Friday, June 12, 2009
Passing The Torch
Nick Kronwall knows how Nathan Lafayette feels, (sorry Canuck fans) Marian Hossa is in that picture that no one wants to be in for a second straight year, Chris Osgood will wish he had one shot back and Marc-Andre Fleury will be glad he stopped one last shot. The Pittsburgh Penguins captured the Stanley Cup Friday night with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Red Wings in what was a tremendous Game 7.
I didn't want Pittsburgh to win this game, but I will give them every accolade they deserve. They did it without Sid who got hurt early in the 2nd, Fleury made the big save when he had to and one of Pittsburgh's grit guys--Max Talbot--got it done on the scoresheet scoring both goals.
They certainly made the right choice when they promoted Dan Bylsma to take over from the clueless Michel Therrien.
When Bylsma was brought in February 15, they were five points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Bylsma promptly led them to an 18-3-4 record during the stretch drive and rallied them from a 3-2 deficit in this series. He joins Al MacNeil as the only rookie coaches to win a Cup after getting his job during the season. MacNeil did it with Montreal in 1971.
The Penguins have won all three of their Cups on the road -- they did it in Minnesota in 1991 and in Chicago in 1992 -- and last night became the only road team to win a game in this series.
I don't know about you, but I had chills before sitting down to watch Game 7, and I didn't really care who won. When it was over, I sat there and yes once again, the eyes became misty as they presented the Cup. I don't know why I get that way when that happens, but I do. I wonder what is going through the minds of all the players as that final buzzer sounds, I wonder who they think of whether it be a friend, a family member, an old coach, etc. etc. and I wonder what that feeling is like when they are given the Cup. As I said in a previous post, we all grew up playing hockey on the playground or the street pretending we were playing for the Cup. There was no pretend in what you witnessed last nite. To see the Penguins running around with the Cup and acting like a bunch of kids is what its all about.
Rod Pedersen has some big WHL news regarding two former Pats coaches. The voice of the Pats says Dale Derkatch is about to become the head scout of the Prince Albert Raiders and that Rich Preston is a candidate to become the new head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Who says Rod takes weekends off and couldn't find a scoop in a scoop store. Oh yeah, that would be the guy who attempts to program the radio station I used to work at. PFFTT!!! I don't think I need to go any further on this topic.
I didn't get to Rider camp on Friday, but Scott Schultz was ragging on Joe McGrath saying he's an embarassment to Moose Jaw, George Reed paid a visit and Jim Hopson had to answer questions on the Eric Tillman situation. As I'm sure you know by now, the Riders will go through 2009 without their GM beside them as Eric Tillman will go to trial early in the new year on his sexual assault charge. There are many differing opinions and many good arguments as to why Eric should stay or why Eric should go. I certainly don't envy the position this puts Hopson and the organization in, but they are doing the right thing and perhaps the only thing. I would like to see the matter heard wayyyyyyyy before January, but it doesn't matter what the case is or how high profile the accused might be, no one said going through the justice system was a quick thing. The team is in Saskatoon today and Jim is supposed to make a major announcement. I guess that domed stadium is going up in Toontown after all. Somehow, I don't think that will be the announcement. Maybe 2010 training camp will be held in Saskatoon, maybe an exhibition game is coming to Griffiths Stadium, maybe Gainer has been traded to the Blades. I guess we'll find out later today.
Is it just me or do you cringe whenever you see Muhammad Ali? He was at the hockey game last night and he just looks worse and worse every time I see him as Parkinsons continues to ravage his body. To see a man who was so mighty now look so frail is a sad thing.
UFC 99 goes tonight in Germany. Its the first time UFC has ever made a stop in Germany. Expect Wanderlei Silva to crush Rich Franklin in the main event.
I sometimes wonder what people are thinking when they park their vehicle in a lot. Some people at Rider practice the other day simply had no clue when it came to parking and it was the same way at the Regina Minor Girls Softball Diamonds last night. My daughter is in a tournament there this weekend and the way some people parked in the secondary lot makes me just scratch my head. When you get out of your vehicle, do you not notice that you have completely ruined any chance of allowing another car through? Do you see that and just pretend to be ignorant to it because you have your spot and you don't care? Did your IQ test come in the mail and you discovered your brain was as powerful as three day old mushed carrots???? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!
Perhaps lost in Game 7 was the fact Roy Halladay got hurt in Toronto's 7-3 loss to the Florida Marlins. Halladay felt a twinge in his groin (something no man should experience) in the 4th inning. If its serious, Toronto is d-u-n done.
I can't remember if Maggie the Monkey picked Pittsburgh. Did she go out on a high????