Stats & Info: Detroit Red Wings

Popovich and Duncan: long-term success

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
1:59
PM ET

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesTim Duncan and Gregg Popovich have set the precedent for long-term player/coach success.

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich first teamed up for an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. Now, 15 years later, the two Spurs mainstays are back in the NBA Finals together. That is the longest span between the first and last appearance in the championship round by any coach/player duo in the four major North American professional sports leagues.

Here is a breakdown of the top coach/player duos for each sport.

NFL
The player/coach combination in the NFL is actually a three-way tie, but the common thread is Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins. After the 1971 season, Shula led the Dolphins to Super Bowl VI. 11 years later, the Dolphins were in Super Bowl XVII. Offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg and defensive lineman Vern Den Herder were each on those teams. Shula also paired with offensive lineman Ed Newman in Super Bowl VIII and XIX for another 11-year span between player and coach.

NHL
On the ice, it was Boston Bruins head coach Art Ross teaming with Hall-of-Famer Dit Clapper to win the 1929 Stanley Cup over the New York Rangers. 14 years later, they were back in the Cup Final together, although they lost this one to the Detroit Red Wings in 1943.

MLB
Out on the diamond, the longest span between first and last championship round appearances by a duo was an interesting one. In 1970, Milt Wilcox was a rookie pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, who would go on to the World Series under skipper Sparky Anderson. 14 years later, they were together again – this time with the Detroit Tigers, where they went on to win the 1984 World Series together.

NBA
But perhaps no duo has had a sustained excellence quite like the Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich tandem. They made the 1999 NBA Finals together and now 15 years later – which in professional sports is an absolute eternity – they’re back in the Finals again. None of the other tandems in any of the other sports bookended their span with a pair of wins, but Duncan and Pop can get that done if they beat the Heat this season.

Top stats to know: Quest for the cup

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
2:24
PM ET
The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff begins Wednesday night. The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to be the first repeat Stanley Cup Champions since the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back cups in 1997 & 1998.

Here are some of the top stats to know as the Quest for the Cup gets underway.

• The Blackhawks led the NHL in goals during the 2013-14 regular season with 267, but recent history suggests that the Stanley Cup won’t make its way back to Chicago. The team that has led the NHL in goals during the regular season has not won the Stanley Cup since the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins (led NHL with 343 goals that season).

Since the 2002-03 season, six defending Cup Champions have lost in the first Round (previously called Conference Quarterfinals) of the playoffs and a seventh missed the playoffs entirely (Carolina Hurricanes in 2006-07).

• The Penguins have eight players on their roster with at least 80 games of playoff experience. Only two Columbus Blue Jackets players have played more than 30 career postseason games (Nathan Horton with 43 & Brandon Dubinsky with 31).

The league’s leading scorer during the regular season was Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 104 points. Since the 1987-88 season, only three players have led the league in scoring and won a Stanley Cup in the same campaign, two of which played for Pittsburgh.

• The Boston Bruins won the 2013-14 Presidents’ Trophy, the second time that they have claimed that award (other time was in 1989-90).

Since the Presidents’ Trophy was first awarded in 1985-86, eight teams have won it and the Stanley Cup in the same season. However, the Blackhawks won both trophies last season.

On the flip side, six Presidents’ Trophy winners have been eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the Vancouver Canucks last season.

• The Montreal Canadiens are the only Canadian-based franchise in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is the first time since 1973 that just one Canadian team made the playoffs. That year, the Canadiens were that lone Canadian representative as well and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

In addition, it has been 21 years since a Canadian-based team last won the Stanley Cup (Montreal beating the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Cup Final). Since then, Canadian teams have reached and lost in the Cup Final five times, with four of those series going the full seven games.

Other notes

• The Red Wings are making their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance, the longest active streak of its kind in the four major professional sports.

• Three teams are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after long absences. The Dallas Stars are making their first appearance since 2008, the Columbus Blue Jackets are back for the first time since 2009, and the Colorado Avalanche are back in the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Top stats to know: 2014 Winter Classic

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
6:44
PM ET

Dave Sandford/NHL-Getty ImagesThese seats will be filled with hockey fans on Wednesday.
What are the top stats to know for today’s Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium? Here’s a quick snapshot.

1-- The NHL will stage its sixth New Year’s Day outdoor game (and eighth regular season outdoor game overall). The Detroit Red Wings are taking part in the Winter Classic for the second time (defeated the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field in 2009), while the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the event for the first time.

2— This is the second time Michigan Stadium has hosted an outdoor hockey game. In December of 2010, “The Big House” hosted a college game between Michigan and Michigan State that was played before a crowd of 104,173 and acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the largest crowd ever for a hockey game.

The current highest attendance for an NHL outdoor game is 71,217, set in the inaugural Winter Classic between the Penguins and Sabres in 2008.

3-- Weather could be a factor on Wednesday. The current puck-drop forecast for Ann Arbor (according to weather.com) is 18 degrees Fahrenheit with light snow and wind.

Of the seven previous outdoor regular season games in NHL history (five Winter Classics & two Heritage Classics), only two featured a temperature at puck drop of under 20 degrees. Both of those games were played in Canada.

4-- This season’s Winter Classic is the first in a series of outdoor games to be played in the NHL in 2013-14. The league will also hold five more outdoor games between January 25 and March 2.

5-- This event has not been a good one for the home team. Of the seven combined Winter and Heritage Classics, only two have been won by the hosts.

6-- Five players have scored multiple goals in a Winter/Heritage Classic, though there has yet to be a hat trick. Those who have done the tallying have tended to be role or mid-level players. Only one of those five—Richard Zednik—has scored as many as 30 goals in an NHL season.

7-- Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk will be playing in his third outdoor game (played in two Winter Classic for Flyers). He will join Ty Conklin as the only players to play in three NHL outdoor games (Conklin was a starting goalie in three outdoor games – the ’03 Heritage Classic for Edmonton, the ’08 Winter Classic for Pittsburgh & the ’09 Winter Classic for Detroit).
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

Josh Hamilton
Hamilton
1. HAMILTON MAKES HISTORY: Josh Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a single game on Tuesday night in Baltimore. He is the sixth player in American League history to do it, and the first since Carlos Delgado in 2003.

2. VERY RARE OCCASION: This is the first time in major league history that a pitcher has thrown a perfect game and a hitter has hit four home runs in a game in the same season. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game earlier this season.

3. ANOTHER RECORD FOR HAMILTON: Hamilton's 18 total bases are an AL record, one shy of Shawn Green's MLB record of 19 in his four-homer game on May 23, 2002. The previous AL record was 16, done eight times.

4. COLLISON HELPS PACERS ADVANCE: The Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a win over the Orlando Magic. It is Indiana's first series win since the First Round in 2005 versus the Boston Celtics. FROM ELIAS: Darren Collison (23 assists, one turnover in series) is the first player in 22 years to have at least 20 assists and one or fewer turnovers in a playoff series. John Paxson did it for the Chicago Bulls in 1990.

5. THREE NBA TEAMS STILL FIGHTING: The Pacers were able to advance, but the Los Angeles Lakers, Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers were unable to close out their respective series, as each team lost its Game Five and must play on in the First Round. FROM ELIAS: This is the first time three teams avoided elimination on the same day since April 30, 2003. The Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers all won Game Fives on that date - only the Pistons used the momentum to come back to win the series (beat Magic in seven games).

6. DEVILS ADVANCE DESPITE ODD TREND: FROM ELIAS: The New Jersey Devils lost the opener of their conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers, then won the next four games. Even though Philadelphia scored the first goal in each game, New Jersey is the fourth team in NHL history to win four games in which their opponent scored the first goal in one series. Also, the Devils are the first team to do that in four consecutive games in one series. The other clubs with four such wins one series were the 1956 Detroit Red Wings (vs Toronto Maple Leafs), 1991 Edmonton Oilers (vs Calgary Flames) and 1995 Red Wings (vs Chicago Blackhawks).
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. PENGUINS HANGING IN THERE: For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Penguins won when facing elimination, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. The two teams have combined for 50 goals in the series, tied for the fourth-most in a NHL playoff series. FROM ELIAS: In each of the first five games of the series the team that scored the first goal lost. It’s only the third series in NHL playoff history to follow that unusual pattern; the others were Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis in 1981 and Dallas vs. San Jose in 2008.

2. YANKEES SPOIL FENWAY PARTY: The Boston Red Sox had a 100-year celebration of Fenway Park but the New York Yankees spoiled the party. Clay Buchholz allowed five HR in a 6-2 loss. FROM ELIAS: Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz have each allowed five HR in a game this season. It's the third time that a pair of pitchers on the same team gave up five plus HR in a game in one season. The other pairs: 2005 Phillies-- Vicente Padilla and Cory Lidle, and the 2009 Red Sox-- Beckett and Buchholz.

3. SPURS BLOW OUT LAKERS AGAIN: Kobe Bryant made his return after missing seven games with a shin injury, but it didn’t matter as the Los Angeles Lakers were blown out again by the San Antonio Spurs. FROM ELIAS: The Spurs are the first team to win two consecutive meetings against the Lakers by 20+ points since the Detroit Pistons in February 2005. That Pistons team reached the NBA Finals and lost to the Spurs.

4. PREDATORS BACK IN SEMIS: The Nashville Predators are the first team to advance to the conference semifinals, beating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 5 to win the series 4-1. It’s the second straight season that the Predators have advanced to the conference semis. They didn’t win a playoff series in their previous 11 seasons. As for the Red Wings, it’s the first time they were eliminated in the conference quarterfinals since 2006.

5. SOCCER SHOWDOWN: Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in El Clįsico on Saturday, their second and final La Liga meeting of the season. With five games remaining, first-place Real Madrid leads second-place Barcelona by four points. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo are tied for the league lead with 41 goals each this season. Both have broken the previous record of 40, set by Ronaldo last season. Barcelona is unbeaten in seven straight games against Real Madrid in all competitions, matching the longest unbeaten streak ever in the series, previously done by Real Madrid from 1932-35. Madrid hasn’t beaten Barcelona since last year’s Copa del Rey final. The match can be seen on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 at 2 ET.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

Paul Pierce
Pierce
1. PIERCE AND KG LEAD THE WAY: Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for 51 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Heat 115-107 in Miami. Boston shot 60.6 percent from the field, the highest allowed by the Heat in the “Big 3” era (last two seasons). The Celtics lead the league with 18 wins after the All-Star Break. They were just 15-17 before the break.

2. TWO UNDEFEATED TEAMS LEFT: After losses by the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets, the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks are the only undefeated teams remaining in MLB. The Tigers are 4-0 for the 1st time since 2006. That season, they made the World Series. The Diamondbacks are 4-0 for the 1st time in franchise history.

3. PETRINO OUT: Bobby Petrino is out as Arkansas head football coach. Petrino was 34-17 in 4 seasons at Arkansas. The 2011 Razorbacks finished with their highest AP Ranking since 1977 and tied a school-record with 11 wins. Their only losses were to the top-2 teams in the nation (Alabama and LSU).

4. PLAYOFF PUCK DROPS: The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin Wednesday with three games. The Vancouver Canucks won the President’s Trophy for the second straight season and they host the Los Angeles Kings in the quarterfinals. The Detroit Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 21st-straight season, the longest active streak in the four major pro sports. They open at Nashville. The Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series also begins Wednesday. Pittsburgh is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup according to MGM Resorts International with 7-2 odds.

Roy Halladay
Halladay
5. DUELING ACES: Dueling aces square off on Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN2, 7 ET as Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies host Josh Johnson and the Miami Marlins. Halladay and Johnson have faced each other three previous times since Halladay joined the Phillies. In those three games, a grand total of six runs were scored, including a perfect game from Halladay on May 29, 2010.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson
1. FINAL PAIRING AT THE MASTERS: Peter Hanson has a one-shot lead heading into the final round at the Masters Tournament. It’s the first time Hanson has a 54-hole lead at a major. Phil Mickelson is just one shot back after shooting a six-under 66. It’s the first time in his career that he shot six-under or better on the weekend in a major. He’s playing in the last group on Masters Sunday for the fifth time. He’s won the Tournament the previous three times.

2. BECKETT BLASTED BY TIGERS: Josh Beckett allowed five home runs as the Boston Red Sox lost 10-0 to the Detroit Tigers. Beckett didn’t allow his fifth home run last season until June 28. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees lost 8-6 to the Tampa Bay Rays. It is the first time since 1980 that the Red Sox and Yankees both started 0-2.

3. MOYER TAKES PLACE IN RECORD BOOKS: Jamie Moyer pitched five innings for the Colorado Rockies. The 49-year-old hurler was the second-oldest pitcher to start a MLB game. Only Satchel Paige was older (58 years old). He is the oldest player to pitch in a MLB game since Hoyt Wilhelm, who pitched at age 49 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1972.

4. HOWARD SEEING 20-20: Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds against the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s the 41st time that Howard has scored 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in game, tying Charles Barkley for the third-most and just one behind Hakeem Olajuwon for second-most since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77.

Steven Stamkos
Stamkos
5. STAMKOS SCORES 60: Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal of the season in the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 OT win over the Winnipeg Jets. Stamkos is just the fifth player to score 60 goals in a season since 1993-94 and the first since Alex Ovechkin scored 65 in the 2007-08 season.

6. LET THE POSTSEASON BEGIN: The NHL Playoff matchups are set with the New York Rangers getting the top seed in the East and the Vancouver Canucks getting the top seed in the West. Vancouver clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the second-straight season. However, having the most points in the regular season doesn’t guarantee playoff success. The 2008 Detroit Red Wings were the only team in the last nine years to win the Stanley Cup after winning the Presidents’ Trophy.

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