Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Holy Shit."

That's what I said to myself when Filppula put home the Orresque third goal last night.

"We're going to win the Stanley Cup."

I know it, on an intellectual level, but haven't really embraced that fact yet. Which is good, since I guess the series isn't over. And you never know what's going to happen at the Igloo. I'm hoping for a tighter affair, if for no other reason than the NHL's sake. But I'm not expecting it. Here's a fun game to play: who could the Wings lose and still beat Pittsburgh? Kronwall? Zetterberg? Datsyuk? Franzen? (Already answered: yes).

Osgood is catching a lot of flak for diving. I mean, yeah maybe he dived or embellished. Maybe he was to blame for the Malone penalty too. I get that, I'm willing to admit the possibility. But get off your fucking high horse, PensBlog. I understand you're frustrated but every team does little things that are illegal. Like your boy Roberts with the punch? That's better than diving? What about the attempted slew foot by whoever the hell? I don't know if there's a more gutless and dangerous play in hockey. Doesn't matter if it didn't work.

Every team bends the rules, but I'd rather be a team that dives than one that slew foots and sucker punches. And as if any diving the Wings may or may not have done even effected the fucking outcome. At worst the Wings are no worse than the Pens, and hell, we have to make up for Tomas Holmstrom having a target on his back. You got your milkshake drunk, and your fabled hero who was supposed to rescue you in Game 2 was ineffective, posting more PIM than TOI, and then got thrown down by our Lady Byng candidate. Let that last one sink in for a bit.

Okay, back to the game. Things to look out for for G3:

Pavel fucking Datsyuk. My favorite player has made me nearly tearful with pride over these playoffs, between his offensive mastery and his rampant physicality. It's a shame more people aren't noticing how physical he's been. If I weren't so worried about him breaking a hand I'd love to see him develop as a fighter. He clearly has the toughness for it.

Dats has been the Wings road-leader, posting all nine of his goals and most of his assists on the road. Sure enough he's been pointless at home, but if Pitt thinks they've got his number they are pretty spectacularly wrong. He is about to light them up.

Conn Watch. The aforementioned Russian genius gets my vote for Conn Smythe - not because I think he necessarily deserves it at this point, but just because I really hope he wins, because he's my favorite. Dats has been largely overshadowed by Zetterberg (as he has most of his career) so I'd love to see him go on a tear to finish off the Pens and garner the Conn votes.

Of course, in reality, Nick Lidstrom deserves it, pretty much no matter how many more points Mule or Zetterberg put up or how many more goose-eggs Ozzy does. I mean, can we all sit back and think about this for second? Remember how bad we were without Lidas in the regular season? Even up 2-0, who wouldn't shit their pants if he went out? I'm not saying those other guys aren't instrumental, but... seriously. It's Lidstrom. Every time. It's Lidstrom.

Who do I think will actually win? My money's on Z - he's gotten a lot of hype this postseason and of course leads in scoring, goals, and plus/minus. Ozzie, Lids, Mule, and Dats are all in it depending on how the following two games go. (Edit: Ahem. The following two-to-five games.) But right now it's Hank's.

Chris Osgood. Leads the league in playoffs save percentage. Which is funny because I thought he was an average goalie who benefited from having a great team D that kept his shot totals low.

Respect. Unsurprisingly, the Wings still don't get any. Between the NHL's fellatio of the Pens (and the corresponding focus on their failures rather than the Wings' successes) and the anti-Euro bias that still continues, the Wings' eventual Cup win will probably be shrugged off as a year in which reffing made physical play impossible, thus favoring the effeminate Europeans, but let's all wait until the Penguins skilled players develop, then it'll be different.

For example, see: Don Cherry's homophobic portrayal of Pavel Dastyuk, followed by Barry Melrose fellating him, followed by Steve Levy trying to get Cherry to admit that Detroit should be credited for their success.

Levy: Don, don't you think Detroit deserves some credit?
Cherry: I feel so bad for Sidney Crosby. Malkin hasn't shown up. Back to Crosby, blah, blah...

Then, there's this toolbox on the TSN.ca recap of the Wings' game. His racism is far subtler. When describing Roberts's hit on Franzen, "it was a love tap ... Franzen folded" but when Sykora hit Osgood, "Sykora, there was no reason for him to tag Osgood whatsoever."


Stuff that Matters. Man, I've spent a lot of time talking about shit that doesn't matter. Here's what does: the Wings are absolutely dominant, and they're Jiri Fischer away from the Cup.