Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 28, 2021

Yup, this year’s Stanley Cup round is, improbably enough, a repeat performance between last year’s finalists, right down to home-ice advantage for Detroit. There’s a reason why this hasn’t happened since 1983 and 1984, when the Oilers and Islanders split championships — with 28 other teams in the mix, the odds are pretty daunting against a Cup rematch in back-to-back years.

So that situation alone makes this 2009 Finals worth watching. And if that’s not enough, there are these storylines:

- The eerie parallels between ‘83-84 and now, including the Penguins’ youth versus the Wings’ veteran dominance, the dynastic possibilities, star-player power, etc. The longer-term difference this time around will be keeping the core of this Pens team together long enough to make a run at multiple Cups, with the salary cap working against continuity (sorta).

- The Marian Hossa factor. The defection to Detroit after his Finals run with Pittsburgh last year, specifically to enhance his chance to win a Cup, only to have to face his former team for that trophy, is the most delicious of ironies. It couldn’t have been scripted better.

- While everyone’s anticipating this as the start of an Oilers-like dynasty for the Penguins, I’m more intrigued by the opposite possibility: A Buffalo Bills-like run of four (or more?) championship appearance in a row for Pittsburgh, and coming up empty each time. Not that I wish bad luck to the Pens or their players specifically — but it would be funny.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/28/2009 11:51:37 AM
Category: Hockey
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