Tonight, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the underdog Pittsburgh Penguins will face off against the favored Detroit Red Wings for the biggest prize in professional hockey, the Stanley Cup.
Game Sevens are special moments in all sports that employ seven-game playoffs to determine champions. Game Seven is the ultimate do-or-die game, with desperation on both sides. Lose it and you go home. There is no tomorrow. Don’t leave anything in the locker room. Make no mistakes. All those sports cliches apply.
There have been fifteen Stanley Cup final series’ that went seven games, with the visiting team winning Game Seven only twice. The Penguins are the visiting team in this Game Seven and they can cement a place in the annals of NHL history if they pull this off tonight.
However, in the previous six games, the home team has always won. The last game played in Detroit was a 5-0 embarrassment for the Pens.
Pens forward Petr Sykora injured his foot in his first playing time in a month during Game Six in Pittsburgh. He probably will not play, most likely replaced by Miroslav Satan.
Marian Hossa, who jumped off the Penguins’ ship after last year’s loss in the Stanley Cup Finals in order to give himself a better chance of winning the Cup, has underperformed in this Finals series. It would be good to see that underperformance continue. Meanwhile, the Pens’ captain and star, Sidney Crosby, has been similarly absent for the Finals. He needs to step up and surmount the frustrating Red Wings defense in this do-or-die game. My challenge to Sid: Play the best game of your life and then flip a bird at Hossa while skating around the rink with the precious cup!
That leads us up to the official Turkey Poop Prediction for Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals Series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. But first, let me say that this game is this Turkey’s last real sports excitement until the football season cranks up in the fall. The NBA Finals don’t thrill me much (sorry, Magic) and baseball hasn’t held my interest since 1994. So, I’m ready for the most excitement since Super Bowl XLIII. Back to the business at hand: Vegas has installed the Wings as odds-on, 1-2 favorite, with an over/under of 5.5. Bah! Humbug! 2-1 is a nice payout. I’m going with the Pens, who will win 4-2 and fill that 35-pound cup with IC Lite before flying it to its rightful home in the Mellon Arena. GO PENS!!