DETROIT -- Tonight, a champion will be crowned.
The Stanley Cup will be in the building at Joe Louis Arena as the Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up the NHL final with a dramatic Game 7 on the banks of the Detroit River. The Wings will try to become back-to-back champs for the first time since 1998 while the Penguins look for their first Cup since 1992.
The talk is over, with the exception of some last minute pre-game instructions.
ďWe have a group of guys in there that we feel weíve got a pretty good handle on whatís going on in our organization, and we talked to each other and gather information from one another,Ē Detroit coach Mike Babcock said this morning.
ďAnd Iíve talked to all the key players on our team in the leadership group. We feel weíre prepared for the opportunity, and weíre excited about the opportunity. I think thatís the key thing here is, just like Iíve heard everyone else say, itís as good as you get. I mean, to me this is what itís all about. And it should be a great game and a lot of fun.Ē
The Penguins are trying to stay calm.
ďI donít know what Iím going to say. Thatís something I usually do in the afternoon of a game. I certainly have thought about it, and Iíve been forced to think about it when I have questions like that,Ē said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. ďThe meeting before the game will be about reminders about what we need to do. I always talk about what to expect from their team, maybe some of the adjustments theyíve made in their game plan or their set breakout or whatever they may have changed, we need to be aware of, reminders that guys are focused on the details given situations.
ďBut that meeting all happens in about six minutes, five minutes. So itís not like in a movie. I think it happens over a course of 15 minutes. Itís a lot more talking in the movies than thereís going to be in that game. Itís about what happens on the ice.Ē