The Red Wings' incredible streak was snapped Thursday night.
The Vancouver Canucks scored a 4-3 shootout victory over the Wings at The Joe. It was the Wings' first loss in Detroit since November. The Wings had won an NHL-record 23 straight home games.
The Canucks won fair and square. Hence, there's no question that the streak is officially over.
It was a super run by the Wings (41-18-3, 85 points) and put them in the record book for many years to come. It seems almost impossible for a team not to lose a home game for nearly four months. But the Wings accomplished the feat.
"I don't care what era, it was just a real good run for the Red Wings that set us up in a good situation playoff-wise," said Wings' coach Mike Babcock, who pooh-poohed those who said the streak was tainted because before 2005-2006 games could end in ties.
Nonetheless, it's all over.
Now, though, you realize how far hockey has fallen. Sure, in Hockeytown and a few other spots in this country and, of course, Canada, people marveled at the streak. And with good reason. You have to be both good and lucky to win at such a rate with all the great players in the NHL.
Nationally, however, it was a different story. Yes, ESPN, which basically divorced itself from hockey, covered the story and gave the Wings some top-of-SportsCenter coverage. Still, had this been the Lakers, Yankees and Packers, it would have been a huge story, a story the sports network would have gone bananas with the coverage.
It simply tells you that the NHL is nothing more than a regional sport now. At one point, it was a part of the Big Four -- MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL. Now it's the Big Three. Hockey is a tier lower with auto racing, tennis and boxing.
Nonetheless, it doesn't take away what the Wings were able to do. It was truly amazing. And while the rest of the country barely notice, the people that matter the most, the hockey fans in this city, did. The Wings should be saluted.
The basketball sensation that is Jeremy Lin was derailed in Miami Thursday night.
Many wanted to see what the Lin-led Knicks would look like against the Miami Heat. Lin was bad and so were the Knicks in a 14-point loss.
Lin, the out-of-nowhere star point guard, basically had his way with opponents in his the first 10 games as a starter in the NBA. He put up more points than anyone in league history since the ABA-NBA merger. It also didn't hurt his story that he's Asian, graduated from Harvard and was undrafted.
Still, Lin finally caught the attention of the scouting report and was the main focus for the Heat. They pressured him, double-teamed him and pestered him from the word go. Lin wilted and turned in his worst performance. It was so bad that Lin had as many turnovers as points -- eight. Lin shot a horrible 1-for-11 from the field and had his pocket picked a few times in the backcourt. It wasn't a pretty picture, to say the least.
Still, it doesn't spell doom for Lin. It just brings all the talk about him being a superstar down big time. He's not as good as he was in the first 10 games and not as bad as he was in Game 11 in Miami. He's somewhere in the middle and the Knicks will still be able to use Lin's help.
Stop Bashing All-Star Weekend
It's officially bash NBA All-Star Weekend time.
That's all the columns you will read the next few days: Let's get rid of this, let's add that.
We just have to take it as it is. It's an exhibition we've seen over and over. The players change and that's what's supposed to make you want to watch it each time. And while it might be old hat for the older fans, there are plenty to young fans who can't wait for the dunk contest because they weren't around when Michael Jordan was in it.
The bottom line remains simple. If you don't want to watch the festivities in Orlando, watch something else. The Harlem Globetrotters have had the same act for 50 years. Young people think it's neat, older folks think it's a bored -- just like the NBA All-Star Weekend.
The Globetrotters aren't going anywhere and neither is All-Star Weekend.