This certainly has been one of the most difficult seasons to judge in recent Red Wing history given all the adversity they had to fight thru. Of course I felt a profound sense of disappointment and sadness but it was more of a resigned contentment. This season had so many obstacles to it from the rash of early season injuries, compressed Olympic year schedule and the wear and tear of the last 3 deep playoff runs in the last 3 years. Needless to say aside from Pittsburgh with its much younger roster there isn't another team in the NHL that has played more hockey than the Red Wings these past 3 years. It was strange going into the Playoffs without the usual Stanly Cup or bust realistic expectation but that was the reality this year. There wasn't the usual finger pointing about this star or that one under performing or riding the goalie out of town. Jimmy Howard did a remarkable job as a rookie and showed he has the mental toughness to take on the toughest position in Detroit Sports (along with Lions QB of course). I don't even blame the refs with all of the missed calls and bad penalties thru out the playoffs. The Red Wings just had the unfortunate timing of running into a team that finally learned how to turn regular season success into playoff success after many years of disappointment in the San Jose Sharks.
Of course this summer will be very very busy for Ken Holland and the Red Wing brain trust with all the issues they have to deal with. From dealing with player's free agency with Lidstrom at the top of the pile to long time Wings like Maltby and Holmstrom and not so long time Wings player Bertuzi. They also have a host of restricted free agents in Helm, Eaves and Miller. I also can't imagine "the captain" deciding he wants to tackle that open GM job down in Tampa Bay and leaving the only organization he has ever known.
For a nice wrap up on The Red Wing Season feel free to look up this link.