Sunday, June 1, 2008

Zetterberg Drinks Crosby's Milkshake

Hank is the Conn Smythe, there's no doubt really. Ozzie could give him a run for his money, except that Ozzie and Hank are on opposite ends of the hype spectrum. While Z has been fabled all year long as the Wings' best player (which I've found to be silly, given Dats and Lids) and has always been in the spotlight (especially compared to Dats), Osgood still has detractors who say his team is more the reason for the Wings' defensive dominance than he is. And I do agree that Hank is more deserving than Ozzie, although I'm not sure he is more so than Lidstrom. I have to re-iterate that really, I mean, really when you think about it, Lidstrom is the most valuable player on this team and has been for a while and will continue to be, and it's not really close. Compare how the Wings have done without Z (like the 19 game stretch at the end of last year) with how the Wings have done without Lids (like the games he missed this year).

That being said, Lids has always gotten the shaft for not being a more spectacular player (probably costing him a few Norrises and a lot of Hart votes) and so I suppose I'm pretty used to it. I'll cheer when Z lifts that leaf-house thing, especially in light of his dominant performance last night. As many have said, Z ensconced himself as the best player in the league with that game. Crosby may be the best... something in the league, but offense is only half the game. It's Z, duh. (or Pavel. I imagine if Pavs were out there for that kill we'd be talking about him in the same terms.)

Homer likely in, Mac probably out. I feel bad about Chelios not playing. I know him and Mac and Downey will probably get their gear on and join the team during the celebration, but it sucks especially for Cheli to not play in the Cup-winning game (or series for that matter). Up until now it was basically assured he'd be back at the same old one year cheap-o deal to patrol the blueline on the third pair, kill penalties, and teach the young Wings' D how to play the game. Now I'm not so sure. I'm scared.

I'm also scared about Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg, both of whom are entering their contract years. Hank winning the Conn will likely add a penny or two to his value. The Wings will do whatever it takes to keep Hank, and furthermore Hank has stated he doesn't care about his salary and wants to stay a Wing for life. But it's possible we're talking about a two or three million dollar spread between the open market and what the Wings will top out at. And assuming we do sign Hank, it makes Mule all the harder. I don't want to think about the Cap right now. As soon as we win I'll bust out the spreadsheets and start looking at what the Wings can potentially offer these guys. But for now let's just think about Stanley.

How about this kid? It takes balls, and dedication, to buy an extra Stanley Cup playoffs ticket and also get risk getting arrested just to toss the ol' octopus. I love it. Nice jersey choice too.