2009 Stanley Cup Final Game Five And Beyond: 5-0, The 12th and Bettman

Michael MrockCorrespondent IJune 9, 2009

DETROIT - JUNE 06:  Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins surrenders a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Five of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 9, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings in a few hours will face the Pittsburgh Penguins for the possibility of winning their 12th Stanley Cup and second straight Cup celebration in Mellon Arena. 

The NHL and NBC have hijacked the coverage of the game so no one in Pittsburgh outside the arena and or at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit can watch.

However both sets of fans will find a way to watch their team take to the Mellon Arena ice to cheer for a hoisted chalice or to fight another day. Even though this version of the Stanley Cup Final is a rematch, both teams have improved their teams from a year ago.

Saturday's 5-0 thumping in Game Five by the Red Wings was aided by the return of Pavel Datsyuk. The best defensive forward in hockey was a spark plug to a Wings team that seemed flat in the prior games in Pittsburgh. 

He had such an immediate impact on the team that it is worth wondering what the series would have been like if he was healthy from the start.

However he and the rest of the Wings will face an even unrulier crowd in Pittsburgh who are not happy that they might have to watch the Wings hoist the Cup for the second year in a row, possibly watch defectors Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin hoist the Cup and not be able to watch the game on Mellon Vision. 

The talk of Evgeni Malkin's play on the offensive side may get him some talk of hoisting his own trophy. However his lack of discipline in fighting Henrik Zetterberg at the end of Game Two, his stick to the jaw of Johan Franzen in Game Five and his cross check to the lower part of Tomas Holmstrom's back in Game Five should be considered big reasons why he shouldn't hoist that particular trophy.

Sidney Crosby has also been a disappointment for the Pens as he is wearing a "C" he is too young to wear with the authority that Steve Yzerman did. 

I say this because Crosby has been compared to Yzerman in his offensive play, however Yzerman played defense, was on power plays, was on short-handed situations and won a Stanley Cup with only one good knee. 

Crosby on the other hand will complain, slashes players when they hit him and wasn't even on the ice in the closing seconds of Game Five.

Marc-Andre Fleury just had his worst game of the Final as he gave up five goals to five different players within two periods of play. Mathieu Garon was brought in to stop the bleeding. Now does Fleury bounce back in front of the home crowd will be the question.

The Pens have to play a lot different than what they produced in Game Five, not just in given up five goals and being shut out. They will also have lose the chips on their shoulders that lead to power plays which then lead to three of the five goals the Wings scored.

The last change is probably the only advantage other than the crowd, the Pens have in the game.  They will try to force the Wings to chase Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on line match-ups. However with Datsyuk in the line-up, the Pens might in fact have to chase the Wings. 

This game will create legends out of the Wings if they win. Niklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper and Kurt Maltby will be going for their fifth Stanley Cup. 

Chris Osgood will be going for his fourth Stanley Cup. 

Pavel Datsyuk, Brian Rafalski and Chris Chelios will be going for their third Stanley Cup. 

Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Daniel Cleary, Valtteri Filpula, Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler will be going for their second Stanley Cup. 

Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm hoisted the Cup last year but did not play. 

Marian Hossa, Ville Leino and Ty Conklin will be going for their first Stanley Cup.

Regardless of who wins tonight or on Friday, Gary Bettman will be booed out of the arena when he tries to speak to reward the Conn Symthe and the Stanley Cup. 

No commissioner in sports is more reviled by that sport's fans as he is. If Detroit wins tonight, Bettman will be booed even louder than the Wings and Marian Hossa will be.

Bettman does need to step down now. He has lost respect from fans, players, reporters, commentators and a host of others involved with the NHL. 

For a commissioner to bow to pressure from NBC to hold two games back to back, put the next two games on Versus so the premier week of the Conan O'Brien version of the Tonight Show and a two night Brian Williams to Barack Obama interview can be shown is unheard of. 

NBC doesn't do this for their Olympic coverage. The funny thing is the ratings from Conan's first week went down each day. 

It is now time for a new commissioner who will find a better TV deal so the greatest playoffs in sports is rescheduled for that networks precious TV shows. 

However, it is time for Game Six and the possibility of a certain trophy being given to a certain team for the 12th time.


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