I've been a hockey fan for as long as I can remember. I can remember Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio and Terry Sawchuck.
I haven't always been a Red Wings fan. I can remember the "Darkness of Harkness" and the "Dead Wings" in the seventies and eighties. I was a fan of the Flyers and the Canadiens and the Islanders during those years. In my lifetime, the Wings have been pitiful. I can remember when they had great regular seasons and failed in the playoffs. I can remember facing the Oilers in the conference finals and failng. I can remember Brad Park being the only Wing back on an Oiler two on one and looking like a fish out of water. I can remember losing a game seven at home to the Maple Leafs in overtime.
I can remember the Wings being the dominating team in the regular season and losing in early rounds of the playoffs.
I can remember being shocked when the Wings lost in the finals to New Jersey.
I can remember crying when the Wings won the first Stanley cup in my lifetime.
Now, the Wings have won multiple Stanley Cups. They are now in the Finals against the Penguins, again.
I love the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They always seem to be decided by someone that most hockey fans have not been heard of before the Finals.
This year, it could be Helm or Filppula (folks from the UP know how to pronounce his name properly), or anyone from the fourth line. The Wings have rolled four line pretty consistently through this year and the playoffs. The hero of the playoffs will probably be someone that most hockey fans have not heard of much this year.
I feel pretty good about the Wings in these playoffs. They are skilled and deep and have good goaltending. I doubted Chris Osgood during the regular season, but he has played out of his mind during the playoffs.
I watched most of the Penguins games during their playoff run, and while they are a good team, they have not played well enough to beat the Wings.
Wings in five.