No Need To Watch Detroit Red Wings' Victory vs. Pittsburgh To Know Result

Evan DrexlerContributor IJune 1, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 31:  Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings reacts after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Two of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on May 31, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

I wish I could say I watched every second of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

I wish I could say I cheered at every Red Wings goal and felt that pang of dread at every Penguins score.

I wish I could say egged on Henrik Zetterberg in his last-minute fight with Evegeni Malkin in Game Two.

But I didn’t. Instead, I was writing stories about NCAA Baseball for three different newspapers on deadline.

But that’s alright, really. Because I knew the Red Wings wouldn’t disappoint.

For the second night in a row, despite having little to no rest and still missing Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit came away with another 3-1 victory, giving the Red Wings a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final and putting them halfway to defending last year’s championship.

Instead, of watching the games live, I got an indirect look at the victories: SportsCenter highlights. Instead of doing my own analysis, I got to hear Matthew Barnaby and Barry Melrose break down the game film.

But I don’t need them. In the brief, two-minute clips of the games I was able to catch of the team I’ve been following for 15 years, I saw all I needed to.

The puck just always seems to bounce Detroit’s way.

Two Pittsburgh shots clanging off the post instead of scorching the back of the net kept Detroit in the game. Detroit’s shots of that nature would go into the net.

Shots like Justin Abdelkader’s goal—a weak wrist shot that was simply thrown at the net—will go in for Detroit. They won’t for Pittsburgh.

Really? Justin Abdelkader? No career regular season goals, but two already in the Stanley Cup Final? And Jonathan Ericsson getting the game-tying goal to breathe new life into the Wings?

“Every game seems to provide new, more improbable stars for the defending champion Red Wings,” reads the first sentence of the New York Times article about Game 2.

And they’re not kidding.

Marian Hossa won’t get called for a slashing penalty, and Detroit will score later in the play. That’ll never happen for the Penguins.

Check out these three paragraphs from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier:

If the Red Wings clearly need no help, why are they getting it?

Why, when the puck comes off the boards behind Fleury, does it wind up in the net twice in 20 minutes in Game 1? Why, when Marian Hossa is battling Pascal Dupuis for the puck along the boards, when Hossa hooks him so effectively that Dupuis’ stick is snapped in half, does play continue with no whistle until Detroit scores a go-ahead goal at 10:29 of the second period? Why does Justin Abdelkader, without an NHL goal to his name, suddenly become The Magical Michigander, swatting rolling pucks past Fleury night after night in this series?

Most particularly, why do the Red Wings get to play with two goalies—Chris Osgood and Henrik Zetterberg?

When you’re the best team in hockey, possibly the best team of the decade, things tend to go your way. The Red Wings just shrug their shoulders, continue playing better hockey than anyone on the planet, and roll to their fifth Stanley Cup in 11 years.

Pittsburgh can’t help that they’re the worse team. Pittsburgh can’t help that Datsyuk might be ready for Game Three, and Pittsburgh can’t flap the unflappable  Chris Osgood in the playoffs.

Osgood has given up four goals in the last four games. That’s a playoff veteran.

I don’t have to watch the last two, three, or maybe even four games of the Stanley Cup Final to know the result anymore. These Detroit Red Wings will get their bounces, play virtually error-free hockey, and bring another Cup home.

I don’t have to watch these games at all.

But there’s no way I’m missing another second.


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