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It's Cup time in the Motor City!
The Red Wings came to do two things win the Cup and chew bubble gum...well I guess they are all out of bubble gum!!!
    -- fayta9
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The Morning Line

Sports Illustrated staff writer Kostya Kennedy checks in after each game of the Stanley Cup finals.

Posted: Wed June 17, 1998

As the Red Wings' bus backed into the MCI Center before Game 4, scads of Wings fans cheered madly from the Washington streets and thunder clapped loudly overhead. With that, it seemed, the hockey gods had ordained fate. The last game was so like all the others: Red Wings everywhere on the ice, Capitals gamely trying to compete. Only this one ended in the most convincing result of the series, 4-1, and with the Red Wings in possession of large, gorgeous, gleaming piece of silver.

They really love that Cup. Amid all the on-ice celebration—and all the wonderful, honest love given to Vladimir Konstantinov—appeared a vision as telling as any. Scotty Bowman, wearing a black Stanley Cup cap, a white Stanley Cup T-shirt, simply smiled. Gone were the lines of angst that had so defined his appearance. The anxious frown had disappeared. His look, for the first time since the playoffs began, was soft and satisfied. He looked younger than he had in months.

Could they have wedged the celebration into smaller quarters? For all the modern convenience of the MCI Center, the visitors' locker room is a cramped and hard-edged place. In it swarmed hundreds of people. Players, roaring, lifted high their bottles in celebration. Camera men pushed through. Players' wives and loved ones sought refuge in open spaces. This was one big, sweaty, champagne-flavored party, and the smallness of the room only added to the intimacy of the frenzy.

In the tributes to Konstantinov, nothing was more impressive to these eyes than those few untelevised moments, before the Cup came out, when Capitals players skated over unprompted to shake Konstaninov's hand and linger a moment by his side. These Caps players had just been spanked for the fourth straight game, and here was a man who had no doubt driven them into the boards at some point in his past. Yet they cared to wish him well. And that, more than anything the Red Wings—who all year have handled the Konstantinov tragedy with real regret and a classy refusal to exploit—could say or do showed how much larger one man's fate is than anything a hockey victory could produce.

Yet the Wings still loved their Cup, and rightfully so. Scotty's face was smoothed. The Captain, Steve Yzerman, laughed in the locker room under sprays of wine. Outside, the thunder had ceased.  

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