In the sports world we frequently deal with hypothetical situations. “What if X team were playing X team?” “If this player weren’t injured they would have won X games.”
We read about these fantastical matchups each day online and we also debate amongst our friends and colleagues. With the Red Wings one game away from the ’09 Stanley Cup Finals, we are now presented with the latest hypothetical: Will the 2009 Detroit Red Wings have an easier/harder time with the Eastern Conference Champion Pittsburgh Penguins?
For Red Wings fans, a number of changes of varying sizes have taken place since they last hoisted the Cup in the Mellon Arena. The biggest change being the acquisition of Marian Hossa from the aforementioned Penguins. Detroit has had some injury issues of late, but the addition of Hossa as a scoring threat makes the Wings extremely dangerous. This team also comes with a swagger having beaten arguably one of the most dangerous teams in Anaheim and having four Cups with their name on it over the last dozen years.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a team out to prove that they are for real. Michel Therrien was replaced midseason by Dan Bylsma and the results have been fantastic. Bill Guerin was a major acquisition at the trade deadline, adding a strong veteran presence to this relatively young team. Plus we have to mention that players like Crosby, Malkin and Fleury all have an additional season of playoff experience under their belts.
Hockey fans around the globe should start preparing now for Crosby overload ’09.