4-on-4 on the finals
Four bloggers, four questions
I've put the same four questions to two Red Wings and two Penguins bloggers, going right to the best in the business for a few thoughts on some tough-to-call questions.
I even ask them to write poetry.
Seth Rorabaugh weighs in first. Seth runs Empty Netters, works at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and gives a mean tour of Pittsburgh. He'll be travelling and covering all seven games of the finals, both on his site and for the paper, so check back there often.
#1. We've seen features on Pascal Dupuis, odes to Dallas Drake and in-depth histories of the octopus and Mellon Arena. What is the best untold story of the teams in the final?
1.) Sergei Gonchar. Fairly or unfairly, he's gained a reputation for not being a playoff performer throughout his career. He always had decent points for a defenseman in the playoffs, but he was always seen as part of the reason the 1990s Capitals couldn't get over the hump and ever really do anything in the playoffs. In fact, he had a pretty bad turnover in the 2001 playoffs for Washington that led to a breakaway for Martin Straka. Straka beat Olaf Kolzig, the Penguins won and the Capitals were eliminated.
Now, he's playing like a franchise defenseman. Marian Hossa isn't the only one shedding his poor playoff reputation.
#2. Who has the edge in goal in this series?
I'd say Marc-Andre Fleury. I think he's a more talented goaltender. But Chris Osgood's defense really bails him out. Detroit really limits the amount and quality of shots he sees.
#3. Can a team be too young to win the Cup? (Or ... how big of a factor is experience?)
No. The Oilers' key players were 22-23 years old when they won the Cup for the first time. Granted, that team was one of the greatest of all-time, but they beat a pretty good but older team in the Islanders that had won it the previous four seasons.
#4. Using a haiku (20 words or less) who is your Conn Smythe pick?
He'll stop Henrik Zetterberg
And Pavel Datsyuk
Thanks to Seth. And stay tuned for words from Abel to Yzerman, On the Wings and, yes, The Pensblog.
Others feel free to add your own Conn Smythe haiku in the comments or on your own blogs.