The Detroit Red Wings: Stanley Cup Champions
If you missed this game, you missed one of the greats. It's why I think hockey is the greatest sport in the world.
The Red Wings were the better team this series, and although I am a Penguins fan, I have to admit Detroit wanted it more. Wings goaltender Chris Osgood played out of his mind, forward Henrik Zetterberg - winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs - was clutch, and captain Nicklas Lidstrom anchored the defense in a total team effort.
The Penguins, to their credit, played very well, too. Say what you want about Sid the Kid, but forward Evgeni Malkin and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury carried this team. After starting the Finals in a funk, they regrouped and gave it their all. It's a damned shame they fell short.
I give credit to the Pittsburgh fans. They stayed and showed respect (and applause) to Detroit even though they won the Cup in the Pens' building. It's also a good time to mention one of the truly classy traditions in the NHL: the handshake.
After the final game of every series, the opposing teams line up and shake hands. Sure, they were just beating themselves half to death, but they (usually) give each other the respect that is all too uncommon in sports today. Hopefully, the citizens of Detroit will exhibit the same respect tonight, and not burn their city down.
Labels: Ice Hockey