Monday, May 26

Reached For Comment, Yogi Berra Said: "Oh Yeah, It's Over."

It's amazing to think that oh so long ago, in the distant past, hockey pundits all over North America...sorry, Canada, were stepping over themselves in excitement over what they all believed would be one of the best and highest scoring Finals ever. That was last Friday. Who would have ever thought what 3 days, a warm veteran goalie and an intimidated Russian former Conn Smythe trophy candidate could do.

Is it that Pittsburgh have played that bad, or is it simply that Detroit is that good? Parts of both, I think. For example: In game 1, Marc-Andre Fleury was bad for two periods. Fist period, super solid. Second period, he bobbles a catchable puck and gets lucky with that double post. He wasn't the same from that point on. He was bad on the Samuelson (game winner) wrap around and he HAS to stop the Zetterberg snap shot. This isn't November. Ty Conklin is not coming in in case you have an off night, Maffer. This isn't even the semi's. This is the 'F' word. Final.

Down at the other end, Chris Osgood has two shutouts, and has played... okay? That's not to take anything away from him. Two shutouts, back to back is awesome in October, let alone in the final, but he just hasn't really been tested because everyone else on that team is so fucking good. The irony in this is that Osgood will now win the Conn Smythe and we who read about hockey in the spring will have to endure even more lazy journalists writing terrible punny headlines like: "So Far, So Osgood", and "Osgood, Os Great" and "Osgood As It Gets". I'm looking at you, everyone who writes for The Sun media.

Strangely, watching how dynamite this Wings team is in a way shows you how good the Pens are. Detroit is clicking so well, you see that if this were any other team playing them, the scores so far wouldn't be 4-0 and 3-0, they would have been 8-0 and 6-0. This series is over though. Pittsburgh will take one of the two in Mellon, (probably game 3) which conveniently sets up the Wings to win it at home.

Oh, hey, can any sports network out there produce and air a package about Nick Lidstrom? I certainly haven't seen any, and I'd love to see what it's like when every hockey personality on Earth waxes rhapsodic about Lidstrom's skills as a defenseman. Or go on and on about how classy he is. Or go on about how he leads not with words, but by example. Or go on and on and on about how he might be the first European to Captain a Cup team. Wow, the media really hasn't picked up on this under-the-radar player.

Here's something: Versus reports that game 1 Final rating is up 157% over last year. Raising the total number of U.S. viewers to 157. Whoa, whoa, let's not break out the bubbly too quick, Commissioner! These "good" numbers will disappear when the series shifts over to NBC for game 3. Moving a show around the schedule is horrible for its ratings potential, and moving networks is fatal. The average sports viewer can't use the channel changer with his left hand let alone traverse the cable line up from channel 267 to 4. But hey, at least Commissioner Gary opened up the Sunbelt, right? Click on the flow chart below for the whole, awful ratings story: