Mid-Week Ramblings

Showdown In Motown

This one’s for all the marbles…it’s now or never…there is no tomorrow…both team’s backs are against the wall…nothing will be left on the ice…it all comes down to just one game…this is why you fight all year for home-ice advantage…

That’s right folks…break out the game seven clichés because for the first time since Carolina defeated Edmonton in 2006, hockey fans will be treated to a Stanley Cup Finals all-deciding game number seven. The Showdown in Motown takes place Friday night.

Home Cookin’

All six games played so far in the Stanley Cup Finals have been won by the home team. The Wings have outscored Pittsburgh 11-2 in the three games played so far in Detroit while the Penguins enjoyed a 10-5 goals edge during the trio of matches played in Pittsburgh.

We’ve Seen This Movie Before

Watching as the Finals go the full seven has not been an uncommon occurrence in this decade. Beginning with the Colorado Avalanche, (coached by Bob Hartley), defeat of New Jersey in 2001, five of the last eight SCF have gone the full distance. The exceptions being when Detroit beat Carolina four games to one in 2002, the Ducks besting Ottawa 4-1 in 2007 and last year when Detroit took Pittsburgh in six.

During the 1990’s, only one SCF made it past six games…when the Rangers topped Vancouver in 1994.

Still On The Milk Carton

Marian Hossa did nothing to have is picture removed from the milk carton in Tuesday night’s game six. For the series he’s accounted forone primary and a pair of secondary assists. He has six goals and nine helpers for the entire playoffs…all six goals coming in three games.

The Wings are going to need him to step up Friday night, don’t ya think?

Save Of The Series?

The record will show that the winning net-minder in game six of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals was Marc-Andre Fleury. But even after stopping 25 of the Red Wing’s 26 shots on goal, he needed a little help from a friend. In the dying seconds of their 2-1 win, Penguins defender Rob Scuderi knocked away a couple of point-blank attempts…first with his stick, with his left leg and finally with the ankle… to secure the win.

Should the Pens prevail Friday night, they could be considered the saves of the series. Of course, if Detroit comes away with the win, maybe Zetterberg’s goal-line stop in game #1 could be considered as such.

Fear The Power Of The Burrito

It seems as though Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has a pre-game ritual involving…eating burritos.

As Puck Daddy states in his piece…

It was in the playoffs when his ritual became big news. The Penguins were playing the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and the NHL scheduled back-to-back games in the two cities on a Friday and Saturday. Bylsma came into the Pittsburgh Qdoba on that Friday and purchased two burritos — eating one at the store and “packing the other one on ice to take to D.C.,” according to Brooks….The coach ate the burrito in the nation’s capital, and the Penguins won on both Friday and Saturday nights. “At that point I said, ‘Oh crap, this is for real.’ He’s not playing around. This is something he really believes in.” Brooks recalled.

Since it’s brought him success so far, I guess he will be packing some of these burritos as he travels to Detroit, eh?

Hey listen, I totally understand the power of a burrito…especially after spending time in the SUV with my teenage sons after a Taco Bell run.

Arizona Law

Meanwhile, out in Arizona, the bankruptcy hearing for the Phoenix Coyotes began yesterday.

The big news that came out of the proceedings was that the NHL was instructed by the judge to consider how much a relocation fee would be if indeed the team was uprooted and moved from Arizona.

Heater Wants Outa Ottawa

Dany Heatley wants out of Ottawa. Apparently frustrated with the way he was used last season, he’s had his agent J.P. Barry inform the Senators that he’d like to be traded. Of course, we in Atlanta are familiar with such a request from Heatley…just prior to the 2005-06 season he did the same to Thrashers’ general manager Don Waddell. Different reasons and circumstance, mind you…but basically the same request.

Heater is coming off a season in which his production, 39 goals and 33 assists, was the lowest since becoming a Senator and he still has five more years left on a contract that pays $7.5 million per.

So, should Bryan Murray respond in the same fashion Waddell did and capitulate to the request…or stick to his guns after stating that he expects Heatley to honor is contract and play in Ottawa?

Emery Flying Back To Play With Philly

Ray Emery has left Mytishchi Atlant of Russia’s KHL and has signed a a contract to play with the Philadelphia Flyers. This means that Martin Biron will probably be swimming in the UFA pool this summer.

Money For Nuthin’

We were all happy to hear that Marty Reasoner was re-signed by the Thrashers this week. The deal will pay the centerman $1.2 million this season and $1.1 million next. That’s a great deal for the team IMHO.

But you do realize, of course, that this coming season Alexei Zhitnik will be paid almost as much money to not play for the Thrashers, ($1.167 million) as Reasoner will be paid to actually play.

In case you’re wondering…Braydon Coburn will earn $1.3 millon this season skating for Philadelphia and is slated to become an RFA next summer.

68 comments Add your comment

LAC

June 12th, 2009
10:43 pm

Hossa looked DEAD,I mean he looked sick sick sick !!!

Remember two players, Dupis and Kuntz were Atlanta Thrashers !!!

But remember to WIN, and WIN The Stanley Cup…

You have to LEAVE ATLANTA !!!!!

Atlanta, no commitment to the FANS or Players !!!!!!!!

R. Stroz

June 12th, 2009
10:44 pm

h-O-ssa, h-O-ssa, h-O-ssa

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

kracker

June 12th, 2009
10:47 pm

Malkin wuns the Conn Smythe, no suprise and congrats again.

stendec

June 12th, 2009
10:49 pm

THERE IS JUSTICE IN SPORTS! Maryann Hosebag will not have his name enscribed on Lord Stanley’s Cup. He quit on the Dead Wings the same way he quit on the Thrashers! Son of a betch scumball. How wonderful to see those rude and arrogant Dead Wing fans sit as another team skates around their ice with the holy grail of hockey. Damn loudmouth blowhards! Life is good! Good night all. God bless you every one.

kracker

June 12th, 2009
10:51 pm

I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls but I can’t imagine why dumping on the Thrashers/Atlanta on Stanley Cup Final night could possibly give anyone pleasure.

Matt

June 12th, 2009
10:54 pm

Hahahahahahahahahaha

The “Little” Red Borg is DEAD.

Bring back the “Dead Things”

Lord, I was sick of Detroit winning all those cups.

Cindy Crotchby

June 12th, 2009
10:55 pm

I won the Boris Cup!

B. Thenet

June 12th, 2009
11:03 pm

The only real question now:

Will the NHL continue to rig the playoffs to allow the Penguins to win the Cup 3-4 more times in a row, or now that Gary Bettman’s little pet has won the Cup will the rest of the NHL be allowed a chance.

I hope the Pens upgrade their D this offseason, because I do not think I can take another year of pre lockout clutching and grabbing in the playoffs.

Wings fan in Ga.

June 12th, 2009
11:03 pm

Marian Hossa – the most overrated player in hockey?

Matt, the Red Borg isn’t dead. This happened in 1995, although that was a sweep. Someone had to lose, it just happened to be Detroit tonight. They will be back, but hopefully Hossa won’t. Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen are locked up for a while.

Pittsburgh played great tonight, but it did look like Bettman was creaming his pants when he gave the Stanley Cup to Crosby.

It’s off to baseball season now, where the Tigers are in first place. You stay classy, Thrasher fans.

Darkhorse

June 12th, 2009
11:28 pm

I never thought I would be watching a game nervously cheering for the Pens. I kept waiting for Nelson from the Simpsons to come out of the crowd in the end, point at Hossa, and give him the HAHA….

Alan

June 12th, 2009
11:39 pm

I didn’t stick around my neighbors house long enough to see the cup ceremony. Didn’t care to.

I hear he kissed the cup, though. Congrats to him.

However, from a Red Wings perspective, I have to say this: Hossa did not earn the cup. He didn’t play like he wanted it. He didn’t ever find fifth gear, and didn’t ever go hard to the net.

Remember when we sat here in 07-08 and all thought Hossa was dogging it? We all thought he was playing like a man with one foot out the door. Well, it looks like we were all wrong. He wasn’t dogging it. He just couldn’t get the job done anymore. He’s not worth the $6m Detroit paid him, isn’t worth the $7m+ Pittsburgh offered him, and sure as hell isn’t worth the $10m Edmonton offered him.

Hossa has solidified himself as a playoffs choker, just like Joe Thornton. He didn’t play like he wanted to win, and ultimately he let his team down. He was in tears after the final horn sounded. You know what? Good. He tried to cruise his way down easy street to win a cup, but was unwilling to actually work for it. Kenny Holland had better not re-sign him.

Secondly, as the series went on, Detroit’s defense deteriorated. Detroit’s defensive coach is a man we all knew and some still, shockingly, want to see back here someday. The one, the only, Brad McCrimmon. This should tell you all you need to know about the D collectively. They were much stronger and far more poised last year. They earned their cup last year by completely shutting Pittsburgh down. This year, they were faced with a stronger D and, other than the Lidstrom pairing, wilted under the pressure for the most part.

Lastly, Ozzie. He, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk were the only ones who really showed up for this series – and Dangle didn’t return from injury until game five! Ozzie was the only one keeping them in games. He kept the last two as close as he could, despite the lacking defense. He kept game four close, too, the final nail in that coffin being an empty netter.

Alrighty, with that out of the way…

Wings fan, you’re not only going to find those sort of comments here. You’re going to find them everywhere. You have to understand that with all the success the Wings have enjoyed over the past 12 years, you’re going to also have a large following of hatred. You also need to understand that, really, nobody likes Hossa around here (see above).

What’s this all mean?

I’m a fan of both teams. I love my Red Wings as equally as I love my Thrashers. Don’t paint all the fans with the same brush. A lot of us are classy, as I know you’ve seen in your frequent appearances on these blogs. The ones who aren’t are a minority of individuals around here, and I know you know this as well.

Listen, I’m just as unhappy as you are about the loss. But really, don’t take it out on the fans here. It’s not hard to make a cardboard Hossa cut-out and punch it a few… hundred times or so. Or a Mikael “shoots wide” Samuelsson cut-out, and nail him a few dozen times as well.

No need to get snippy here at anyone.

Go Tigers!
Go Thrashers!
Go Red Wings!

12345

June 13th, 2009
12:02 am

Congrats to Dupis & Kuntz for winning thecup, two now for Kuntz,
I just remember he was not good enough to play here, yet another great move by our GM, just proves everyones point Don Waddell is a loser
from hell !

Brendan

June 13th, 2009
12:51 am

12345, Kunitz (2-game Thrasher) and Dupuis join the likes of Pascal Rheaume (2003 Devils) and Jiri Slegr (2002 Red Wings) to win Stanley Cups elsewhere. There are probably more. Didn’t Mark Hartigan win the Cup with Anaheim in 2007?

Anywho, let’s congratulate some other Penguins for getting their names on the Cup. Let’s start with their 4 “lottery draft pick” selections of Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby. This is a milestone moment for them. The Stanley Cup will also feature the name Satan on it. Fedotenko gets his 2nd Cup. Talbot, very deservingly, gets his name on it.

Question: Where would the Penguins have been without the Game Three overtime winner by Kris Letang, in the CSF, vs. Washington? That’s a gigantic goal. So, major contrats to Letang, a players I’ve ALWAYS LIKED. Scuderri, Eaton, Kunitz … they all played a role. Good for them. Rookie Head Coach Dan Bylsma, who I think should have won the Jack Adams “Coach of the Year” award, has got to be thrilled.

C’mon now. The Penguins were something like “13th” in the Conference at Christmas. Thirteenth. When someone’s team is seemingly OUT OF IT, they’ll point to the 2009 Penguins and 2004 Lightning as teams that were hardly CLEAR FAVORITES before the start of the new year. How do you think Michel Therrien feels right about now? Can he really raise a sympathetic ear that “it wasn’t all his fault?” Once he left, everything started coming up roses for Pittsburgh. Had they made the change at Thanksgiving, who knows? Maybe the Penguins are the #1 seed in the East? Hard to believe that Pittsburgh was in bankruptcy and was slated for relocation just a few years ago. It was Pierre McGuire, actually, who got on “Hockey Night in Canada” and pleaded that a team that had won two (2) Stanley Cup couldn’t just go out of existence, from a great hockey market like Pittsburgh. Mario Lemieux did everything in his power to keep the team there. It sure didn’t hurt any that they won the “Crosby sweepstakes.” That brought a windfall of cash, and a renewed sense of hope and opportunity. Mario is a committed owner. He is beloved in Pittsburgh.

Is there a “shift” going on, in Sports? From Massachusetts to Pennsylvania? The Patriots go to 4 Super Bowls in 7 years, winning three, and amassing a 16-0 record. The Red Sox won two World Series in four years. And last year, the Celtics won the NBA Title. But now look what’s going on. Last October, the Phillies won the World Series. In January, the Steelers won the Super Bowl. And now, in June, the Penguins win the Cup. What’s the next, the Pirates, 76ers and Eagles magically stun the World? We’ll have to stay tuned. Good job, Penguins!!

Hossa knows the Red Wings will be back. He’ll re-sign there, at a huge discount.

PensFan

June 13th, 2009
1:27 am

Well, obviously I am thrilled. It was truly a team effort as Crosby who was my MVP until the Carolina series became an expensive decoy for the finals. So I wasnt too devastated when he was injured midway through the game. Though it did worry me that by Crosby leaving people like Zetterberg would concentrate more on the offense.

I thought the refs let too many infractions on both sides go by.

It is always funny to see Bettman get booed.

Thankfully, the Pens travel well/ So they had quite a few fans cheering for them during the cermonies instead of the dead silence from last year.

Talbot has always been my favorite. He is a bargain at 1.5M a year(just extended this year to a multi year deal). He is always good in the playoffs.

I gotta be frank. I was shocked at how bad Hossa was this playoffs. He had 4 or 5 really good games in the entire playoff run. He was mediocre for most of the finals. He just cost himself not only a potential Cup, but also as much as 30M. Edmonton offeredf him 81M over 9. I cant see any team offering him more than 50. Pittsburugh offered him 6 years 42M or maybe 5-35M(i forget). Good luck getting a comparable contract. I am guessing Detroit will offer him a pay cut of 1.5 per years(Detroit paying him 7.4 now).

Brendan

June 13th, 2009
1:44 am

Congrats, PensFan. Enjoy it. It was truly magical to watch, from a neutral fan’s standpoint. I think Pittsburgh offered Hossa 5-6 years. I forgot the dollar value. I wonder what Hossa is thinking right now. My guess? I think he wants to re-sign, longterm, with Detroit.

Brendan

June 13th, 2009
1:50 am

B.Thenet, I definitely think this series had a “pre-lockout” look and feel to it. “New” NHL?? Where?? But, be that as it may, I don’t think the league will now grab its ankles for Crosby and the Penguins. The NHL likes to point to things like Carolina, Anaheim, Detroit and now Pittsburgh, as showing that the salary cap works, in terms of ’spreading the wealth.’

Wings fan in Ga.

June 13th, 2009
8:17 am

Alan, I know those comments are everywhere. My ’stay classy’ quote, I was just quoting ‘Anchorman’ like how he says ‘You stay classy, San Diego’ after each broadcast. That’s all. I like that movie.

Alan

June 13th, 2009
11:53 am

The comment can both be taken in that light, as well as a despondent, insulting kind of way. I assumed the latter, because really, that loss hurt last night.