Thursday, May 8, 2008
Stars/Wings: NHL Western Conference Preview
Do I care who wins this series? No. But as benevolent dictator of SUS, sometimes I'm forced to write about things that I don't care about for the good of SUS nation.
So let's talk us some Stars/Wings hockey! First things first, I hate both of these teams. The Wings are the one NHL team challenging the Devils for best-dynasty-since-1990 status. And the Stars, meanwhile, dared to challenge the Devils in the 99-00 Cup Finals, trying to take down the greatest Devil team ever assembled.
Everyone keeps talking about this Wings team as one of the deepest teams ever assembled. And that's true for their forwards and defensemen. But saying that they have depth at goalie with Osgood and Hasek is like saying that the Raiders had depth at Running Back with Dominic Rhodes, Justin Vargas, and Michael Bush. Sure, there's a bunch of bodies, but is the talent still there? And in the case of the Wings, Osgood and Hasek were both damn good goalies; hall of fame in the case of Hasek. But that was all in a pre-9/11 world. Ever since Osama Bin Laden and Co. tried to take down America, Hasek has been a good but injury prone goalie who may or may not be celebrating his 50th birthday in the near future. Was Hasek affected by the attack on our Towers, the Pentagon, and scenic Shanksville, Pa? Well, no, not at all. But he did start to get old around then. Point being, he sucks now. Neither Hasek nor Osgood should be starting goalies on a Stanley Cup contender at this point in their careers.
But what about the Stars' goalie, Marty Turco? For a long time, Turco was Joe Thornton before Joey T knew how to choke on a giant T-Bone known as the postseason; a great regular season player who decided to pack it in once the weather got warm and the playoffs started. But over the last two years, Turco has turned himself into an elite postseason goalie. I'm not going to bore you with stats, if only because I don't feel like doing research. But last year the Stars lost to the Carmela Decesare-hot Robbie Luongo. And this year, Turco has led a seemingly decent Stars team past the defending champion Ducks and the trendy bandwagon known as the San Jose Sharks.
In a semifinal round that features Turco, Hasek, Osgood, Martin Biron, and Marc-Andre Fleury, dare we say that Turco is the best goalie standing? And don't teams with the best goalies usually win playoff series? Well, yes, except for the fact that in this case, the Wings have probably 8 of the top 10 players, goalies aside. I refuse to believe that the Wings can win it all with their current goalies, but for now, let's say Wings in 6. Simply too much talent, though an upset here would not surprise me.