Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Looking Back One Year. . .

Somehow in all the craziness of late, I missed the anniversary of my first ever post here at Natural Hat Trick Productions - June 3rd, 2008.

And somewhat ironically, that first post came in the middle of a Detroit/Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Final, in between Games 5 and 6.

It was entitled "The Power of a Goalie's Pads" and hilighted how Marc-Andre Fleury had silenced some of his disbelievers with a stellar game 5 performance.

So now, a year and six days later, we find ourselves in a very similar situation. The same two teams battling for the Stanley Cup. The same team heading into the same road arena for a Game 6 with a chance to win the series.

The only difference, on the surface, is while Fleury's heroics stole game 5 last year for his team, his less-than stellar performance in game 5 this year has his team one game away from elimination.

Surely there are different stories this year than last.

No feel-good story of Dallas Drake for Detroit.

Marian Hossa is wearing red and white rather than black and gold.

Niklas Lidstrom has already become the first European to captain his team to a Stanley Cup.

Instead, this time around, Hossa chases that elusive Cup and on his mind, certainly, is the question of "did I make the right decision?" although his coach eloquently feels he has.

Players like Fleury, Malkin, and Crosby are searching for their 1st Cup, while stalwart Detroit players like Lidstrom, Draper, Holmstrom, McCarty, and and Maltby are seeking their 5th.

Pittsburgh is looking to win the Cup for the 1st time since back to back Cups in 1991 and 1992, while Detroit is looking to win back to back Cups for the first time since 1997 and 1998.

The stories vary slightly, they always do, but there are certainly parallels between last years and this years showdown.

We'll find out in two and a half hours (or more) if it ends tonight.

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