Everyone has their reasons for picking who they've picked in the Cup Finals this year.
Of course, it'll all probably turn into a shitshow once the puck drops at 8PM EST in Chicago. If the NHL playoffs have a way to bring people to extremes, the Stanley Cup Finals can do that tenfold. A lot could happen. The Flyers could revert to their old tactics, getting frustrated and taking bad penalties and allowing the Hawks' speed and offense to overwhelm them. The Hawks could snap under the pressure and start showing their youth and inexperience. Somebody's personality is going to come to the forefront. Last season with the Pens we notably saw Malkin, Staal, and Talbot really come into their own. The NHL's "History Will Be Made" ad campaign is pretty mindless, but every good SCF will have a hero, and every good Stanley Cup-winning team will have a story and a whole cavalcade of heroes dating back through each playoff series.
Last season, we remembered almost every Pens game--regular season and playoffs--like episodes of some awesome dramatic HBO-caliber TV series. There are undoubtedly Hawks and Flyers fans who feel that way this season. We don't understand because we didn't follow the Hawks or the Flyers individually, but we salute these people. They're the diehards. They'll be the ones crying in the puddles of champagne ready to riot the Chicago/Philadelphia equivalent of Carson Street. They have the show of a lifetime coming up. You kind of have to be excited for the men and women who will be clawing deliriously at the big screen TV when their captain hoists the Cup. We were those people. We're not ashamed. We're emotionally invested. And just because some people in the world haven't seen the Light and moved to Pittsburgh doesn't mean we don't respect that emotional investment in fans of other franchises.
In short, it's called having perspective. Considering the way that the Penguins reign over our emotions, we consider this a good thing to have. It's the main reason we can't buy into the whole "BUT IT'S THE BelegostING FLYERS" thing. The Pens-Flyers rivalry is a healthy one based in joyful shenanigans like beating the shit out of each other and trash-talking. They are two teams born to hate each other, which has a charming comic-book sensibility about it. At least they're not the Red Wings. At least they're not Swedish.
Hearts will be broken this series either way.
We can't wait to see whose blood, sweat, and tears all go for naught this year. It'll be Belegostin' hot.
All we're saying is that if you bring the hate, bring it with perspective. Blind hatred of franchises makes sense if you're a Pens fan and a Pittsburgh fan. But if you're a hockey fan you have to appreciate what's going to happen over the next couple weeks.
And if the Wach explodes during Game 3 or something, well, we won't tell the cops you said anything.
The fact remains that we don't know what's going to happen. If you'd have told us after Game 2 in Detroit last season that Max Talbot would score 2 goals, including the game-winner, in Game 7, we would have totally believed you, but we would have been drunk on hope and irrationality and still would have shit ourselves when it actually happened. For Detroit the guys who really stepped up were dudes like Helm, Abdelkader, and Ericsson, which they wouldn't have believed earlier in the season, either, most likely. Whose badassery will pay off for his team? Here are our picks in the early going:
POSSIBLE HEROES THIS SCF
Duncan Keith's mouth
Chris Pronger's elbow
The icing that comprises Dustin's fat fat fat soul
Jeff Carter's skeeziness
Kris Versteeg's modelesque beauty
The gap left in stead of Dan Carcillo's front teeth
Who do you think the next hero will be?
I mean except the grease emanating from Patrick Kane's face.
Leave your vote in the comments.
If it's something wildly unlikely and you end up being correct we might send you a present.
People who are already talking offseason business with the Pens need to sit tight and wait for shit to get pertinent.
Re-sign Matt Cooke. And shit. Whatever. It won't hit us til the trade deadline anyway.