Fans at Joe Louis Arena have seen better teams, heavily skilled and loaded with stars, that experienced more success than this current group.

But, the home crowd appears to have an affinity for the 2013 Detroit Red Wings, a younger bunch that's embraced its rare role as heavy underdog and, to some extent, is shocking the hockey world.

The team is having fun during this playoff run and fans' enthusiasm has been rekindled following a mediocre season. Players said the atmosphere at the Joe has been tremendous, and the building seldom has been more boisterous.

“A lot of guys have played deep into the playoffs, when it gets really loud,'' captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “But, the loudness from the start this year, I don’t think I’ve been a part of that from the first round of the playoffs.''

The Red Wings will play in front of another loud crowd Monday in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, when they take their second stab at eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks.

“When you play well in front of your home crowd, they got something to cheer about and they can help you along,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “When you don't play well, there's not much they can do for you.

“We like to play at home, we're comfortable here. We're excited that they're excited to support us. We've done a real good job of getting our fans excited again about the Red Wings because we're a much different group than we have been.''

The Red Wings rallied in the final week of the season to extend their playoff streak to 22 years. They upset No. 2 seed Anaheim in the first round. Now they're on the brink of knocking off the NHL's best team during the regular season.

“The crowd is into it from the get-go,'' general manager Ken Holland said. “The last three minutes of Game 4 (vs. Chicago), the people were on their feet cheering us on.