Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Stanley Cup finals breakdown: Red Wings vs. Penguins

There is often debate about which Stanley Cup matchup might be best for the greater good of the NHL: big market, small market, Canada, West Coast, East Coast.

There's no right answer (just wrong ones, more often than not), but no matter how you cut it, the 2008 Stanley Cup finals have all the makings of a classic matchup between some of the most skilled players in the game.

The Detroit Red Wings are trying to win their fourth Stanley Cup since 1997. They are led by captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who will make his case as the greatest defenseman of all time before he's done. The Pittsburgh Penguins, meanwhile, are led by the finest 1-2 punch in the NHL in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh is in the finals for the first time since 1992, when now-owner Mario Lemieux was leading the club to the second of back-to-back Cup wins. The Red Wings and Pens are the only teams to successfully defend a Cup championship since that year (Detroit won in 1997 and 1998).

While the Red Wings wobbled a bit in the first round (versus Nashville) and the West finals (Dallas), the Penguins will hit the finals boasting a 12-2 postseason record, just slightly more impressive than the Wings' 12-4 record.

More of the breakdown here.

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