May 30, 2008

2000: Devil Of A Time

The year is 2000. The Dallas Stars return to the Stanley Cup finals, fully intent on capturing their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

But a throwback team from New Jersey give the Stars a devil of a time. For the 2nd time in 5 years, it is the Devils who hoist the Stanley Cup to the heavens above their head.

The Devils smothered the offensive minded Stars, allowing only 4 goals in the final 4 games of the 6 game series. With Martin Brodeur in net, and Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski, Ken Daneyko and captain Scott Stevens on the blue line, the Stars high scorers never got untracked.

In total nine players from the 1995 championship were present 5 years later, but the 2000 team's pop-gun offense was led by three newcomers - Patrick Elias, Petr Sykora and Jason Arnott.

The big Arnott really impressed, finally maturing into the dominant forward many thought he could be. Arnott scored the famous Cup winning goal in the second OT of game six.

Sykora actually missed the post-game celebrations. Dallas' Derian Hatcher delivered a blow to Sykora's head, forcing him off the ice and out to Baylor University Medical Center for a CAT scan and over night observation. Sykora was fine, but forced to watch his teammates on television. Best friend Elias donned Sykora's jersey and was seen lying on the ice talking to Sykora on a cell phone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pop-Gun offense? Only the Red Wings scored more goals than the Devils that year. The Devils in 2000 and 2001 were one of the best offensive teams those two years.