As you know the SBNation network of hockey blogs is forever growing. While the numbers may be few for this season, we've been fortunate enough to have both Stanley Cup teams represented on the site. In response to my initial letter, Christy from Winging it in Motown has sent over some (rival) words of encouragement.
Game #1 of the Stanley Cup Finals begins in 24 hours. Right now, both team's fanbases are filled with optimism regarding their team's shot at winning Lord Stanley's Cup. Let me point out a couple items you missed in your letter to WIM:
First, your team is led by a 20 year old and a 21 year old. Admittedly Crosy and Malkin are two of the top five scorers in the league this postseason, but they struggle to grow anything resembling an actual playoff beard. Compare Crosby's "beard" to that of Kris Draper or Dan Cleary of the Red Wings. No comparison.
Second, your team doesn't have Nicklas Lidstrom. Yes, a European captain has never win the cup before, but neither has a 20 year old captain. His teammates call him the perfect human and it's hard to argue. He's perfectly positioned. He doesn't get easily frustrated. Thanks to James Mirtle's analysis, Detroit has only allowed four goals this postseason with Lidstrom on the penalty kill. In fact, Detroit has actually scored five goals this postseason while on the penalty kill with Lidstrom on the ice. It's hard to truly measure how dominant Lidstrom is on the ice. But trust me, Pens fans are going to get frustrated with the great play of Lidstrom as he averages almost 30 minutes a night.
Third, I am completely happy that the Penguins are getting the picks from the mass media. Keep putting the pressure on Crosby and the gang. It gives the Red Wings even more motivation to prove that a great blend of veteran experience and determination with youthful speed and desire will win. Predictions don't mean squat. The Wings know they have what it takes to defeat the Penguins and they will prove that out on the ice over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks for the space and go Wings!