Welcome to the NYIslesScene!

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.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

And There You Have It, Folks!

Last night, a somewhat stronger David took on a weary but still formidable Goliath... and David prevailed.

Despite a late goal by Jonathan Ericsson in the third and a flurry of offensive pressure by Detroit afterward, Marc-Andre Fleury made some incredible saves to seal the win, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, against nearly all odds on road ice, defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Maxime Talbot was one of the keys, scoring two goals including the game-winner, and Fleury was the other, channeling the inner goalie within him and outplaying opposing goalie Chris Osgood to help his team win.

You could barely tell the Penguins had anything going whatsoever when the first puck dropped. They looked tentative, jittery, as they practically always had this series at the Joe. But the Red Wings barely had any control either. It wasn't until midway through that play started to flow, and each team's defense was superb.

The second saw the first mistake made by Detroit- Brad Stuart tried to chip the puck out, and Talbot was in prime position to make the interception and put the puck right between Osgood's legs for the 1-0 lead. Nine minutes later, he received a pass from Chris Kunitz and went on a 2-on-1, ripping the puck right into the top corner. His teammates call him "The Gamer" because of his ability to come up big in clutch games, and clutch he was last night.

So was Fleury. He was in some sort of zone that I have nearly never seen him in at JLA, after some worry about whether or not he would come into this game with the confidence needed to defeat the Wings. No need to worry in the end- he was nearly perfect, save for the one shot Ericsson made, and in the end it didn't matter. If not for Evgeni Malkin's presence, based on that one game I would have said Fleury was MVP. But Malkin definitely deserved the Conn Smythe.

As for the ex-Isles on our team, I can only say this: Unfortunately they didn't find much success here on the Island, but I am still happy to see them succeed elsewhere, particularly on a team with players like Malkin and Crosby. Seeing Miro Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko with the Cup was great enough, but upon seeing Billy Guerin skating around with it, I must admit I got a bit teary-eyed. To see this man- 39 years old, his last Cup being 14 years ago and having come from being the captain of a last-place team to playing a supporting role on the eventual Stanley Cup-winning team- finally hoist it once more onto his shoulders... that is something special. Congratulations to him and to the rest of the team.

And also congratulations to the Red Wings, who had an overall tremendous playoff season and fought hard in this series after being plagued by injuries, and for remaining a class act through and through. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for their fans, who saw fit to boo the Penguins as the Stanley Cup was coming out onto the ice- and I only say this in general because it was widespread throughout the arena. Last year, this same Red Wings team (minus Marian Hossa) won the Cup in Mellon Arena, and the Penguins fans there largely had the decency to give the Red Wings an ovation, knowing that their team did the best they could, and were luckily young and talented enough to grow from that losing experience. There is no excuse for being in such bad taste as to boo a team who worked harder than yours did, and who was that much better (for the Penguins were largely the better team in this contest, when it counted). Besides, you cannot simply show up and expect to have the Cup handed to you. The fans should be proud of their Wings team, which did what it could with the injuries and woke up late in the game to make it interesting (and nerve-wracking), but they shouldn't have been so arrogant to believe that the Penguins had no chance of winning- or that they didn't deserve to. This year, the Penguins came in much stronger, with new experience and veteran presence, and they proved to be a much better match. That's all you can really ask for as a hockey fan- not an easy series, but one that has you standing, shouting, and praying to the hockey gods until the very end.

With that said, the NHL's 2008-09 season has come to a close. Congrats again to the Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins!!! And stay tuned for the NHL Awards and of course, the main event- the 2009 Draft!!

No comments: