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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Red Wings Win Fourth Cup, But Pens Have Nothing to Hang Heads About

Game 6: Detroit wins, 3-2; wins series, 4-2

Until the last second, the Penguins thought they had a chance.

Down 3-2, with Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood down on the ice, and the puck within his reach, winger Marian Hossa tried his hardest to take one final shot, one last gasping breath to keep his team alive and in the race for the Stanley Cup. But, as the clock ran down to 00:00, the puck bounced just across the goal line and dribbled out of the crease.

Never over it.

For the Pens, this series has been all about comebacks, as they came into this series with a prior playoff record of 12-2, but matched up against the Red Wings like the proverbial David taking on a formidable Goliath. Formidable, yes. But this is a Detroit team that has proven to be beatable, and almost gave up the Western Conference Finals to Dallas, as a matter of fact. But the youthful, exuberant Pens, talented though they may be, were perhaps missing one key ingredient that kept them from being the Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday night.

The Wings probably have what every other team aspires to acquire- the seemingly perfect blend of talent, work ethic, and experience that has made them so successful in years past and in this one as well. I assumed too much that age would be a hinderance for this team, and I was wrong- the Wings actually had age on their side, as the play of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, Brian Rafalski, and even younger players Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, overwhelmed the Penguins and made them look every bit as young as they were. Keep in mind, perhaps most of these players on the Pens have never seen a Cup Finals firsthand. And their captain, Sidney Crosby, is all of 20 years old and, while dynamic indeed, has much growing to do still to fill a leader's shoes.

However, the two games Pittsburgh did manage to win, particularly the exhilarating Game 5 in which Detroit came oh-so-close to winning it all in their own building, but saw it slip away in three overtimes, are a testament to just how much this team has already grown in three years. The Eastern Conference quarterfinals may have been a break for them, seeing as the Senators were crippled by injuries to their key players, but the next two playoff rounds- especially the Eastern Conference Finals against the rough-and-tumble Flyers- showed that they had the mettle and resilience to make it to the Stanley Cup. Those series wins showed how good they can be, and how good they are going to become.

Their fans know it. It was evident in the way they continued to warmly cheer on their team, even after the last seconds had ticked away, and as the Red Wings celebrated giddily on the ice of Mellon Arena. They cheered for Fluery and Crosby, and know that they have much to look forward to once October comes around once more.

But for now, the summer is coming upon us. And it is a time for celebration again in Hockeytown. Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for a great season and winning the Cup. Next year... who knows? It may well be Pittsburgh, or finally Ottawa, or San Jose or Vancouver, or a dark horse team whom no one expects to succeed- maybe the Isles could even come close. That's the beauty of the future... it's unknown. And anyone has a chance.

Until next time,


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