---For the fourth time in the last eleven years and for the eleventh time in their storied franchise history, the Detroit Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup. While they took the series four games to two it wasn't easy and the Penguins almost pulled out a miracle finish in game six. Marian Hossa had an attempt go right across the goal line at the buzzer.
While Hockeytown is revelling in its victory it was the Swedish contingent that brought the Cup 'home' to Detroit. For the first time in NHL history the team winning the Cup was Captained by a European. Hey the Rangers and Jagr were supposed to do that according to the drive-by's and the apologists. Anyway, the Swedes were great. Nicklas Lidstrom, three-time Norris Trophy winner, becomes the first European to ever Captain a Stanley Cup winner. Henrik (what a name) Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the series and was tied with teammate Johan Franzen for the most goals in a playoff with thirteen. It was a trifecta for the Swedes and well done.
Some feel good stories. Dallas Drake, a fifteen year vet, hoisting his first Cup after it was passed to him by Lidstrom in a real class act and Chris Osgood taking the place of "The Worlds Greatest Goalie" shone brightly getting two shutouts in the finals. Osgood had a 1.67 GAA in the finals and was 14-4 in the playoffs after taking over from Hasek in the first round. Great move by Red Wing coach, Mike Babcock, who installed the puck possession style of attack. A lot of teams boast of puck possession but the Red Wings is possession with an edge, not the soft perimeter style of the Rangers. Plus, the Red Wings try to make sure they hit anyone who touches a puck.
The Penguins have nothing to be ashamed of, they played well but were up against a team that had already won the President's Trophy and were very well coached. They go into next year with a goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, who has quieted the critics, at least for now, and could be one of the top goalies in the league. They are definitely the team to beat in the East and with the improving Caps and Flyers it should be quite a donnybrook in the NHL East next year. The salary cap will determine how many of their non-star players they will retain. Of course, that goes for most teams. The salary cap will determine the fate of most teams. The cap has already determined the fate of the NHL, the parity league. Bring on the off season.
Congratulations, Red Wings and Hockeytown.