The Detroit Red Wings notched an impressive overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals to set up a Stanley Cup final rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins starting Saturday.
Detroit continued to flaunt its amazing depth, as rookie forward Darren Helm scored the goal that lifted the Wings to a 2-1 triumph. So just to recap, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Ericsson, Kris Draper and Tomas Kopecky remained out, Helm scored the game-winner and the Wings will now defend their Stanley Cup titles. The Wings never fail to amaze.
It makes you wonder if some of the injured Boston Bruins would’ve been better off sitting out a game or two against Carolina. But that horse is already long out of the barn, and you’d rather see players tough it out rather than miss time. In Detroit’s case, it continued to prove that it can get by without some of the best players in the league (never mind the team) for a short time. But that doesn’t stop many, including me (probably), from favoring Pittsburgh in the final.
Marian Hossa is hoping that he’s on the right side of the final this time around, while the Penguins think a tougher road to the final might’ve better prepared them this time around. Former Bruins forward Bill Guerin is enjoying the ride alongside Sidney Crosby, and the presence of Guerin, plus Chris Kunitz, could make the Pens a better team than the one Detroit beat last season.
One thing is certain: this is the perfect matchup for the league and its fans. The best organization in hockey against the team led by its best player. I can’t wait.