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Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood

Experienced Red Wings Outclass Young Penguins

June 05, 2008 05:19 PM
by Denis Cummings
The Detroit Red Wings won their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years, beating the upstart Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

30-Second Summary

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Up three games to two in the series, the Red Wings held a 3-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the game. After Marion Hossa scored to make it 3-2, the Penguins had one final chance as time expired.

But Pittsburgh center Sydney Crosby’s backhander was deflected wide by goaltender Chris Osgood, and Hossa swatted the rebound through the crease as time expired.

“When they scored their second one, we knew it was going to be tight right to the end,” said playoff MVP Henrik Zetterberg. “When I saw 0:00 on the clock, I was a happy man.”

Nicklas Lidstrom became the first European to captain a team to the Stanley Cup. Lidstrom epitomizes the Red Wings’ skill, poise and commitment to finding European talent.

The origins of the Red Wings’ Cup win, and the three that preceded it, can be traced back to 1982, when current senior vice president Jim Devallano was named general manager. Inheriting an organization in a two-decade slump, Devallano transformed the Red Wings into perennial Cup contenders on a foundation of underscouted European players.

Many expect to see the young, talented Penguins back in the finals in the coming years. If they can successfully manage the salary cap, the Penguins may follow the same path as the 1983 Oilers, who formed one of the NHL’s great dynasties after losing the Stanley Cup.

The NHL certainly hopes that the Penguins can rebound. Much of the league’s marketing efforts have focused on 20-year old Sydney Crosby, and it hoped that having him in the final would boost the television audience.

Television ratings were up but still lagged far behind other sports’ championships. There is hope for the future, though, if other finals can produce the same quality of hockey seen this year. “This series will be remembered as the rebirth of engrossing, play-until-you-drop hockey,” writes Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Headline Link: Red Wings Win Stanley Cup

Video: Game highlights

Background: Building the Red Wings

Key Players: Lidstrom, Osgood and Drake

Opinion & Analysis: The future of the Wings and Pens

Related Topics: Stanley Cup ratings

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