The what-ifs of the Stanley Cup Finals – Game 7 especially…

June 11th, 2009 by Tambland Leave a reply »

 

This has been an incredible series to watch. Great hockey from both the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ups, downs, and lots of what-ifs. Really, this series has boiled down to the intangibles. Leading into Game 7, a lot of these questions are going to be talked about. And this series will undoubtedly come down to a few more. But I present to you, the best what-if moments of the Stanley Cup Finals.
 
What if:
 
- Malkin had scored on that breakway in Game 1, when the score was still notched at 2-1?
- Abdelkader wasn’t slotted into the lineup, and scored two clutch goals to put it out of reach?
- Abdelkader hadn’t been scratched for Games 3, 4, 5 and 6?
- Hossa hadn’t been silent for most of the series?
- Fleury hadn’t stopped Cleary on that breakaway?
- The Wings hadn’t embarassed the Penguins in Game 5?
- Scuderi hadn’t made 3 impressive saves at the end of Game 6?
- Staal and Kennedy hadn’t stepped up and provided that secondary scoring?
 
So, leading into Game 7 on Friday night, here’s a few more, which could essentially win the Stanley Cup.
 
What if:
 
- Crosby steps up and breaks the jinx at the Joe?
- Malkin provides another dominating performance to finish these playoffs?
- Zetterberg and Datsyuk put on a ‘defense turning into offense’ clinic?
- Hossa breaks out of his funk?
- Fleury makes another game-changing save early in Game 7 (see game-changing save in Game 7 against the Capitals)?
 
All of these factors, and many more, are huge for tomorrow’s game. I refuse to make a call or prediction in this forum. I’ve done it in the past, but it never works out. Just know that we are lucky enough to have a Game 7, and to keep an eye out for these intangibles. Man I love sports.

This has been an incredible series to watch. Great hockey from both the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ups, downs, and lots of what-ifs. Really, this series has boiled down to the intangibles. Leading into Game 7, a lot of these questions are going to be talked about. And this series will undoubtedly come down to a few more. But I present to you, the best what-if moments of the Stanley Cup Finals.

 What if:

- Malkin had scored on that breakway in Game 1, when the score was still notched at 2-1?

- Abdelkader wasn’t slotted into the lineup, and scored two clutch goals to put it out of reach?

- Abdelkader hadn’t been scratched for Games 3, 4, 5 and 6?

- Hossa hadn’t been silent for most of the series?

- Fleury hadn’t stopped Cleary on that breakaway?

- The Wings hadn’t embarassed the Penguins in Game 5?

- Scuderi hadn’t made 3 impressive saves at the end of Game 6?

- Staal and Kennedy hadn’t stepped up and provided that secondary scoring?

 

So, leading into Game 7 on Friday night, here’s a few more, which could essentially win the Stanley Cup.

What if:

- Crosby steps up and breaks the jinx at the Joe?

- Malkin provides another dominating performance to finish these playoffs?

- Zetterberg and Datsyuk put on a ‘defense turning into offense’ clinic?

- Hossa breaks out of his funk?

- Fleury makes another game-changing save early in Game 7 (see game-changing save in Game 7 against the Capitals)?

 

All of these factors, and many more, are huge for tomorrow’s game. I refuse to make a call or prediction in this forum. I’ve done it in the past, but it never works out. Just know that we are lucky enough to have a Game 7, and to keep an eye out for these intangibles. Man I love sports.

 

Stay classy, NHL fans

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8 comments

  1. Chris Nadeau says:

    Great post and conversation piece.

    A lot of “what if’s” there, which really don’t matter right now. :-)

    As you mentioned, this is a great finish to the season and the next big time player could quite possibly show his greatness in Game 7. Should be fun to watch!

  2. Tambland says:

    That’s the great part of NHL playoff hockey. It really could come down to anyone or anything. Remember Uwe Krupp?

  3. Burgundy says:

    Or how about Frantisek Kaberle in 2006… better yet, Ruslan Fedetenko in 2004!

  4. Tambland says:

    I have to give credit to Ian Mendes at Sportsnet for this one, but Mike Rupp:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/blogs/2009/06/10/mendes_sweet_sweet_7/

    Oh man. Legendary.

  5. Fantana says:

    It’s too bad that after tomorrow’s Game 7, we won’t have any hockey until October… sigh… let’s hope tomorrow’s game is a good one!

  6. Justin says:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=425387

    Did you see that post on NHL.com? Crazy how close this series is to the 1971 Montreal Canadians…

    * The Penguins are seeking their third Stanley Cup and first since 1992.
    * The Penguins have never lost a Game 7 on the road (4-0).
    * The Penguins look to emulate the 1971 Montreal Canadiens in multiple categories. The Canadiens are the only club to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the first two games of the Final on the road (vs. Chicago); the only club to win Game 7 of a Final on the road after the home club won the first six games; the only club to win the Stanley Cup with a rookie head coach hired in mid-season (Al MacNeil); and the only Stanley Cup champion to win two Game 7s on the road in the same playoff year (at Boston and Chicago).

    We got this!

  7. Tambland says:

    That’s actually some really impressive stuff. Come on Burgundy. Why can’t we come up with that stuff?

  8. Burgundy says:

    Probably because we aren’t real journalists? Also, the NHL hasn’t approved my application to get into the stats/wicked vault. That’s where you get all sorts of ideas!

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