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.
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.
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.