I can't say I was in much of hurry to get this recap posted, but I know I've got to get it done. So here it is.
First and foremost you have to give the Detroit Red Wings their incredibly deserved due. They were the best team in the regular season. They recovered from an early hiccup in the first round against the Nashville Predators and played solid in front of Osgood, who came in to replace Dominik Hasek. The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the Stanley Cup Finals the most dynamic offense in the league, and the talented Red Wings defense were able to shut them down. It's painfully tough to swallow, but they have earned it, the Detroit Red Wings are the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions.
As for the Penguins, they could have given up after the Wings shut them out in both games 1 and 2. But they battled back. Games 3 and 4 were hard fought, and entertaining games. Down 3-1 in the series and facing elimination the Penguins came back to win one of the most exciting games in the history of the Stanley Cup, tying it in under a minute, and winning it in the 3rd OT. The Penguins even took Game 6 down to the wire, pulling within one late in the 3rd and having multiple scoring opportunities in the final moments of the game.
In the end it was their performance in games 1 and 2 that did the Penguins in, but they showed what kind of team they were battling back. They have a talented young roster and should remain a Cup contender years down the line. The consensus says they will not be able to resign trade deadline acquisition Marian Hossa, but General Manager Ray Shero will remain busy through the off season trying to resign the other Penguins free agents [including: Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Pascal Dupuis, Brooks Orpik, and Ty Conklin].
All in all, it's been an incredible season, both for my Pittsburgh Penguins, and for the NHL on the whole. Both have showed growth over the past 8 months and hold incredible potential for the 2008-09 season.
But just because the season is now officially over, it doesn't mean Every Facet of the Game will fall silent. In a couple weeks we'll once again be back to the place where it all really starts, the NHL Entry Draft. Then one of my favorite holidays of the year, the 1st of July, free agency begins. And before you know it, in [if my count is correct] only 3 months, 4 weeks, and one day, the NHL will drop the puck on the 08-09 season with the Penguins and Senators in Sweden.
Until then I've got the Pirates [sigh].