Canucks and Beyond

Changing "The Script"

05/26/2008 at 1:34pm EDT

Time to go home, Pittsburgh. No more games for you.

You’re clearly out-matched, have no business being in these Stanley Cup Finals, and frankly, we’re a bit concerned Evgeni Malkin is going to hurt himself.

What, you say? You don’t think you’re out of it yet? You think you CAN win a couple games?

Oh yeah, right. It’s a best-of-7 series.

But you can’t blame me for being confused. I’ve been following the hockey coverage and the overwhelming theme thus far is: You’re outclassed.

As a Canucks fan I don’t have a horse in this race (which, alas, is nothing new). So, being accustomed to cheering for underdogs as I am, I’m on that Penguins bandwagon.

But more important than my own bias, Crosby/Roberts/Fleury can do everyone a favor by winning that freakin’ game tonight. The Red Wings Stanley Cup Parade currently being planned by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association could use a temporary derailing.

Just even-up this series tonight and at least you’ll change the script, currently a monotonous theme orienting around “overmatched Pens and experienced Wings.” Not that this mantra wasn’t true for game #1, but for the whole series based on one game??

Bah. Win game two and the script changes dramatically.

Although that brings to mind another problem…

If Pittsburgh were to win tonight’s game and (God forbid) their first home game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, I fear we’ll have the same—but opposite—problem: a new script of, “young Penguins want it more!”

Sigh. It’s the problem of hockey coverage at playoff time: Everyone seems convinced it’s a sprint and no one remembers that the race is paced. Winning the Stanley Cup is truly a test of endurance.

Two of the top teams in the NHL are facing off for the Stanley Cup, and they both know it’s a long-haul, as do most of their fans. Why is it that professional hockey writers always seem to struggle with this idea?

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