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.
Bill Houlihan is the owner and proprietor of Abel to Yzerman, but during the day, he's sailing the seven seas with the U.S. Navy. His site is a terrific, opinionated source for the Red Wings and will be a must-visit during the finals.
#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?
You've read a lot about Mike Babcock, but there's still more to be told about the impact he's had on this team. I don't know that anyone can fully realize how difficult it must have been to transform the Wings into the team they've become since Yzerman retired. I also don't think we'll ever know the friction that existed in that room while Yzerman, Shanahan, Lang were all still there. And I mean friction between Babcock and the vets. He weathered it, built the team the way he envisioned it, and deserves much of the credit for the success this year.
#2. Who has the edge in goal in this series?
I keep reading that Fleury is more talented. Everyone's saying it, so I guess it must be true. I also keep reading that Osgood is a weakness waiting to be exposed. I guess, since it hasn't happened all playoff, or even since he's been back in Detroit for three years now, it's bound to happen this round. Here's what I've seen from Osgood: The Wings don't lose very much in front of him. I'll give him the nod, thanks.
#3. Can a team be too young to win the Cup? (Or ... how big of a factor is experience?)
Too young? Nah. I'll tell you this. Had Edmonton squeeked in, they may have beaten Detroit in the first round. Those young idiots scared the hell out of me. The scary thing about youth is that it comes with infallibility (is that a word James? You're the big-time journalist.). I don't like teams who don't realize the Wings should beat them.
Experience is another matter. The Wings have been through every possible scenario. The Pens have been up 3-0 in every series. It will be interesting to see how they react if they drop one of the first two in Detroit.
#4. Using a haiku (20 words or less) who is your Conn Smythe pick?
Haiku? Like a poem that doesn't rhyme? In Latin? I don't know how to do that. But I dreamt that Mike Babcock spoke to me about that last night and here's what he said: "Hank gets the Conn Smythe. I like cocoa puffs after dinner."
Thanks to Bill for taking some time out of helping Iron Man save the planet. And stay tuned for words from The Pensblog.
Others feel free to add your own Conn Smythe haiku in the comments or on your own blogs.