
from a long, bus ride with no air conditioner, it was Hockeytown
all over downtown on a hot and humid day, as everyone joined in
with the Wings winning the Stanley Cup since 2002, chanting "Let's
go, Red Wings!", clapping and cheering.
Though it wasn't at Joe Louis on Monday, the Wings still won on
late Wednesday night, defeating the Penguins in Game 6 of the Finals,
with the score was 3-2 in the Steeltown known as Pittsburgh. Now
here at downtown, they're home -- as champions.
The celebration parade is both an economic and emotional impact
to the city, according to Ilitch Holdings, Inc.'s Karen Mullen,
VP of Corporate Communications. Her associate, Joni, agrees, as
well. "More people will come to Red Wings games and downtown
Detroit," she said. "It's exciting. It's great. This is
something Michigan needs for a long time."
It's been the fourth time in eleven years that the Wings won the
Cup. They won Stanley back-to-back in 1997 and 1998, and again 2002.
The entire championship team included Chris Osgood, who's known
as "Ozzie" to the fans, as he and teammate Dominik Hasek
has received the William J. Jennings Trophy for helping the Wings
allow the fewest goals in the regular season. The team has also
won the Presidents' Trophy for its 54-21-7 record during the regular
season and the NHL-best of 115 points. Henrik Zetterberg won the
Conn Smythe Trophy as well as named Most Valuable Player ("MVP!
MVP!" fans chanted) of the playoffs.
This is the first Cup for Mike Babcock since becoming head coach
of the Wings in the 2005 season, but it is also the first for Nicholas
Lidstrom. He is the first European captain ever in the franchise
to win the Cup. "You are a hardworking city and a hardworking
state", he responds to the fans at Hart Plaza, "and we
try to do the same for you. Thank you."
No, thank you, Red Wings -- thank you for finally bringing Sportstown
and Hockeytown back in the Motor City known as Detroit. Congratulations!