December 3, 2008
Lotsa guys cross lines and don't get called. Stevens used to do it all the time. Phaneuf and Sarich did it more blatantly against the Sharks this year. It's always been the case in the playoffs--it doesn't make it right, but it does make it something you have to be prepared for, just like Roberts' cheapshots.
Is Johan Franzen, the top scorer in the playoffs before (and for most of the time after) he was knocked out, a non-essential player? C'mon, dude, how can you even make that assertion? And Detroit did not have as easy a road as Pittsburgh did--Dallas is better than anyone Pittsburgh faced, and so are the two teams they beat, San Jose and Anaheim. Even Nashville was better than the Senators who quit playing long ago, plus they knew their opponent well. (By the way, before you pull out the "weak division" argument, you should know Detroit's record against the rest of the league was better than it was against the Central.)
You are right about Crosby being the main draw, but do not underestimate the power of an Original Six potential dynasty (save the argument--I don't think they are one, either). They have a lot of fans, and like the Yankees in the World Series, people tune in either because they love them or because they hate them, but they tune in. Even without Crosby, this would have gotten decent ratings; if Crosby had been playing someone else, it would have been better but not as good as it was against Detroit.
Glad you are still going to the site.
However, you are kidding, right? I have heard only that this year's Finals was great for the league--Original Six versus face of the league, four compelling games out of the six, best ratings in years...exactly what was bad for the league? I found it great.
As far as the penalties, I work nights and did not see large portions of the games. But I detect a Pittsburgh bias here--what about Roberts' repeated punching of Franzen in the head that wasn't called?
I hope next year you will remember what The Who said: "We don't get fooled again!" When you said Pittsburgh would handle Detroit, you failed to take into account the inferior competition they were steamrolling!