A Wings look back on 2005

As the 2005 year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back on the past year. Since this is a Wings hockey blog, I’m going to do a list of the top 3 of the year in a variety of categories with the help of Matt Saler at On the Wings. All categories are in regard to the Detroit Red Wings, not necessarily the NHL, in the year 2005. Feel free to leave comments saying what you would change on these lists!

Top 3 Scary Moments
3. Niklas Kronwall tears his ACL and MCL after what was supposed to be his breakout season
2. Kris Draper gets hit in the face with a puck / Nick Lidstrom gets hit in the face by the puck against the Blue Jackets Dec. 20th
1. Jiri Fischer collapses during a game (On the Wings had in depth coverage of Fischer’s press conference)

Top 3 Games
3. Detroit beat the Washington Capitals after a hard fought game, 4-3
2. Wings beat defending Stanley Cup champs Tampa Bay, 6-3
1. Wings extinguish Flames, 6-3, in Darren McCarty’s first game in Hockeytown on an opposing team

Top 3 Former Wings Moments
3. After a drama filled 2003-2004 season in Detroit, Curtis Joseph moved on to Phoenix, where he is having a good season
2. Dominik Hasek is one of the reasons why Ottawa is the best team in the league. When Hasek has something to prove, he is a hard one to beat.
1. Brett Hull retires after short stint with Phoenix and is now being offered a job with Dallas

Top 3 Goals
3. Pavel Datsyuk’s near end to end goal against Tampa Bay
2. Henrik Zetterberg’s breakaway goal against Pittsburgh
1. Steve Yzerman faking out Devils goaltender Scott Clemmensen earning the final goal of the night

Top 3 Suprising Moments
3. Pavel Datsyuk actually signs with Detroit
2. Manny Legace wins 10 games in October earning a league record and defensive player of the month honors / Darren McCarty signs with the Calgary Flames
1. The Wings go 11-1-0 in October to start off the season with a bang

Top 3 Surprising Players
3. Chris Chelios for being so silently strong at the age of 43 (just 10 PIM since November 6th)
2. Jason Williams suddenly becoming a point machine with 10 goals and 24 assists as of December 30
1. Mikael Samuelsson has a breakout offensive season

Top 3 New Wings
3. Brett Lebda re-joined main roster and is playing very well to help bear the burden of Jiri Fischer’s absence
2. Mikael Samuelsson / Johan Franzen, the “Mule,” doesn’t score a lot but works as hard as anyone on the ice, very solid
1. Mike Babcock comes in as new head coach

Top 3 Team Moments
3. Wings visit Children’s Hospital in Detroit
2. 9 Wings were selected to represent their country in the 2006 Olympics
1. Father and son southeast road trip. While the Wings performance during games on this trip wasn’t solid, both the players and their fathers/mentors got a lot out of this trip.

Top 3 Defensive Players
3. Johan Franzen
2. Chris Chelios
1. Nicklas Lidstrom

Top 3 Offensive Players
3. Jason Williams (34 pts)
2. Henrik Zetterberg / Brendan Shanahan (38 pts)
1. Pavel Datsyuk (42 pts)

Top 3 Players Overall
3. Brendan Shanahan – was on a point tear that was only recently halted
2. Manny Legace – very good when not injured, though it has been a while
1. Henrik Zetterberg – two-way force

Top 3 +/- Ratings
3. Robert Lang / Pavel Datsyuk (+11)
2. Andreas Lilja (+13)
1. Mikael Samuelsson (+16)

Top 3 NHL moments
3. 2005 NHL Draft day / Sid the Kid finally heads to an NHL team.
2. Wayne Gretzky, “The Great One,” becomes head coach of the Pheonix Coyotes.
1. Opening night. Every single NHL team played on October 5, 2005, which is quite a way to start the new season after a yearlong lockout.

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