Penguins-Red Wings: Previewing Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals

Dan SmithCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 09:  Chris Osgood #30 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There is an old cliché in sports you hear in May and June. It says that a playoff series doesn't start until the road team wins. 

Like all clichés, for the most part it holds true—and it is the exception that proves the rule.

In a series where the home team has won every game, the lack of road wins has not prevented the Stanley Cup Finals from starting.

Truth be told, it is almost over. There are going to be a lot of guys shaving tomorrow, as the playoff beards will no longer be necessary. It takes 16 wins to earn a Stanley Cup Trophy, and both sides have 15 in the books.

This series started when the home team won Game Four. Trailing 2-1, Pittsburgh rallied for three straight goals and a 4-2 win that evened this series at two games apiece.

The Red Wings looked to be back in control with a shutout win in Game Five, but here we are back in Detroit for Game Seven.

It is the perfect ending for what have been four great rounds of playoffs. 

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There was the huge upset in the first round, when the eighth-seeded Ducks beat the top-seeded Sharks

Also, the Carolina Hurricanes won two Game Sevens on the road.

The Pens and Caps played an epic seven-game series that could have put the NHL into prime time if they had a better TV deal.

The rematch from last year's Stanley Cup Final has also been better than expected.

There has not been a road win in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup since 1971. The Penguins are the young and talented team that has answered each of the tests given by the dynasty from Detroit.

I look at the word dynasty, and I see it so clearly: die nasty.  If you want to kill a dynasty, then you have to be nasty yourself.

I was worried about Pittsburgh going into the Stanley Cup, but they have shown that they will be the team to beat in the East for years to come with their three solid lines of youth and talent.

They seem poised to break through tonight in Detroit, but those Red Wings will not go down without a fight. Their dynasty is going to die nasty, and it won't be this year.

Anything can happen in a Game Seven; that is why you want to avoid them if possible. The first team to score carries all of the momentum of the playoffs with them. 

This is a classic moment where a changing of the guard could occur. 

It would be a simple shift from Detroit to Pittsburgh. When something is about to die nasty, though, nothing simple can happen.

Look for Detroit to cap their epic 12-year run with their fifth title. The Penguins will get as close as possible this season and break through next season.

That is the toughest part of sorts—only one team can win that final game. Wait until next year is the motto for everyone else. 

The future is bright in Pittsburgh, but the present is in Detroit.