June 12, 2009

No Practice Tomorrow

That is Toronto Maple Leafs coach Punch Imlach finding a moment of peace after his team won the Stanley Cup.

Detroit's Mike Babcock or Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma will have the chance to recreate this pose tonight. Detroit hosts Pittsburgh on hockey's grandest stage - game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

I had picked Pittsburgh to win the series at the beginning of the round. After dropping the opening two games, I'm surprised they have made it this far.

Who is going to win game 7? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Personally I have to give Detroit a 60-40 shot. They are have too much experience and they are too good at home. They are amazingly good. Scratch that. They are great.

Part of me still thinks this may yet be Pittsburgh's year. If not the Penguins, at least Sidney Crosby is a player of destiny. Will he fulfill it this year? He has been very quiet in the series so far. Will playoff game #87 be #87's game?

History tells us many things. Home teams usually win game 7s, almost always in the Stanley Cup finals. Come-from-behind teams like Pittsburgh almost never complete the come back. The clock usually strikes midnight on Cinderella.

History also tells us one more thing - 100% of the teams that win game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals also win the Stanley Cup. Enjoy the game everybody.


Chucker Be Shooter said...

Oh but Joe...The Pittsburgh Penguins have never won the stanley cup on home ice and will keep this tradition going by winning it in Detroits Joe Louis tonite...time for # 87's Sid the Kid to live up to his 87th play-off game in scoring the game winner in OT...yes I called it...game 7 in overtime and Sid the Kid top shelf where Dad used to keep the Playboy magazines...

Julia said...

I was pretty sure Penguins would win the Cup when they won game 7 against Capitals (my previous predictions for the East involved Bruins and Capitals). So when this final series started, my hockey fan friends said Detroit would win in 6 and I went for Pittsburgh in 7.

But seeing how the series developed, I now think the chances they have tonight are less than 20%... not only because it's unusual to win game 7 as guests, but also because Penguins don't seem to find their legs at the Joe Louis and they've been performing quite poorly there. I expected Red Wings to win game 5, but I was surprised it wasn't a tight match. Actually only game 6 felt like a tight struggle, don't you think?

However... in sports, especially pro sports, especially male pro sports... it ain't over 'til it's over. If Penguins didn't have a chance to win, slim as it is, they wouldn't be playing tonight.

Call it the great scheme of things, the whims of the gods of hockey, destiny, karma, call it luck or call it entropy and chaos, call it events with high level of information, the plan of God or simply the sheer charm of sports... nobody knows who's the winner until tonight, around 10 pm EDT. And I for one, would place my bets on Detroit if I was gambling my monthly mortgage installment, but since that's not the case I still hope it will be Pittsburgh.

Gary Bellman said...

The stars are all alligned for the Wings to win.

So I'll go with the Penguins with Kennedy or Talbot (probably Talbot) scoring the winner in regulation.

Penguins 3 Wings 2

P.S. I'm always wrong when I predict that the team I want to win will win so undoubtedly it'll be the Wings so I'm glad you didn't bet the mortgage payment Julia.

Gary Bellman said...

Well I'll be. First time in I don't know how long that the team I wanted to win did just that!

And I said Talbot would get the winner in regulation.

Isn't that something?

Way to go guys. You've learned how to win the Cup. May your dynasty start now.

Julia said...

I was watching the game and thinking about the guy who had predicted Talbot to score in regulation... Yay! Some people really can see more than what meets the eye! Whether you won money or satisfaction, kudos!

I have a thousand comments on how I feel about these playoffs, but maybe this is not the best place... Anyways, all my blahblahblah in a nutshell goes something like I like Pittsburgh's game because I saw it more offensive like than Detroit's (which is outstanding as defense, and well... that's not too exciting to the spectator), and more team spirited than Washington's, and more or less, that's it.

I'm glad to see everybody (and particularly Joe) agrees on the opinion that this has been a great championship. May we keep on having great hockey!

Gary Bellman said...

Thanks for the kudos, Julia.

I don't bet so no joy there, but as I said, it's been a long time since the team I wanted to win did win it. I'm completely happy with that, especially having had a soft spot in my heart for the Penguins for a long, long, long time.

Like you I'm going to wait a while and just savour this before I make a longer observation.

I will say that suddenly it seems like a very long time until October though.