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.
- 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.
- 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