If I wanted to watch a rematch, I could go buy the 2008 DVD, guys. Yes, Detroit will face Pittsburgh for the right to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup once again. I'm pretty disappointed in the hockey gods on this one. Of course, I hate Pittsburgh with a passion. It's the law in Philadelphia, and nobody here wants to see them in the Finals again. And that means rooting for Detroit, the Evil Empire of hockey. There's no happy middle ground here.
Most of all though, I'm disappointed because I thought Chicago was clearly the most exciting team in the entire postseason. Watching Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and that Windy City fanbase come alive again after years of hibernation has been invigorating and, in my eyes, the story of the year in the NHL. I was looking forward to a chance to see so many former Flyers in the Finals. Patrick Sharp kept his team alive just a few nights ago when he put an overtime goal behind Chris Osgood to force Game 5. And Ben Eager also played a critical role in his teams sprint to the Conference Finals this year.
On the former Flyer front, though, Chicago has nothing on the Carolina Hurricanes. Captain Rod Brind'Amour is one of the most beloved Flyers of the 1990s. Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg are two of the 'Canes most important defensemen. And goalie Michael Leighton, who surely will go into the Hall of Fame as a Flyer when his career is said and done,
Personal reasons aside, however, I don't think a rematch is good for the growth of the game in the United States. Sure, the league is probably thrilled that their star player is playing on its highest stage again. And certainly, last season's finals was a good series. But, and I'm speaking from opinion here so please feel free to disagree with me, I think fans want to see some parity. I think fans want to see something different every year. I think the average hockey fan would want to see Chicago and Carolina fight for the Cup. Or Boston and San Jose. Or... you know, any matchup besides what we saw a year ago.
But unfortunately, we wont get that series. The Penguins are playing excellent hockey right now and that definitely scares me. But the Wings are the Champions and deserve that respect until they lose the title. Here's to hoping the Penguins don't earn that respect entering the 2009 season.