This morning there are 29 coaches whose first item of business is placing a phone call to their tech crew and ordering a copy of every single game the Detroit Red Wings played this season. That will mean spending a lot of time in front of a bank of television screens even though the golf course beckons, but there is simply no alternative. At some point this season Detroit gelled into a team that was fated to win the Stanley Cup.
I composed fewer Gratuitous Hockey Posts this year than I have others, and I blame Detroit for that. The excitement factor, for this viewer, was limited entirely to the first game in each series. Did the Nashville Predators have any surprises for Detroit? Not really. The Avs were a talented, albeit injured, crew: could they rattle the Wings? Nope. Okay, Dallas: whattaya got? Um ... nothing?
If coach Mike Babcock looked unflappable, it was because he had no reason to look anything but. Detroit was a machine. They didn't just play a deep, offensive game: they routinely left their opponents skating behind them as they pummeled their goalie with shots. The way Babcock's team was playing, he could have watched the games from home -- along with the bulk of Detroit's fans, who seemed to find the prospect of an 11th Stanley Cup win about as exciting as the rest of us.
This was the team that deserved to win the cup, no doubt about it. I just hope the rest of the league does its homework, because if someone doesn't throw a cog into that machine, the Wings will be gearing up for a long, predictable, extended Stanley Cup legacy.