Thursday, June 05, 2008

Red Wings Rule

The pony cars are cruisin’ on Woodward Avenue
Go and try to pass em’
They’ll smoke you if you do
The whole town is shakin’ from the bottom to the top
Everybody wants to do the Horizontal bop…

Bob Seger may never have written a truer reflection of Detroit than with Horizontal Bop, and on Wednesday night they were boppin’ up and down Woodward Avenue, past Eight mile road and on into the suburbs, as the Detroit Red Wings collected yet another Stanley Cup for the Motor City.

It didn’t come easy, though for while the Red Wings seemed to be in control once again for most of the game, a sudden third period spurt almost replayed some history.

For a few minutes in the final moments of game six, it appeared that it was going to be déjà vu all over again, as the Pittsburgh Penguins poured on the pressure to try and find a tying goal and send the second straight game into overtime.

The Pens who pulled to within one goal, mounted a fast paced attack in the Red Wing end of the rink with the clock ticking down frantically. In the end a puck heading for the space behind Chris Osgood would run out of that time and the Wings, who had seen destiny snatched away once before with less than a minute to go, could finally celebrate.

The game seemed to highlight much of what this series has been like, you would by games end feel as though the Red Wings had dominated the bulk of the play, yet but for a few bounces of the puck the Penguins could have once again pushed the Red Wings to brink of disaster.

The Wings won game six based on the play of Conn Smythe winner Henrik Zetterberg, who provided two points in their 3-2 victory including the third and winning goal, when he wasn’t providing the offence he was corralling Penguins in the Red Wing end of the ice, making sure that no Penguin scoring chances would slip through on his watch.

Osgood while not overwhelming the Red Wing nets, provided some key saves at most important times to frustrate the Penguin attack and give his team the opportunity to take charge of the play and move the puck out.

The four game to two margin in some ways flatters the Penguins; it seems that at times the Red Wings were their own worst enemies, with uncharacteristic lapses in intensity and untimely penalties that allowed the Penguins to gain a bit of hope as the series progressed.

Pittsburgh, while still young showed some poise in the darkest of hours, their remarkable comeback in game five almost the momentum shift that could have turned this series around. Though the veteran calm of the Red Wing dressing room seemed more than able to settle things down and get back to business.

The frustrating loss for the Penguins will prove to be a learning experience for a team that looks set to dominate the East for a good number of years to come. Much like their competition in this final, the Pens are loaded with talent and with experience they will be that much better.

If they need any reassurance of that, they need simply examine the team that just beat them. A solid franchise from top to bottom, well coached, determined and fun to watch.

They are very much a team that is a most worthy champion of Lord Stanley’s Mug for 2007-08.

Globe and Mail-- Red Wings champions again
Globe and Mail-- Lidstrom makes history
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Game 6: Pens reach end of the line
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Penguins go down fighting
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Lemieux shares pain of vanquished Penguins
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Squandered opportunities doom Penguins
Detroit Free Press-- Wings paint Hockeytown red
. Stats Pack

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