Stanley Cup Finals!

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  • #1
MATLABdude
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In light of the recent UEFA and NBA Finals threads, I thought I'd create a thread on the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals of the NHL (National Hockey League)! This is the championship series of the NHL, having spent the last month and a half http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Stanley_Cup_playoffs#Playoff_bracket"! If that sounds familiar, that's because it's a rematch of last year's final.

Since I can best be described as a life-long fan of the Edmonton Oilers, there's a certain appeal to having a young upstart get spanked one year, and then taking the lessons and lumps, and besting the teachers the next year, launching a dynasty in the process. I think I'd give the top-line talent edge to the Penguins, but the depth, and experience of the Red Wings (and their own top-line talent) allows them to succeed year after year.

Malkin and Crosby have made huge strides this past year, and i think they'll be able to prevail over a banged-up Red Wings team that may be without perennial Norris-winner Nick Lidstrom, and has an underperforming (point-wise) Pavel Datsyuk. The other storyline that's been hyped is having Red Wing player Marion Hossa, who signed with the Red Wings for the express purpose of winning a Stanley Cup, face off against his former team. On the other hand, Detroit's been able to dominate nearly every series (save for Anaheim) and do it on a committee basis.

Your thoughts? Keep in mind that to this point, I've been wrong in most of my series picks, and my standing in my playoff pool reflects this! (This dual-purpose thread also serves to identify Canadians, Russians, Swedes, and outliers from other countries!)
 
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  • #2
misgfool
I know that Filppula plays in the f* Red Wings. He was never such a big star here, but I guess the chemical training in the US had paid dividends.
 
  • #3
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Wo0t Lets go Red Wings!
 
  • #4
MATLABdude
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I know that Filppula plays in the f* Red Wings. He was never such a big star here, but I guess the chemical training in the US had paid dividends.
Detroit's drafting ability is nothing short of phenomenal. When you can get players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen and Filppula in the lower rounds, and on seemingly such a consistent basis, you're probably doing something right (and can afford to trade away your higher draft picks). It also probably doesn't hurt to have such great depth and success that you have the luxury of not having to rush kids into the big game (I believe their organizational philosophy regarding prospects is to have them 'overripe' before bringing them up).

I know somebody did a statistical analysis a while ago, and the likelihood of making it to the NHL after the third round drops to around 10%; the likelihood of having first line / defensive pairing guys is even lower, let alone a franchise player:
http://www.hockeyanalysis.com/?p=316

Oddly enough, goaltenders seem to buck this trend (something like half the starters in the league are drafted in the 4th round or below). Probably just because it takes so long to develop and evaluate what you have on your hands:
http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=137

EDIT: Regarding 'chemical training' regiment, looks like a dealer was busted in Washington DC with a whole bunch of steroids, and is claiming he's sold to members of the Capitals and the Nationals (the baseball team):
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/sports/baseball/28bats.html?ref=sports
 
  • #5
George Jones
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Wo0t Lets go Red Wings!
Even though I lived (in Canada) a couple of kilometres from Joe Louis Arena (where the Wings play) for over a decade, and I went to see the Wings play, I'm cheering for the Penguins.

Runs and hides.
 
  • #6
misgfool
EDIT: Regarding 'chemical training' regiment, looks like a dealer was busted in Washington DC with a whole bunch of steroids, and is claiming he's sold to members of the Capitals and the Nationals (the baseball team):
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/sports/baseball/28bats.html?ref=sports
I find it amusing that it is newsworthy to report of these petty dealers. In professional sports everything is professional and embedded to the system. Doping is a part of the game and it is ridiculous to pretend that it could be prevented. Whether it is a bad thing or not is another question.
 
  • #7
MATLABdude
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Things don't look so good for the Penguins who're down 2-0 in the series already! Then again, they came back from a 2-0 deficit to win the series against Washington in the semifinals. I'll parrot what some analysts have been saying, and say that Osgood could be this decade's Grant Fuhr (big game goalie, who gets no respect).
 
  • #8
Borg
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I was a huge hockey fan when I was a kid growing up in Detroit. Unfortunately, they were awful during that time so I saw a lot of losses. I have really enjoyed watching the Wings winning over the last 10+ years. Looks like they're on the way to another cup again this year - being two down against the Wings is very different from being down two against the Caps. Sorry Pens. :wink:
 
  • #9
George Jones
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I'm cheering for the Penguins.
Before the series started, I predicted "Pens ins six." to a few friends. Now highly unlikely, but still mathematically possible ... really, it is .....
 
  • #10
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I am a long time Washington Capitals fan, and to say I was disappointed in their performance is an understatement. They were too undisciplined against the Pens, and they really need to learn to put a series away. But this season was probably a good learning experience for our team, since we have a lot of younger players.

That being said, I have never liked Pittsburgh, so I hope Detroit wins the cup again. They are well on their way, as well.
 
  • #11
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Wo0t! That was a great game last night!
 
  • #12
I have a slight problem with some loyalty to the Avalanche over the Red Wings, I've still always liked Detroit (husband's from the area.. but I even liked it before then for its "grittiness")...

but I'll confess to now having difficulty with the whole octopus thing, which I didn't know about til now... I guess I always tuned in late. It's making me torn. I did after all want (and predict) for the Steelers to win the Super Bowl (the last two times they were in it!).
 
  • #13
MATLABdude
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I have a slight problem with some loyalty to the Avalanche over the Red Wings, I've still always liked Detroit (husband's from the area.. but I even liked it before then for its "grittiness")...

but I'll confess to now having difficulty with the whole octopus thing, which I didn't know about til now... I guess I always tuned in late. It's making me torn. I did after all want (and predict) for the Steelers to win the Super Bowl (the last two times they were in it!).
It must take a special kind of dedication to smuggle in an octopus and then hurl it onto the ice. When the Oilers played the Wings back in 2006, somebody got the brilliant idea to toss a steak on the ice (Alberta Beef, and this was after the whole Mad Cow scare). I think it got so bad that they decided that they would eject fans caught throwing them or smuggling them in. Supposedly, the league was going to assess penalties against the home team for people throwing things on the ice, but I think they backed away from that.

(It could be worse than steaks and octopi; Florida's fans started throwing dead rats on the ice after it was reported that Scott Mellanby had slapshotted a passing rat into the dressing room wall while they were making their Stanley Cup run a few years back)
 
  • #14
FredGarvin
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Woo hooo!!!! Guess who has tickets to games 5 and 7?!!?!?! That would be me. I am never a fan of sweeps and I am really hoping now that the Wings lose just one in Pittsburgh.

Go Wings.

If Arnold can be a governor, then I am starting a petition to allow Nick Lidstrom to be elected president.
 
  • #15
MATLABdude
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Woo hooo!!!! Guess who has tickets to games 5 and 7?!!?!?! That would be me. I am never a fan of sweeps and I am really hoping now that the Wings lose just one in Pittsburgh.

Go Wings.

If Arnold can be a governor, then I am starting a petition to allow Nick Lidstrom to be elected president.
Looks like you get to use at least one of those tickets! :smile:

EDIT: Penguins' strong third period actually comes through for once this series!
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Being from Philly, absent an asteroid impact, this is a tougie, but I guess I have to root for the Pens.
 
  • #17
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I think it's likely that the Wings will win it, again(sigh). The talent and team work is unmatched--they have become the Russian dynasty of the older days and must be over thrown!
 
  • #18
MATLABdude
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First 70 Years: 7 Cups (okay, more like first 30 years)
Last 12 Years: 4 Cups.

Dynasty? Still a ways from the 23 that the Habs have (speaking of the Habs, their streak of winning a cup in every decade just got broken, unless you could 09-10 as part of the first decade of the 2000s)
 
  • #19
FredGarvin
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I wouldn't say dynasty either. When we get to the level similar to the Oilers in the late '80s or the Islanders in the early '80s.

Do the Habs still play hockey? Just kidding. I was bummed to see Schneider hurt again. I really like him.
 
  • #20
MATLABdude
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Holey cow! With a 4-2 win, the Pittsburgh Penguins have evened up the series! Maybe the Washington comparison wasn't so bad after all? (But if home team wins, as I think it will, that still means Detroit wins)
 
  • #21
FredGarvin
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Ugh. Well, I may be going to that game 7 now too!
 
  • #22
FredGarvin
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Game 5....what a butt whoopin' we put on Pittsburgh. Malkin and Crosby were shown up to be the little whiny babies we all know them to be. I am so happy I got to see it in person. One more to go!
 
  • #23
MATLABdude
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Game 5....what a butt whoopin' we put on Pittsburgh. Malkin and Crosby were shown up to be the little whiny babies we all know them to be. I am so happy I got to see it in person. One more to go!
Somehow, I get the feeling that there's going to be another butt-whooping the other way on Tuesday. I wonder if the Pens are going to put Marc-Andre Fleury back in net? Garon didn't let Detroit run up the score, and has a history of being fantastic in short stretches.

But I guess that's why the coaching staff makes millions, and are in the Stanley Cup finals, and I'm doing colour commentary from my parents' basement!
 
  • #24
MATLABdude
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Stellar play by the Pens (and Fleury) to force a final, and deciding, Game 7!
 
  • #25
MATLABdude
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T.S. Elliot said:
And this is the way the series ends, not with a bang but a whimper.
Nice last period theatrics, but the Wings got behind the 8-ball early, and could just never get back. Good on the kids for getting it done!
 

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