Are we sure a Hollywood director wasn’t in the stands of Joe Louis Arena? Because this Game Seven had it all. Well, except for the Red Wings winning.
It was the Pittsburgh Penguins who overwhelmingly won in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, 2-1, despite everything going against them. Every game was won by the home team in this series. Sidney Crosby exited the game after a Johan Franzen body check in the second. The Wings were healthy again. The only positive prior to the game was Dan Bylsma’s lucky burrito.
But when the game was over, two more magical charms were on the Penguins side: Max Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot scored both goals off the clumsy play of Red Wings’ defenseman Brad Stuart, and Fleury turned into Willy Wonka’s factory gates, allowing nothing into the net except for a lone John Ericsson sniper shot in the third. The final moment of the game was Fleury’s, as Nicklas Lidstrom’s last-gasp slapshot was stuffed by the Frenchman.
But the postgame moments belonged to Crosby, the youngest captain to win a Stanley Cup, and Evgeni Malkin, who paraded the Conn Smythe around the Detroit rink.
Who knew rematches could be so gripping? A year ago, it was the Wings reaching glory by downing the Pens in six games. The modern-day rivalry has now been evened, with each team celebrating and shouting inadvertent f-bombs into the camera on each other’s home ice. If sports disallow ties in championship games, then this is as close as we’ll ever get.
It was almost too exciting to be true. If Gary Bettman gets an executive producer credit, we’ll know why.
(Photo credit: Harry How/Getty Images)