Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just Another Reason Why I Love Bill Clement!

I just come across an article by NBC Sports' Bill Clement and thought I'd share it with the rest of my fellow Pens fans because I think Clement is the only person on the face of this earth who believes in the title of his article (other than the 50 million or so Penguins fans around the world!)!!

No repeat for the Red Wings

Yep, that's right! Bill Clement believes that the "almighty" Red Wings will not be able to pull off another championship run this season - FINALLY!! Someone else outside of Pens Nation who has some sense!

Some of the reasons behind his opinion are:
  • too little time to "recharge" - Clement points out that the SCF stretches into June and doesn't leave the two teams much time to recuperate from the highs of the run especially since the players from the championship team will have plenty of people wanting a piece of their time during the off-season to "celebrate" which will cut into the preparation for the upcoming season. Much too little time to rest the mind ("and the body follows the mind; a tired mind leads to a tired body."). In terms of the Penguins, they also face the short off-season but youth is on their side and from the looks of it, it didn't take much for them to recharge (and it doesn't hurt that alot of the players are new and weren't with the "core" for the SC run - some "new legs").
  • it's hard to stay healthy - Clement believes it will be hard for the Red Wings to stay healthy 2 consecutive seasons in a row. I believe it's hard for any group of geriatrics to even survive for 2 consecutive seasons in a row! Let's face it, we've all heard the jokes, but Detroit is considerably "old" in terms of athletes. They're bodies will give up quicker than those much younger and it will catch up with them sooner or later but especially since they have little time to recoup from their successful post-season. Pittsburgh gave them a run for their money so it wouldn't surprise me if they lost a step or two since then especially when the majority of their team is in tact - no "fresh legs." (except Hossa but he doesn't count because one person doesn't make a difference which is why he did nothing to help the Pens)!!
  • Osgood faces pressure to be "the man" - last year Osgood was the back-up for Dominik Hasek and with his recent retirement, Osgood is now Detroit's starting goalie which carries significantly more responsibility and pressure. Clement says that Osgood has the "double load" of being the #1 goalie along with the burden of high expectations for the team to repeat. Can he handle it? I'm banking on not especially with a back-up like Ty Conklin. I've made it clear how I whole-heartedly believe that Osgood was made to look better than he is by his elite defensemen and there's no way that he was as good as everyone made him out to be in the playoffs / SCF and I still believe that. I think Conklin will be added as another burden for the simple fact that I also believe without a doubt that Conklin is a better goalie than Osgood and if given the opportunity to prove it at some point, Osgood is going to lose that confidence and break under the pressure (the secret will come out).

"I’ll close by saying that if the Red Wings do win it all again, I will bow down to them and give them their just recognition and praise as a team that found ways to successfully navigate one the most difficult rocky roads in all of sports – the one that leads to winning consecutive Stanley Cups."

I would never go so far as to "bow down" to the Detroit Red Wings - ever - no matter how good I don't want to admit they are! I'll go as far as licking the crusty bottoms of my shoes if they repeat this year which means there's no chance in hell that they'll be the 2008-2009 SC champions. Hossa needs to start practicing begging and pleading because he just gave up $7 million, security, and the Stanley Cup (again) for a year of a downward spiral with the Detroit Red Wings - EAT IT, WHORE-SA, I mean HOSSA!! You deserve everything you [don't] get this year.

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