Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stanley Cup Finals Preview

The Stanley Cup Finals that many expected to occur has finally arrived; the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Detroit Red Wings. All of the cliches apply here; youth vs. experience, dynamite offense vs. rock-solid defense, etc., etc. The trendy pick is that Pittsburgh's young guns will give it an edge over Detroit, but I don't think that the Penguins have come across a team like the Red Wings that doesn't give up the puck. EVER. There is a reason that Detroit piles up such huge edges in shots every game, and Marc-Andre Fleury is going to be tested in ways that no team up until now has tested him. In Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, the Red Wings have the two best "two way" players in the game, players who are equally adept at scoring or shutting down the opposing team's best players. In people such as Kris Draper, they have the prototypical "grit" player.

I see this year's Pittsburgh team as being a lot like the 1983 Edmonton Oilers, a dynamic, young team that is one year away from being the best in the sport. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Fleury, Ryan Malone, et al. will win a Cup (or two, or three..........) before all is said and done......but not this year.

Red Wings in five.

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