As we're moving ever closer to the ends of the NHL and NBA seasons, an all important lesson in sports is starting to ring true yet again. While there are always the outliers and exceptions to general rules, it is amazing to look at the teams that have won their respective league's championships and to realize that these teams just know HOW to win championships. The Patriots, the Steelers, the Red Wings, the Lakers -- these teams just have the intangible know-how when it comes to playing in championship games. The Devil Rays, the Arizona Cardinals...these teams have the ability and the talent to win, but it seems that the underdog teams in this respect have a harder time crossing over that barrier to hoisting their league's championship trophies.
Detroit gave a very convincing performance in their first semi-final game against Chicago and, based on that game alone, it seems like they have their foot in the door to the championship. I know it's only one game, but they looked so convincing that they should be able to pull this series out without too much of an issue. And while the Penguins used to be one of those teams that had that winning bug, the new look, Crosby led team hasn't been able to step into the promised land as of yet. I can only hope that the Penguins can pull something out of their hat if they are able to get passed the 'Canes.
But I think, in my heart of hearts, that we will probably see another display of the aforementioned formula. Detroit will go into the Stanley Cup Finals knowing that it is their series to lose. If they just play Detroit hockey and stick to their game plan, they should be able to hoist another trophy. Sigh -- here's hoping I'm wrong!