They don’t even need Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuk. It’s now two games to none for the Detroit Red Wings.
What’s this about parity in the NHL? That’s what the spin doctors say. They tell us the league is so evenly-matched now that any team can beat any other team on most nights. Maybe that’s the case during the long, drawn-out regular season when Atlanta or Toronto and other teams of that ilk might beat the Wings or Pittsburgh on certain nights. And that’s what the league brass likes to play up. Everything’s up for grabs. Anyone can win. Anytime.
But the regular season isn’t the playoffs, which is when a team like Detroit, full of depth, speed, stars, experience and magnificent role players put their skates on for real, and that’s when the Atlanta’s and Toronto’s of the league would never stand a chance. And seeing Detroit, and also Pittsburgh, perform in this final series only magnifies just how much work the Montreal Canadiens have to do before they become a serious threat. Detroit in particular just has too much going for them, throughout the lineup.
There’s no parity in the NHL. The cream eventually rises to the top. 98% of teams in the NHL wouldn’t have a sniff against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals. Even the Pittsburgh Penguins, with two of the league’s best players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, skating for them, haven’t shown that they can win this series. They’ve had their chances these past two games but still can’t win. Detroit just knows how to get the job done, even when they’re not playing their best. Even when one of the finest players in the league, Pavel Datsyuk, is missing from the Wings lineup and one of the best dirty-nosed grinders in the league, Kris Draper, is sidelined.
Parity? Any team can beat any team on any given night? Right. If you believe that, you believe Gary Bettman would like a team in Hamilton, and that Phoenix is a solid hockey market.