True, it sucks to be Detroit these days, what with GM and Chrysler going bankrupt and all. But it's nice to see a city like Pittsburgh and a team like the Penguins get to spend the next year owning Lord Stanley's cup.
From the winner's hometown daily paper...
That Marc-Andre Fleury could not be counted on to win big games. He has.
That these Penguins were not ready to be champions. They are.
They defeated the Red Wings, 2-1, in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena last night to earn the third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The driving forces behind the victory were forward Max Talbot, who scored both goals, and Fleury, who turned aside 23 of 24 shots and made a lunging game-, season- and Cup-saving stop on Nicklas Lidstrom with about a second to play.
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who led the playoffs in scoring with 36 points, received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason.
"He told us before the playoffs that he was going to lead us to the Stanley Cup," right winger Bill Guerin said. "He's an amazing competitor, an amazing player."
Meanwhile, from the loser's no-longer-daily* paper...
The last 6 minutes could have ripped out your insides. Fans on their feet, screeching their vocal cords. The Red Wings surging, their lungs burning, as they chased the only thing that mattered. One goal. One goal. One goal could make up for the whole night and turn this thing from hopeless to hopeful, reverse destiny, roll the stalled parade floats. Music blared in the breaks: “I want it all, and I want it now!”
Chins up. No complaints. The Red Wings, who led their series, 2-0 and 3-2, lost the last two chances at the Stanley Cup, and then lost the Cup itself. It was no cheapie. No cursed bounce or haunted ricochet. The Penguins were the better team this night. Their defense was better. Their offense was better. Their pressure was better. And their puck protection was better. You aren’t likely to win when you give away that little rubber thing 11 times more than the other guy, as the Wings did.
[Legendary hockey writer Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press]
Yeah, as a long suffering Blackhawks fan, I loathe the Red Wings... mostly because their fans are so freakin' smug. Every season they seem to have this air of entitlement about the cup, in the same way Yankee fans are about the World Series. Of course, when you have the history to back up all that arrogance, you can get act like you've already won each season. And they do.
Not this year, Detroit. And for those who would say the City of Detroit needed something good to happen, I suppose another cup victory would have been nice for the broken down city that is home to the failed US Auto industry.
Oh, who am I kidding? I couldn't be happier.
* I know, they create an edition daily, but no longer deliver it every day of the week. I'm just a Detroit hater today. (Today?) Shame, shame, shame on me.