May 29, 2009

The quest for the Cup

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

It’s that championship time of year, folks. With soccer having handed out its’ biggest club crown, the attention now turns to North America and, first, a sport that logically should have wrapped up its season a month ago: Ice hockey. How they’re still selling a winter sport going into June, I don’t know, but I’m just glad it’s coming to an end. And really, what an end too. Fighting for the best looking trophy in all of sports this year are the same two teams that battled for it last year: the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s really a treat when a championship rematch takes place since it’s such a rarity these days. With the evened playing fields and parity running rampant, you never really get to see rematches in the finals any more. In fact, can you remember the last time that there was a championship rematch? It was when the Bulls and Jazz met in 1996-97 and then 97-98. A decade has passed without a rematch and in an era where everyone is quick to anoint dynasties, should there be more teams in the top echelon?

Anyway, the key difference in this series that I’m looking at is experience. Even though the Pens were obviously here before, they’re going up against a Detroit team that’s even stronger and more experienced than last year. The Red Wings’ supposed weakness, their goaltending (specifically Chris Osgood) has hardly been a weakness these playoffs. As good as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are, I’m not sure how they can solve the Wings’ tough defence and stop their daunting attack at the other end.

Pick: Red Wings in six.

3 Comments

  1. Past experience has to count for something. Penguins in 6

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