(Note: I wrote this as Game 5 was winding down. I present it now, with minor changes.)
And the Malik Effect claims another victim. Congratulations, Red Wings.
As much as I hate that team, as much as I think that their fans are (with a few exceptions–three of whom are bloggers) a bunch of drooling moronic n00blets with no class who know exactly dick-all about hockey, as much as I was hoping for them to get pwned a la 1995, I must speak truth here:
They–the Red Wings–are consummate professionals, and in these Finals they gave a clinic in how to completely and totally dismantle a team that had become–and let us be honest here–a disorganized gang that at times in this series could barely find their own nutsacks with a flashlight and a sat-nav unit. I must applaud that.
Anyone who is a fan of the sport must, in my opinion, rise above their hatred and applaud the skill and professionalism shown by the Red Wings. Valour of course doesn’t enter into this equation, not this time–they didn’t have a captain who willed himself to play on one functional leg. They didn’t have to overcome any great adversity or even have to battle back from being on the ropes. They were simply given a task, and like the band of trained assassins that they are the Red Wings terminated their target with extreme prejudice.
I must raise a glass to that. As a fan of hockey, as an admirer of individual skill, I must salute that. I must admire that.
I never said I had to like it, of course. But I must–and I do–respect it.
I must also raise a glass to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who could have rolled over and died. No lie kids, they really looked like they were going to shrivel on the vine much as the Senators did last season. But they didn’t. And do not let my satirical e-mail to NHL Live earlier today fool you–I was cheering for the Pens, and foolishly thought that I’d be able to make a “prediction” and have it fall flat to force a seventh game. I was hoping that that triple-overtime deflation would take the wind out of the Red Wings’ sails and propel the Penguins on to an eventual win.
Sadly, I was the one disappointed. Congratulations, Red Wings.
Thank you, and good night.