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01-15-2013, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
And yet the previous year (1993-94), the Devils were the 2nd best team in the league and made very few changes going into 1994-95. They were 12-4 with 51 goals for and 27 goals against in the playoffs heading into the finals. After 1994-95, Larry Robinson, Jacques Lemaire's balance left the team and Lemaire started focusing even more on defense every time the team hit a rough patch. The Devils did miss the playoffs in 1995-96 with a 37-33-12 record (back when the 12 was actually ties), but their record would have been good enough for the #4 seed and home ice advantage in the first round if they played in the West.
Nevertheless, the 1995 Finals were seen as a disaster for that Wings team and the following season (for both Jersey and Detroit) only made it look worse.

In the scope of 15 more years of success and multiple Cups by both teams, sure, we can say "no disgrace". In 1995, people were a lot less forgiving of that upset. It's not an oversimplification to say that Bowman got outcoached, plain and simple, and it fed right into the narrative of Yzerman, Dino, Coffey being regular season players.

Pretend history ends in 1996 and the core of that team isn't redeemed with a win... that series would look horrific for them.

Edit: I didn't mean "much weaker team" as a shot, btw. Most teams are much weaker than the 1997 Wings.

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