I have to follow up on my pre-Game Seven post about the greatness of hockey.
First off, I hope you watched the game and I hope you enjoyed it, because it was everything you dare hope for as a sports fan: intense in every respect, ferociously contested, splendidly played, with an outcome that was far from certain right down to the final second.
In many ways it reminded me of Game Seven in 2004, when my Tampa Bay Lighting defeated the Calgary Flames by the same score and in the same fashion (watch your 2-0 lead get cut to 2-1, then hold off a furious late rally to preserve the lead and claim the title).
The big question is this: Did Friday night’s game mark one great championship for the Pittsburgh Penguins, or did it mark the wholesale passing of dynasty’s baton from
Having won four Stanley Cups over the course of eleven seasons – with three different goaltenders, two different head coaches, and quite a few changes amongst their forwards and defensemen – the Detroit Red Wings have clearly been a dynastic franchise, and most people expected them to hoist the Cup again on Friday. After all, Game Seven was on their home ice and it had been 38 years since a Game Seven of the finals was won by the visiting team.
And they came back despite the fact that in the game which put them down three-to-two, they got shellacked 5-0 and looked so bad everyone thought they were mentally through and would get crushed in Game Six.
What really makes the dynasty-in-the-making talk intriguing, however, is that in addition to winning the Cup in such memorable fashion, the Penguins won it at a remarkably young age.
Keep an eye on this bunch from
Frankly, I hope the Lightning rise again and knock them off – but that looks unlikely, and if the NHL has to be ruled by any team other than the Lighting, I hope it’s this group of Penguins.