After being eliminated in the first round the previous season by the Los Angeles Kings, the Detroit Red Wings had an extremely sour taste in their mouths. During the off-season, general manager, Ken Holland would go out and add three big pieces to the Wings’ roster in goalie Dominik Hasek and forwards Brett Hull & Luc Robitaille, all who would go on to become future Hall of Famers were acquired.
Detroit went onto win the Central Division and be the top overall seed in the Western Conference with 116 points, en route to being awarded the President’s Trophy (most points during the NHL regular season). The Wings marched all the way to the Stanley Cups Finals where they would be matched up with the Carolina Hurricanes.
It would take five games for the Red Wings to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons after going back-to-back in 1997 & 1998. Nicklas Lidstrom was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), leading all defensemen in scoring during the playoffs. He was the first European ever to be the recipient of the award. It was a bittersweet victory, especially considering it ended up being head coach Scotty Bowman‘s final season as head coach for the Wings. Winning the Stanley Cup, I couldn’t think of a better way for Scotty to go out.
Here are highlights of Game 5 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. Enjoy everybody!