The Weak In Review
The Stanley Cup Final did not get through one period before the series was besmirched by a really terrible challenge review and reversed call.
The disallowed goal: “Don’t worry Penguins; I’m here to save you.”
It may be hard to argue that the outcome of Game 1 would be any different without P.K. Subban’s would-be goal being overturned after Pittsburgh’s challenge, but we’ll never know for sure–and that’s a really bad look considering that Nashville is already a decided underdog in this series. Continue reading The Weak In Review
Have you been feeling unsettled, confused, and discombobulated lately? If so, you’re certainly not alone. There’s so much weirdness going on in the world these days: missiles in North Korea…madness in Syria…passengers being dragged off planes by United Airlines…the on-going antics of the “Commander-in-Cheeto”…hell, even Twin Peaks is coming back, because apparently the world just isn’t weird enough these days. It’s all a ball of confusion for sure.
The Pittsburgh Penguins: The only sure thing skating around with the Puck of Confusion?
You don’t even get to escape the confusion if you flatten out that ball into a disc-shaped piece of hard, vulcanized rubber and turn your attention to the Stanley Cup playoffs–because that hasn’t exactly been a model of things going according to plan, either.
Hockey Hustles for the Present—and Maybe the Future
With the NHL trade deadline now in the rear view mirror, it’s worth taking a quick look at a few of the notable points to come out of all the activity—including a possible warning sign about what might lay just over the horizon.
The weirdest part of the deadline had to be seeing the Detroit Red Wings selling for a harvest of draft picks. I guess it’s safe to say that Hockeytown’s latest era has well and truly come to an end. How did Detroit do in their quest to reinvigorate the franchise? Only the most devoted hockey scout could even guess at this point. Continue reading Hockey Hustles for the Present—and Maybe the Future
Well, at least I got the number of games right.
It wasn’t the Sharks winning the Stanley Cup in six games, as predicted here, but the Penguins who got the job done last night. But even with the lack of a Game 7, that Final series was closer than it seemed.
As laid out in that earlier piece, Martin Jones actually did his part, standing on his head and making save after save after save against Pittsburgh’s extremely talented offense. I briefly thought that Jones might get the Conn Smythe trophy despite the loss, much as Ron Hextall did against Gretzky’s Oilers back in the day, but that didn’t happen, and probably rightly so. (I’m not sure Sidney Crosby should have been the guy for the Penguins; that smacks more of marketing than the actual results on the ice. Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel seemed like better bets there.) Jones was great, but given the way Pittsburgh’s unexpectedly stout defense stifled the Sharks’ offense, he needed to be spectacular, and he simply fell short of that distinction.
So the better team definitely won, no doubt about that. The other takeaway from this Stanley Cup Final might be this: this match-up may not be over. Given the major contributions we saw from Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, and Matt Murray–the first two were all over the ice the whole series–for Pittsburgh and Joonas Donskoi, Rob Tierney, and Melker Karlsson for the Sharks, the future looks bright for both teams. All of those players are either one year in or rookies. And while young players sometimes flame out quickly after brief flashes of brilliance, it’s hard to believe all of those guys will fall off the table in the future. The road will be tough next year–it always is–but I won’t be shocked if there’s a rematch in next year’s Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins lived through that with Detroit in ’08 and ’09; they might see it again with the Sharks next year.
Until then, the Steel City gets to have some good times with 34.5 pounds of silver and nickel. Enjoy.