How fun is it to watch the Stanley Cup Finals 2008 again in 2009??
Well, honestly, not too fun. But if no miracles are to happen to both the Eastern and the Western Conference Finals, we will see the Red Wings and the Penguins battling it out for the Cup again come the end of next week.
Of course, Pittsburgh is aiming to have a complete opposite outcome this year, especially with their improved forward line-up by the addition of Satan, Kunitz and Guerin.
However, the Penguins’ deadliest player last season now plays for the other team. Marian Hossa had 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 games last season, and that’s only because the Penguins won their Prince of Wales Trophy in 14 games!!!
So far in this playoff, Hossa only has 6 goals and 6 assists, but we all know that if he’s to face his old teammates in the finals, he will surely step his play up tremendously. We all remember how he is willing to take a pay-cut to sign with Detroit last season because he wants to win the cup. (Imagine how he feels, if Pittsburgh wins it this year!!!)
In the latest game, game four of the series, with the absence of Datsyuk and Lidstrom, Hossa carried the team on his shoulder with two goal and one assist. One can only imagine the welcome Hossa will get when he steps on the ice in Mellon Arena!
Despite my personal feelings about a rematch in the playoff finals, if this does happen, it will mark the first time in 25 years when two cup finalists meet against each other for two consecutive years.
In 1982-83, Mike Bossy’s Islander faced-off against Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers in the finals. The young oilers were no match against the Islander’s Dynasty Club, which claimed its fourth consecutive Stanley Cup in a four-game sweep.
The next year, the Oilers again met the Islanders in the finals, and this time the fate reversed as Gretzky & co. finished off the Islanders in 5 games, marking the beginning of a new era for the NHL, the Oiler’s Era. (The Oilers will continue to dominate the league with 5 Cups in 7 seasons.)
Can history truly repeats itself? Can this be the year for the shifting of the power?
Can the young penguins, with the talents of Crosby and Malkin (resembling Gretzky and Messier), begin their dynasty this year by defeating the old powerhouse of Detroit and ending their era of dominance (4 cups in the last 10 years)?!
So, maybe, it will be interesting after-all.