Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NHL Franchise Empire Building

After just posting about the Penguins remarkable Cup Finals win over Detroit, I think it also makes sense to highlight and link to a couple of excellent articles about how the two team got there (and may well remain at this elite level for years to come).

First came a terribly interesting Sports Illustrated piece by Michael Farber (yep, he does do most of the SI hockey writing) titled "Spirit of '89". Written about the draft in which Detroit took the fairly unheralded Nicklas Lidstrom along with an additional cadre of players who would start the Red Wings resurgence, it's a great look at how the organization operates... and drafts really really well.

After this came not necessarily a companion Pittsburgh piece by Farber, but rather one which showed how the Penguins have perhaps as good of a chance as Detroit to remain at the top level of the NHL year over year. Titled "Same Time Next Year?", it's... a very descriptive title.

Solid stuff and lots of things can change in the NHL (perhaps even more so than with some of the other major sports), but one thing that likely won't soon is these two teams being the ones to beat in their respective conference.

Pittsburgh Penguins - 2009 Stanley Cup Champions

Wild. Absolutely a wild and incredibly entertaining Stanley Cup finals.

Here's a look told through the lens of Michael Farber and his Sports Illustrated articles as well as SI covers (not of course actually sent to all mailboxes in America covers, but covers that you can see on the magazine's website nonetheless).

Started up something like this (and with accompanying story):

Then the Penguins showed amazing resolve... leading up to this (copied from Getty Images):

Finally, it was all over (and written about here by Farber in SI):

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Penguins Gameplan vs Red Wings

I think I figured out the most likely way for the Pens to win the series... put everything out there tonight, get great performances from the stars in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury and hope that the Red Wings stars don't match them.

Then with their victory in hand, try to figure out how to have the Detroit team get food poisoning before a Friday night game 7 back at Joe Louis Arena.

Seriously... the Wings are good.