Bah! I had a nice long blog full of coverage on tonight's game and more but it all went away when Internet Explorer unexpectedly quit on me. I should really start doing these on Word documents and they copy-paste them.
Anyways, I'll try my best to replicate that previous effort.
The Flightless Birds fly high
Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on their Stanley Cup win. They deserved it. Evgeni Malkin was a man on a mission this year and Marc-Andre Fleury came up huge when his team needed it. Obviously, Max Talbot stood out as a clutch player. Jordan Staal's great two-way play was critical in the team's success as well. Who could forget about Sidney Crosby? Well, he wasn't perfect but he was good enough in the playoffs. Still was strong on the puck too.
The Red Wings probably could have asked for a stronger performance from Marian Hossa in the Finals. He was ok by my standards but just wasn't elevating his game. The overall performance by the Wings was very average. They were good when they had the pressure on and built up momentum at certain periods of the game. However, their carry-it-over-the-blueline and finesse plays were being countered with ease by the Penguins, especially late in the game. The simple chip into the corner would have worked and got the Pens defencemen moving. Thats something that they could have exploited especially with the Scuderi-Gill pairing. They've been exposed to that in various parts of this series.
Overall, the Pens just played like that wanted it more. They took the body when they could and kept skating at all times. They really did show what a team game should look like. Every player had a hand in beating the Wings in this series.
Pronger on the move?
Rumors were swirling today that Chris Pronger could be headed across town to the L.A. Kings in a deal that would send d-man Jack Johnson and the 5th overall pick in 2009 to Anaheim. This was quickly shot down from an inside source close to Kings GM Dean Lombardi. The question is: Was it shot down because it was a bad deal for the Kings or because it was taking the spotlight (a little bit at least) off of the Cup Final?
It definitely would be a bad deal for the Kings to throw away that much young talent to a division rival for a aging, and probably declining defenseman who will come with a high price tag. I know Lombardi wants to make a splash but he's doing it in the wrong pool and with the wrong foot.
Well the Finals are over and its on to the draft. Also, teams are in negotiations with players on new contracts. There are a few negotiations that will be unlikely to last very long. Bouwmeester, Gaborik and Cammalleri would be top names of players most likely to be moving out of the cities they currently reside in. The draft features some very very very good talent all around as well. I will have a draft preview blog up sometime soon. Its done but I will be tweaking it around a bit. It will feature my predictions for the top 15 picks of the 1st round. Stay tuned!