Thursday, June 5, 2008


PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04: The Detroit Red Wings pose for a team photo with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in game six of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Mellon Arena on June 4, 2008 in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania. The Red Wings defeated the Penguins 3-2 to win the Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 2. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)This is my final collection of blogified thoughts on the end of the 2007-08 NHL season. Enjoy.

The Penguins scored their final goal of the season in the closing minutes of Game 6 on a 'light hooking' (as CBC put it) penalty to make it a close game. If the Pens had managed to tie it up and win in OT, you just KNOW that the conspiracy theorists would have had a field day. Again, the NHL and Bettman are not smart enough to "fix" the outcome of four consecutive 7 game series.

Dan Cleary became the 1st Newfoundlander to hoist the Cup. It's about time! What took you guys so long? What else is there to do up there except skate and eat back bacon? This article interviewed his old junior coach, Dick Power. No, I had nothing interesting to add, I just wanted to say "Dick Power".

FUN FACT: Did you know that the Devils were the first team to give each individual player their own personal time to skate with the Cup? This was their way of stating that the team is more important than the individual, which was certainly true of that 1995 team. Additionally, during that same postseason Devils fans also invented the "Let's Boo Gary Bettman At The Arena", when the NHL boneheadedly announced to possible relocation of the team to Nashville, a microcosm of this regime's cluelessness and utter disregard for the fans.

On that note, I noticed that the PA announcer didn't even announce Bettman's name before he handed out the hardware and he quickly went into his speech, most likely to ward off the inevitable chorus of boos. Once he relinquished his icy grip on the Cup (why does he have to touch it creepily?) and handed it over to the Wings, we got to witness the most boring Cup celebration I've ever seen. I'm not saying they should be disturbingly orgasmic like Messier in 1994, but could someone show some emotion? You're on national TV! Only Dallas Drake looked excited to be hoisting it, probably because this is the first time he could do so in his 16 years in the NHL. This whole team is boring, but luckily for them personality doesn't win championships. Just ask Niklas Lidstrom, who was the first European captain to win th . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

(While we're at it, the New York Giants invented the Gatorade bath after a big victory. Say what you want, but a lot has happened in that Jersey Swamp.)

The ratings were great for this Penguins/Red Wings series, and I'm not that surprised since these are two strong hockey markets. Game 5's OT marathon were the highest since the final game before the lockout (Carolina's Cup clinching game), and last night matched the 2003 finals, which was (not coincidentally) the last matchup between two U.S. teams. I'm not that surprised since these are two strong hockey markets, and NBC committed to showing the games in prime time without interruption. But the fact that the sport is JUST NOW getting back to the pre-lockout numbers from 3 years ago makes these latest numbers not that big a deal to me.

Tiger Woods was being a bit dickish when he said "no one watches hockey anymore". Well, no one watches golf when you're not in the field, smart arse! That being said, I'm looking forward to him winning the US Open at Torrey Pines next weekend.

I question the complaints about Detroit having a hard time selling out playoff games because of "the economy". So does this mean the economy is booming in Pittsburgh? What about Buffalo, where they sell out every home game? No, those cities aren't exactly rolling in money either; in fact, these cities are the top 3 declining markets in the nation. I think it means there are better hockey fans in those cities (who also have nothing better to do with their free time and money).

Thanks to Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski and the crew over at Yahoo! for their fantastically funny live blogs during the finals. Puck Daddy had the line of the night (while he can no longer curse over at the Exclamation Point, he can still bust out a cancer joke), but the most shocking revelation was that someone in Indonesia checked in who couldn't watch the game and was listening on NHL Radio. It (thankfully) made me forget about the juvenile taunts and Cindy Crosby jokes that were coming every 15 seconds. Technology is pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

While I was obviously rooting for a Game 7 on Saturday night, I would have been blind drunk by then and may not have been able to fully appreciate it.

Congratulations to the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings, and also to the Penguins for a great season (unfortunately for fans of the other teams in their division like me, I think this team is going to be a contender for a while).

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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