The 2014-15 season represents something of a crossroads for the Detroit Red Wings. With another 100-point season, the Wings clinched their 24th consecutive playoff appearance, the longest such streak in all four major professional sports. Despite that success, the Red Wings were once again bounced from the playoffs in the first round, losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Wings have since lost their long-time head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill. Read more»
Following a draft that saw no players chosen directly out of an NCAA program in the first round, the 2015 NHL Draft class from the collegiate ranks could well be one of the strongest classes ever. As many as three NCAA prospects could be chosen in the top 10 of the first round, quite a turnaround from last year’s quiet showing. Read more»
The Wild seemed to take a step forward in 2014-15 though it took nearly the whole season to clinch its wild-card berth in a very tough division and conference. The team overcame, individually and collectively, a series of obstacles that could have devastated men of less character. The Wild managed to beat a St. Louis Blues team many thought capable of winning it all, but faltered against an experienced Chicago Blackhawks squad whose top talent overwhelmed the Wild’s in a clean sweep en route to its third Stanley Cup in six years.
Since the move from Atlanta after the 2011 NHL season the Jets organization has fully committed to a slow and steady process of building up a young nucleus of players through the draft.
The franchise’s playoff berth this year, earned by outlasting the defending Stanly Cup champion Los Angeles Kings to clinch the 8th and final playoff spot in the difficult Western Conference is definitely a sign that this arduous process is finally coming to fruition.