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03-13-2013, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by g3ryder View Post
I ask this because I legitimately want to know (not meant to be a sarcastic/rhetorical statement), how were the Red Wings of 08 better then 09 version?
You pointed out many of the reasons, but to reiterate and add to this:

The 2008 team played a much tighter defensive, team game. Detroit's always been known for their puck possession style since the Russian 5, but the 2008 version is probably the best version I've ever seen as a team. Even the famous 2002 Detroit team didn't compare in terms of puck possession. In fact, 2008 Detroit had a much better shot differential than 2002 Detroit. This reflects the dominant puck control game that the 2008 team displayed.

But back to comparing 2008 vs 2009...

2008 was a significantly better defensive, puck possession team. They also had a better shot differential than 2009 and that reflected this. 2008 also had a much better PK (8th to 23rd ranking), much better goaltending (Osgood and Hasek finished 1st and 4th in GAA among goalies that played at least 25 games vs Conklin and Osgood finishing 17th and 42nd in 2009.)

2008 Detroit did a much better job of limiting chances, stopping chances, and ultimately grinding out low scoring games. 2009 had to rely more on outscoring teams.

2009 without question had more offensive talent with the addition of Hossa, but as pointed out the defensive and puck control game was worse:

2009 was the #1 offensive team, but 21st best defensive team.

2008 was the #3 offensive team, but #1 defensive team.

That's a huge difference in team balance.

In addition, you really get to respect the 2008's offensive game when looking at the defensive game the West was playing. Detroit (ranked 3rd), was the only Western Conference team to finish in the top 8 in the NHL. The West definitely played a tighter, checking game than the East and Detroit was still able to finish 3rd in the NHL. They were by far the #1 offensive and defensive team in the West.

You add on simple facts like 2008 Detroit won more games and had more points and it becomes fairly obvious.

2009 was still a very good team and let's face it - if they were able to remain healthy like the 2008 version, Crosby is likely still searching for his first Cup... But 2008 Detroit was a better, more balanced and more dominant team.

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