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Saturday, July 4, 2020

FLASHBACK: Johan Franzen dominates Avalanche in 2008 playoffs

The legendary rivalry of the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche had some of the greatest moments in hockey history, but it had never seen anything like the one-man performance that Detroit forward Johan Franzen put together in the 2008 Western Conference Semi-Finals.

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Meeting for the sixth time in the playoffs, neither team had swept the other, but that streak was broken due in large part to Franzen’s scoring dominance. He scored two, three, one and three goals respectively in Detroit’s sweep, totaling nine goals. It broke the Detroit Red Wings franchise record for most goals in a playoff series; the legendary Gordie Howe had scored eight goals in a seven-game series in 1949.

Detroit would go on to defeat the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals and then the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, capturing Detroit’s 11th Stanley Cup championship and Franzen’s first.

Of course, fans now know Franzen chiefly for the massive contract that he signed in 2009 for 11 years and his health/concussion issues that have effectively led to his retirement from hockey, though he’s still getting paid by the Red Wings.



Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was recently re-signed to a two-year contract, despite the fact that most fans wanted to see the team move in a new direction.

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs now underway and the Red Wings not participating for the second straight year, they face another long summer of questions. Holland joined the “Jamie and Stoney Show” on 97.1 The Ticket on Thursday morning to discuss this past season and admitted that his aim was to be competing for the playoffs this season.

“I was hoping that we would be more involved in the chase for a playoff spot than we were,” he said point blank when asked about the expectation going into the 2017-18 campaign. 

When asked whether he thought there were developments on the ice that led to another disappointing season, Holland pointed out factors that he believes led to last season’s disappointment.

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Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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