Thursday, May 28, 2009

And Here We Go Again

The more things change, the more they stay the same...or something like that. Once again we come to the Stanley Cup Finals. And once again, the Wings are up against The Boy and Co. For the most part, the teams aren't much different than they were last year, but the outcome isn't as widely agreed upon as last year's was. As far as most 'experts' are concerned, it is a toss-up as to who will win the Cup.

On paper, the Wings look to be the better team--and they are, actually. But--and this could just be my natural pessimistic nature--I really don't know if the Wings can actually win this year. And there are so many different reasons. Of course, The Boy's Daddy wants nothing more than a Penguins victory--Daddy's man-love for The Boy has no limits and he doesn't hide the fact. And this is why there are so many conspiracy theories floating around--and why the Wings might not win it all.

(I DO believe in conspiracy theories, but not in the 'cigar-smoke-filled-room with mustache-twirling men laughing maniacally' kind of way. I believe there are more subtle ways that the cards are stacked against Detroit--and they aren't necessarily conscious on the part of the people 'working against' the Wings.)

The last time two teams met in back-to-back Finals was in 1984. The last time a team won back-to-back Cups was in 1998--and that team was the Red Wings. So, they have been there, done that--and will try again. But it will be hard.

The first problem is the start of the Finals--on Saturday. This gives only two days for the Wings to rest before they have to play back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. THIS was a decision made by the League--The Boy's Daddy--so this, of course, is a conspiracy against Detroit. There are all kinds of supposed reasons for beginning on Saturday--all because of NBC and Conan O'Brien--but the NHL really has the last word on this. Besides, the games could always be broadcast on VERSUS if NBC doesn't want the possibility of any interference with Conan. One strike against Detroit.

The Wings are nursing some big-time injuries right now--well, some big-time players are nursing injuries, that is. Datsyuk has been out because of a foot problem and needs as much time as possible to heal. If the foot is broken, then there isn't a good chance that he will be back, but if it is only a bruise, the more time off, the better. Lidstrom has the old 'lower-body injury' and there is no definitive word on whether he will be back on Saturday or not. (They are HOPING he will be in the line-up, but that remains to be seen.) Draper isn't coming back any time soon--and even with a few more days off, he probably is out. Jonathan Ericsson had an emergency appendectomy yesterday afternoon and might not be able to play on Saturday. (Did you read that? MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY. THREE days after surgery!!!! Unbelievable!) And there is nothing being said about Lilja or Kopecky anymore--they ARE done for the season. Not enough time to heal is probably the biggest reason why the Wings won't win.

Not only are the Wings hurting physically, they are also beat up mentally--much more so than Pittsburgh. This, in no way means that the Penguins are better than the Wings, it just means that Detroit faced MUCH tougher apponents in the early rounds. And that is because the Wings are in the Western Conference and the Penguins are in the East. Whether people want to believe it or not, the West is tougher than the East. The round with the Ducks was very hard and it took just about everything out of the Wings. Even though Pittsburgh faced Washington and dragged the series out as long as they did, it was mainly an offensive battle--NOT the defensive war the Wings went through. While this gives Detroit a definite advantage against Pittsburgh, we are back again to not having the time needed to heal.

All of this makes for some pretty dismal feelings. But that isn't the WHOLE picture.

Since 1997, Detroit has won four Cups. They have the experience to win. They have Marian Hossa. And Henrik Zetterberg. And Pavel Datsyuk. And Brian Rafalski. And Brad Stuart. And...and...and. (All Pittsburgh has is The Boy and the other one.) And they have pride. They ARE the better team--and it was proven last year. Once again, they will have to beat the Penguins, the League, and the refs in order to bring number 12 home. I'm not sure it will be this year. But then, I'm one of the world's biggest pessimists! All I can do is hope.



Ranger Tom said...

It sort of reminds me of the 75' & 76' Flyers... "Hat Trick in 76'" and all that. (I'm showing my age...)

Last night's game was a good one and I actually watched it!

Go Wings!


cmk said...

You want to talk showing your age? Before I became smart, my favorite team was the Bruins. (The high school boyfriend's favorite team--he taught me to love hockey, I loved him, so I loved the Bruins. :D) Anyway, I loved watching Bobby Orr do his thing--NOT on YouTube, but in real time!!!! ;)

The Broad Street Bullies WERE quite fun to watch--or were they all over with by '75, '76?

And, yes, GO WINGS!!!

Ranger Tom said...

75' & 76' were the Bullies' haydays...

Helmets? We don't need any stinkin' helmets!

And the Bruins? You're joking, right?

cmk said...

Hey, come on now...I was young, foolish, and in love. And they DID have Orr, so what can I say. ;)

We are blessed here in the Great White North, to have a Canadian TV station to watch--at least if you're a hockey fan. Between rounds of the playoffs, during off days--and they might even do it at other times of the year--the station will broadcast classic games of the past. We're talking black and white TV here--and NO one is wearing a helmet, no one looks like a football player with huge shoulder pads, and the goalies have NO MASKS and only minimal shin pads on!!! It is like watching something from another planet compared to the game today. Unbelievable how much has changed in so short of a time--but it is fun to watch the old games.

Ranger Tom said...

Ok, I'll give you that. We've all done really stupid things for love...

And yes, they did have Bobby Orr...

And remember this one? No one had front teeth in the teams... I remember vividly Bobby Clark & Bernie Parent smiling with Lord Stanley, sans front choppers!

I wonder why? LOL

cmk said...

And don't forget, this also was during the Dead Wing Era!!! :)

Bobby Clarke and his no-teeth look--how could anyone forget that??? Today, Ovechkin is trying--not succeeding too well--and McCarty is doing the no-teeth bit quite well. I just saw a story about a real old-timer--damn, I wish I could remember who it was--and they talked about how he had gotten 700 stitches in his face over the course of his career! I don't think there is a player today who could put up with what the old guys did! Unbelievable.