After six games, Lord Stanley's cup finds a home. I realize hockey doesn't have the following it used to thanks to a 2004 lock out but I mean come on people. Do you hear people complain when a baseball, basketball or football player sits out training or refuses to sign a contract because he's too much of a 2 year old to settle for a million or so less than he wanted?
Hockey players are pretty much the bottom of the totem pole of pay scale, they felt they were treated unfairly and took a stand. No different than if a plant closes down for a strike and their union leader goes in and negotiates. This being said I personally have been following the cup games almost religiously even after my favorite team the Boston Bruins were knocked out in the first round.
I watched as some teams put it all out on the ice and others skated by and blew their opponents away. Detroit went out and decimated the Pens in games one and two making it seem there was going to be an easy series with potential for a sweep. However the Pens proved they weren't done yet as they shocked the Red Wings and made them realize they weren't laying down.
Game five was easily the best hockey game I have ever had the privilege to watch. The Pens came out fighting and even when it looked bleak they pulled out just that little something extra to tie the game with a matter of seconds on the board. Two and a half overtimes later, the Pittsburgh Penguins made Detroit make one final trip to the Igloo one way or the other.
However, this would not be the Penguins year, despite playing hard and pulling to within one in the last minutes of the game. The puck dribbled roughly a half a foot by the goal line, but even if it had went in it was too late. Haunting the Pens for the next, several months will be the puck that fell behind Fleury and he unknowingly bumped in himself. Disheartening for the 23 year old goaltender who had given his all for his team.
Take that goal away and the game would have been tied with a little over a minute left to play. Watching this final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I can't take much away from the Pittsburgh team. They played through adversity, pain, and most of all they played their hearts out.
However also by watching the finals it's safe to say the better team won. As with most of this series, Detroit was in the drivers seat from the start of the game. They learned from game five not to celebrate until the final blow of the horn. Tonight it paid off. The 2008 Detroit Red Wings hoisted the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in eleven years.
So to the Red Wings I say congratulations, to the Penguins I say well played.