Monday, May 05, 2008
On to the Western Conf Finals!
It took another half a period, but the Stars finally, FINALLY, put the Sharks away last night (rather, this morning). I flaked out at 1:00 or so, after the 3rd OT period. Captain Superman (also known as Brendan Morrow) put the game-winner past Nabokov at about 1:25 a.m., Central Daylight Time.
The way I'm feeling this morning, I made the right decision. Another 30 minutes would have likely killed me.
What a game! It's only the semis, so it won't be remembered with the stature of a Finals marathon, but it ranked right up there with the great ones. The first period and, more so, the first OT were as good as you will ever see. I was exhausted after the non-stop end-to-end play of the first OT; I can only imagine (actually, I can't) how the players felt.
So many heroes for the Stars. Turco was unbelievable. THIS is what the guy got that monster contract for. He's earned the right to thumb his nose at all of us who questioned his heart over the past few years. Ribiero, so snake-bit last night, kept firing at the net, only to clang it off the post or be absolutely robbed by Nabokov. And speaking of robbed, Brad Richards should be filling out a police report on that miraculous, how-did-that-not-get-past-the-line glove save Nabokov put on him. Modano, Zubov (still too shaky; perhaps, dare I say it, a bit overrated?), Robidas, the kids on the blue line, Lehtinen, Toby freakin' Peterson, everyone showed something last night.
But the highest praise has to reserved for Captain Brendan Morrow.
I love this type of player - not the fastest, biggest, or most talented guy out there, he makes stuff happen by willing it. A hard-hitting tough guy with talent and enough physical tools to separate him from the goons, this guy is a winner. Things happen around him nearly every shift because he makes them happen. How fitting that he throws the hit of the series on Michalek (who I hope is not seriously hurt) and scores the goal that wins it. If the Stars can keep going, he has a Conn Smythe trophy coming.
Now its on to Detroit. I don't know anything about the Red Wings this year, but we'll all be finding out. How far does this go? I have no idea. Wherever we're going, it's been fun so far, and should be fun as we continue down the road.