The Tigers are 10 out. Pistons are talking break up. Detroit sports space is ripe for a takeover.
Enter: The Red Wings, winning their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 seasons.
Suddenly, a sobbing Andreas Lilja was lovable. Darren McCarty received the biggest cheers at the Hart Plaza rally. One million people showed up — in 90-degree plus heat — for a hockey parade in June.
Revival talk in Hockeytown may be premature. But almost everyone is coming back next year and there's cap room to spare.
There's guaranteed to be a lot fewer empty seats next year at Joe Louis Arena. They're not the Steve Yzerman-led teams that Detroit fell in love with. But winning matters — not winning in the regular season or rounds in the playoffs. Big silvery things and silky new banners. And that's why the Red Wings have a marvelous opportunity to recapture the hearts of Hockeytown.
I haven't seen this many people wear red in a very long time. There's lines to grab Stanley Cup paraphernalia at Dick's Sporting Goods. Car flags are flying.
WDIV reporter Katrina Hancock was right when she said Pittsburgh Penguins fans were more rabid this postseason:
But if the Red Wings play their cards right, she'll be proven wrong come October.