Tuesday, 13 May 2008

More Than Just Sweeping

Forget the brooms. The impending sweeps that both the Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers face over the next two nights have been compliments of some surgical precision at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. Detroit and Pittsburgh have looked unbeatable in these two series, and it appears that we're facing a Stanley Cup Finals of the last two teams to repeat as champions - Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992, and Detroit in 1997 and 1998. If I'm Dallas or Philadelphia, it's time to go back to the clich├ęs of "one shift at a time" and "the only game that matters is the next one". Otherwise, the golf courses in both cities will heat up over the next week as players make their way onto the greens.

Dallas has looked done since the moment the puck dropped in Game One of the Western Conference Finals. I understand that the 4OT game played against the Sharks might have taken something out of the Stars, but they've barely shown signs of life. Heck, I don't even know if one of these will help, but it's not like it will do any more harm. Honestly, I can't see Dallas winning Game Four. Personally, Detroit just needs to keep the Big Red Machine running at maximum efficiency, and they'll book a table for the chance to drink from Lord Stanley's Cup.

In the Eastern Conference Final, aka the Pennsylvania Final, the Penguins have made short work of the Flyers in a very methodical way. The speedy Penguins have made the defensive group of the Flyers work very hard to keep up with them, and drawn a number of penalties in using this speed. Defensively, the Penguins have bent a few times, but have never broken, and their home ice 15-game winning streak is something that legends are made of. They are 11-1 in the playoffs, and that's also put them in exclusive company.

The 1968 Montreal Canadiens, the 1976 Montreal Canadiens, and the 1983 Edmonton Oilers were the previous three teams to start their playoffs 11-1. The 1983 Edmonton Oilers actually started 11-0, but were swept by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals. The two Canadiens' teams both went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Steph and Elly, who write the intelligent and entertaining No Pun Intended, may be at each other's throats if both teams can finish off their respective series. Of course, The Pensblog is required reading if you're a Penguins fan, and the beautiful and brilliant Christy also deserves some reading at Behind the Jersey if you're a Red Wings fan. Both blogs do their teams an enormous service, and they make for excellent reading. Head on over, and check them out!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Steph said...

Elly and I are going to be in Toronto together next weekend too - one of us might not make it out alive :P