Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
This is California so there must be karma, none of it good for the estimable Phillips. But before we turn to the mayhem of the 6-2 capitulation to Anaheim in Game 5 that ended the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, turn the clock back a few days. In Game 4, Phillips broke his skate blade in the third period. When he put on his backup pair, one of the blades hadn't been properly sharpened. He skated off quickly after taking a quick turn, but fellow defenseman Wade Redden wasn't quite ready for the surprise change and Teemu Selanne swept in past the defenseman to set up Dustin Penner for the winning goal in the pivotal game of the series.
But at least that bit of buzzard's luck was masked by the confusion at the Ottawa bench -- unlike the nationally-televised crisis in the finale Wednesday where the LaBrea Tar Pits weren't deep enough to mask Phillips' gaffes:
On Andy McDonald's opening score for the Ducks, the puck glanced off Phillips' foot.
On Rob Niedermayer's second goal, Phillips made a bad pinch at the Ducks' blue line and Niedermayer skated down the wing and scored on a backhander.
Of course, those were the canapes before the Bucknerian gaffe du jour -- known in the NHL as a Steve Smith.
With Ottawa trailing 2-1, Phillips was wheeling behind the net, chased by Rob Niedermayer. Niedermayer stuck out his stick and gave Phillips a little tap on the lumber just as the defenseman was moving the puck to his backhand, causing him to nudge the puck back in Ray Emery's feet and -- gulp -- into the net.
For Phillips, it was the only goal (or point) he would score in the playoffs.
"Now I know how Steve Smith feels," Phillips said of the former Edmonton defenseman who banked a puck off Oiler goalie Grant Fuhr's skate and in for the winning goal in a Game 7 against the Calgary Flames in 1986, an error effectively interrupting the Oilers' dynasty. "I was trying to pull [the puck] out and go the other way and it got caught in [Emery's feet] and I couldn't get it back."
"That was, I guess, the Edmonton Oilers, Steve Smith, a number of years ago," said Ottawa coach Bryan Murray. "Puts your team in a hole."
The real pity is Phillips and his partner, the sturdy Anton Volchenkov, generally were superb in the playoffs. The shutdown pair is the best in the Eastern Conference -- and that, perhaps, is the neatest and most complete explanation for the Ducks' five-game Stanley Cup triumph, which made Anaheim the 19th franchise, and the first from California, to win the Cup since the NHL took control of it in 1927. Forget for the moment that Emery, other than his brilliant work in a 1-0 loss in Game 2, played without much technique or brio or that Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley might as well have had their hockey cards on a milk carton in the final or that the Phillips, a classy player, was on the ice for a scapegoat kind of goal that will live in memory far longer than it deserves.
The difference might be as simple as East and West.
The Ducks were battle-tested, playing in a better division than Ottawa and certainly a better conference. The West is simply bigger and tougher, the kind of hockey necessities that exist in the post-lockout NHL and will continue to do so as long as players are willing to lose teeth in pursuit of a vulcanized piece of rubber. Instead of the smallish and skilled teams that the Senators needed to beat in the last two rounds (New Jersey, then Buffalo) to reach the final, Anaheim had to claw its way through more imposing teams, including Detroit. Indeed, Ottawa would probably be no better than the fourth or maybe the fifth best team in the West, behind the Ducks, Red Wings, San Jose and perhaps Nashville. If the abbreviated final was proof of anything -- beyond the eternal importance of goaltending -- it highlighted the attributes size, speed and intimidation. In the one match the Senators did win, Game 3, they actually pushed back and forced the Ducks on their heels. The rest of the time, the Senators were pinatas, whacked around by the checking line of Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Niedermayer and generally controlled by the big, high-end Anaheim defenseman like François Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer and, when he wasn't being dragged to the principal's office, Chris Pronger.
Ottawa can't help change geography, but general manager John Muckler and Murray can continue to change the chemistry. They succeeded, for the large part, in making the formerly fancy-dan Senators into a blue-collar group, but in the end they were still horse-collared by a more relentless team that shoved them around in two different time zones.
Chris Phillips -- you just happened to be on the wrong team at the wrong time.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Well, as a bitter Leaf's fan, I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at the Sens misfortunes. However, as a Canadian hockey fan, I couldn't bring myself to cheer for Anaheim. But at least I watched. Anaheim deserved the Cup this year, and with the hockey gods bidding, I'll be able to get excited about the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008. Go Leafs Go!
Forget a blunder by Phillips that cost them a single goal, maybe the momentum, and look at the big picture. For the past few seasons except this one, everyone picked the Sens to win it all...and the pressure/expectation crushed them. This year no one picks them, they play firewagon hockey, beat the best in the East, and what happens?...they get to the finals, become "Canada's Team", i.e. enter the pressure/expectation, and the true Sens show up...CRUSHED! Where was the Sens heart in this series??? And after watching game 5, I thought "were Heatley and Fairweather Spezza even in the line-up?"...oh well, maybe the Habs can have a turn in the finals next year. Cheers from "The Rock" aka Newfoundland!
the style of play in the west in different, but only cause the ref's allow it...the refereeing(or lack thereof) in the west compared to the east in the playoffs was terrible...Pronger should of been gone for the rest of the finals with the second suspension,Niedermayer definately threw an elbow to put out Vancouver, and Beauchemin was clutching and grabbing more than Chuck Liddell...it's starting to look like a rumour I heard 6-7 years ago is true, the NHL doesn't want another Canadian team to win the Cup...if they did, the games would have been called quite different
Let's be proud of a team that wasn't even supposed to make it this far. They did a fantastic job with a young group, a group who have never made it to the show before. We're proud of them! Thanks for an awesome season!!!!
What a complex hockey fans in Canada have. This isn't the USA vs. Canada in the finals. Its NHL players representing their respective cities. Why make this out to be something its not. The Canadian mentality is "bring the cup back home where it belongs, boys". How pathetic is that!? I don't recall anyone in the US freaking out when Toronto won consecutive World Series titles in the 90's. The majority of Anaheim Ducks are from Canada, so guess what? They get to bring the cup home for their one day this summer. So remember Canada, it's still your game no matter where the champion resides because not many people in the States really care.
Congrats to the Ducks !!! Ottawa was thoroughly outplayed !! The only thing sweeter would have been for Pronger to knock out Neil ! After that crap Alfredsson pulled, hope he never touches the Cup !!
Anybody who paid any attention to the Western Conference this year (and there were not too many doing that with Sydney Crosby in the East) knew that this was going to happen. It didn't matter which team in the East made it or which team in the West, the Cup was going out west of the Mississippi this year. Those western teams were tough, had great goaltending, played solid defense... playoff hockey. That said, I disagree that Phillips gets the torch for the Sens' futility. If not for Phillips, they never would have gotten this far. The fluke goal he scored on Emery would not have made a lick of difference in the end. It was the Ducks' year. If anyone even remembers that goal next year, then it will be the most overrated moment in Finals history.
We seem to forget that they actually made it to the finals. Yes, they lost, in a somewhat uninspiring way, but how can we dump on them for accomplishing more in 16 years than the Leafs have done in 40?
I am a Sens fan - have been since they came to Ottawa, and am very proud of them. You should be too.
Decent article but to say that the West is four or five teams better than the East is a huge stretch if not a blatant lie. Some teams match up better against others and those matchups can alter the outcome of the playoffs tremendously. Also, there is no way that the Ducks division even compares to the Sens division. I mean is anybody scared of the Kings and Coyotes? The West has the worst teams at the bottom which leads to the inflated points the top teams of the west have. Anaheim is the only team that could have won the cup for the west, all the others would have been no match for the Sens or the Sabres.
Let's hear from all those Sens fans that were crowing about how great the Sens were while they were beating Buffalo - not quite as good or as tough as you thought, eh? Way to show up for the finals, Sens. The looks on the Sens' faces at the end of the game were priceless - like their puppies had been run over by a steamroller. At least the Cup is where it belongs, in sunny Southern California. What, you thought it belonged in the capital of Canada? Ha ha ha ha ha. By the way, I'm a Sabres fan - this is the next best thing to winning the Cup.
The article was alright but to say that the Senators would have lost to any of the four team mentions is a ridiculous comment to make. The more likely senario is that the Ducks were the only team able to win the Cup for the West. Either the Sens or the Sabres could have pretty easily beaten the other West teams in no more than six games. Also, the Western Conference as a whole is worst than the East especially when you consider all the punching bags (including the TWO in the Ducks own division - Kings, Coyotes) inflate the points the top teams have. The Ducks are the best team in the NHL, but the Eastern Conference would own the next two to three spots.
Philly was a tower through the playoffs and didn't deserve what happened in game 5. The Boys played with heart but a couple of keys disappeared, namely #15 and #19. I'm sure in a week or two the pain will go and we will remember our Sens got all the way to the finals but it hurts right now. Farber does seem to forget that the supposed weaker East has won the last two. As for the East, well hopefully the boys will be back next year for another run - The Peguino's will be a harsher test but the Sabres will be dismantled this summer (anyone notice that the Ducks did to the Sens exactly what the Sens did to the Sabres?) - Carolina's old as is Tampa and Jersey - Habs aren't good and well - they don't call them the Laff's for nothing - so I still think the Sens are the class of the East - then again those friggin Ducks are all what? 23? I mean I've got skates older than Getzlaf and Perry - and they're still sharp!!!
Having said that I'd like to thank the Sens for giving us a wonderful run - shame that the Cup goes to another city where no one knows or cares about it - hey maybe they'll bring it to a horse track?
Anyone that watched this season and the playoffs knew that Anaheim was the better team. Just too strong for Ottawa, offensive skill spread among more players, able to come in waves against the defence. If they played 82 games against each other, Anaheim would probably win 65+, but in 7 games a little more chance comes into play, just didn't quite work out this time. Ottawa needs to get a bit bigger, and needs a playmaker on the 2nd line if they are going to get it done. I'll probably get some flack for this, but they need a better goaltender as well. Emery got lots of rave reviews for some performances this post-season, but in my opinion, a Stanley Cup winning goaltender shouldn't be praised for having exceptional games, it should be par for the course. And no soft goals either, way too many of those given up as well.
Anonymous wrote at 6:43 that Canadian fans have a complex and that American fans don't care. Well, that's precisely why fans here want a Canadian team to win. Professional sports teams, as you said, represent their respective cities and it would mean far more to any Canadian city that it would for any American city, including Detroit/Colorado/Philadelphia. One million people showed up in Toronto for the Jays victory parades--you don't have a parking lot big enough to fit everyone who would show up if the Leafs (or Oilers, Canucks, Habs etc.) won. However, Anaheim was clearly the better team.
One thing I did notice is that the Ducks could have showed some class and removed their Cup lids during the handshake, that was a disgrace.
Congrats to the Ducks for FINALLY showing up in the playoffs. They played less than deserving hockey in the first three rounds (I know they won but against Detroit they were lucky in 2 of their wins) but they did prove in the Finals why they were the pre-season favourite to win the Cup.
Some points to make on some of the comments out there so far: First, the goal by Phillips will be made out to be far worse than it actually was. It wasn't so much a gaffe by Phillips as it was an outstanding forecheck by Niedermeyer. If RN wasn't doing his job, that play wouldn't be talked about today. Second, saying that Emery's play in these playoffs was far above what he did in the season and that Giguere played the same way as he did during the season is also wrong. How many goalies did little in the season and came out to have unbelievable playoffs? Cam Ward anyone? How about Miller? Or does anyone even recall that little known goalie in 1986 named Patrick Roy? Goalies are known for stealing the Cup from more deserving teams. And this year, Giguere had to play better than in the regular season cause the guys in front of him were spending more time in the sin bin than before. And Emery did play better than he did during the season, but not much better when compared to the last 20-30 games. The problem here was those in front of him weren't doing their jobs. And finally, saying that Ottawa is at best a 4th place team compared to the others in the West is also wrong. The fact that the two conferences play different styles is a product of the scheduling. If they played more games against each other you would see more of the same style on both sides. Watching these playoffs, the Senators are probably fourth best in the league behind Anahiem, Buffalo, and San Jose (just lacking confidence). Next season will be different after all the free agent movements but at most I see Ottawa moving up to second in the league ... third for sure. Take a look at their UFA's and you will see that the only one of any importance is Dean McAmmond and maybe Tom Preissing. And I'm speaking as a fan in the West of a West team.
I was kind of hoping that the Sens would win this series, but it's tough to argue that Anaheim won because of some NHL conspiracy to keep the Cup out of Canada. It was blatantly obvious that the Ducks wanted this series very badly, and that Ottawa just wasn't very interested in playing the games. Watching last night's game, I couldn't help feeling that the score didn't really convey how lopsided the game was - and the score was a blowout.
So, congrats to the Ducks. In particular, it did my heart good to see Selanne and Giguere finally get to raise the Cup (almost made up for having to see Pronger and May raise it, which made me want to vomit).
anonymous at 2:09AM:
how can you complain about a conspriacy against Canada eh teams? the refs gave Ottowa all kids of free passes...the Sens dove, they went six-strides-and-elbows-high, and let Alfredsson's classless chump act slide...i'm surprised the refs didn't disallow the own-goal simply because it went off Emery's skate...your argument is a Zepplin out of hot air heading into Lake Erie
The Canadian conspiracy is kind of bunk. The opposite conspiracy is "The NHL gives a Canadian team all the breaks in the playoffs to keep them through until the Cup Finals." As logical as it is to argue that, since no Canadian team's won the Cup since the Habs, the NHL's trying to keep it stateside, it's just as logical to say that the NHL keeps a Canadian team in it to keep Canadians interested.
Obviously, neither makes sense. Blaming the officiating is the first resort of a team that can't admit it just wasn't good enough.
Any idiot that states there is some conspiracy to keep the cup in the US is not speaking FOR hockey fans in this country. Ottawa was successful this playoff run because they played disciplined hockey, stuck to their game plan and fore checked; none of which they did against Anaheim. Short of one period of hockey, they looked flat, unorganized and out worked.
They made Buffalo (the Presidents Trophy winner) look like a Junior A team this year and did it by shutting down their "high flying" offense by having a solid game plan that they stuck with. Very few teams with no experienced players ever having been to a cup final or possibly having won one before have been successful their first time through. Each team played over 100 games this season and the durability and mental challenge can be a daunting task to any team.
I am a little tired of hearing how the Leafs fans are happy and they knew it was coming, given the fact that had Ottawa continued their successful run they would have continued with their seat on the bandwagon. Its hockey, not world politics...give them their respect and stop believing that unless your team wins, its bad for the game.
I'm a Sens fan living in California. I was brought up in the Canadian hockey system to both win and lose gracefully. Therefore, with class, I tip my hat to the Ducks who played an outstanding series. Although it was hard to watch, they outplayed the Sens... for all combined reasons. It was nice to see Selanne, who truly is a class act, win.
Sens will have their time. Stay on the path.
>>>I don't recall anyone in the US freaking out when Toronto won consecutive World Series titles in the 90's.
Then you have a really poor memory. That exact comment was all over the place at the start of 1994, and there was no shortage of people talking about how Canada didn't "deserve" to have the trophy. BTW, I do agree with you re: what it *should* be. But that's not how it is.
Who is anonymous trying to kid? I too am a Leaf fan, but after watching the calibre of hockey evident in the last two rounds of the playoffs, especially the western conference, it just proves how far the Leafs are from being a contender for the Stanley Cup.
Anaheim has 3 well balanced lines and a very strong defence and excellent goaltending. All of which the Leafs lack.
Instead of chukling at the Senators misfortune, Leaf fans should hope that MLSE takes some lessons from the Anaheims and Ottawas.
Lets face it Ottawa is a great team
who was beaten by even a greater team.
Dream on Leaf fans! Until John Fergusson Jr. the leafs will be mired in mediocrity.
hey Farber, when is Muir gonna come out of hiding and acknowledge the Ducks win? or is he gonna cry for Canada? either way, his chumpness needs to say something
I am wondering, after this Stanley Cup series win by the most penalized hockey team this season, how General Managers will react to the next draft. Will they go after the goons like Chris Pronger? Or will they go after
talent? After all, the Philadelphia Flyers created a dynasty with their bully tactics. Remember?
The Sens may not have made it all the way but their fans are always behind them. Ottawa IS HOCKEY COUNTRY. You are all welcome to check out the RED ZONE and RED MILE in May / June 2008!! Go Sens Go...but for now Golf Sens Golf.
I'm a native Californian and have been to many Ducks games over the years (including last night's clincher)! Believe it or not, there are quite a few of us in sunny CA who love our Ducks and hockey!! Bear in mind, CA has a lot to offer besides hockey so excuse us if we don't live and breath hockey 24/7 - though these past few weeks it's been hard to concentrate on anything else. I understand why most Canadians are upset that the Cup will not be crossing the border again this year but we'll take good care of it. Just think of it as being on a nice summer vacation. Disneyland anyone??
Calling Pronger a goon is going a bit too far. Chris Pronger is a very skilled hockey player who admittedly plays a very physical game. A goon is a player who is only on the ice for one purpose and that is not to score goals.
Yes the Ducks were the most penalized team in hockey. However, due to the skill of their team and ability to kill penalties they were able to win the Stanley Cup.
Ottawa had a number of 5 on 3 power plays that they couldnt convert. Furthermore, in the new NHL, a lousy team gets outscored while killing the penalties. Just look at our Leafs.
Get over it guys and gals. Anaheim are the champs because they deserve to be.
Finally, let the NHL owners and governors address hits to the head just as they have done in the NFL. If you can give an automatic penalty for flipping the puck out of the rink a similar automatic penalty can be given for hits to the head or for hits from behind for that matter. Once in place the players will adjust just as they have done to all the other rule adjustments.
The players will not police themselves as they did in the pre exapasnion era.
The league must do it for them.
I was there last night, as well as game 1. Let's not forget this was a near sweep. 5 Games is all it took for Ducks to rout the Sen's. The Ducks may play rough and tough hockey, but hey, that's hockey. The Sen's play dirty. Shooting after the whistle, aiming at opposing players (Alfie), and take dives, (Emery). The Ducks were 16-5 in the post. You can't argue that the better team didn't win. In 2003 the Ducks took a better team in the Devils to 7 games....the Sen's; the East's "best" team only got to play 5. Don't cry Canada, at least your athem sound's cool in two languages. ----A True Ducks Fan.
It's amazing.. every championship series in pro sports brings out the "JFK conspiracy" theorists, (Somehow the NHL is against "us" or the refs hate "us", says the fan of the losing team)...the "let them eat cake" folks (The cup belongs here, where it "belongs" because X amount of fans like the game)... and the ever popular, "You cheated, and I don't like you, and my daddy is bigger, and my brother will beat you up" schoolyard whiners when things go the other way. Doesn't matter who plays or who wins, these folks show up like clockwork. Boo hoo hoo! Woe is me! Lads, grow up and leave the play-doh for the kindergarteners.
EVERY TEAM had seven chances in each series to win. Some, like Anaheim, Ottawa, Buffalo and Detroit, won more games than San Jose, New Jersey, Montreal, and Calgary, etc. They went further by winning a SERIES and got to play for their division crowns. Ott and Ana won theirs, and fought it out for the Cup. Ana flat out thought, out lucked, (I don't know if out hit, Fisher was a madman out there) but did flat out play Ottawa and won 4 games to 1. Oh, and EVERY TEAM has villians, some justly deserved because of crappy play(s) and some because of a case if the idiot showing up.. Pronger, Neil, Alfredsson, May; were less than stellar gentlemen this season, but don't forget there are lots of others; Tucker, Janssen, Bertuzzi, Hatcher etc.. the list goes on and on.
Anaheim (an NHL franchse stocked with more Canadians than Ottawa) won by beating a ton of good teams. Ottawa fans, buck up! The Senators are an annual contender, and someday they will raise a banner... unless a UFO lands and zaps all the skates and pads and sticks and.......
The way the Sens played the first 3 series' in the East was nice. They played good hockey with solid defence (Emery never faced a lot of shots) and good special teams. Of course, they played 3 teams with very little, if any, toughness. Buffalo? Their toughest guy is their coach! So, they go up against a team that's been playing tough hockey all year because they play in the West and they get run out of the building. Was anyone really surprised? Compare the interconference games and the West beat up the East this year. Seriously, who would be a "physical" team from the East? Philly? Toronto? The league likes all the faster action and higher scoring in the regular season, but the playoffs are about toughness, grit, and hard work. It's a very long playoff season and toughness will usually be the deciding factor.
It looked like after game 2 the Sens were tired of getting hit. Everytime one of them touched the puck they'd stop and look around for the sure-to-be-coming hit from a Duck. They stopped skating the Ducks kept up the physical play.
Good season, Sens. Hopefully you'll pick up the 2 or 3 pieces you need to win it all next year. Of course, I doubt Pronger will be available for 60 cents on the dollar like he was last offseason, but you never know.
Maybe hockey isn't as big in So Cal as in Canada but the win means the same to the players no matter where they play. That's what's important. The Ducks outhit, outclassed and thoroughly outplayed the Sens and we didn't have to dive(Emery) or kick a puck in the net(Alfredsson) to win. I was there to watch them win The Stanley Cup and it was so awesome. I'm a die hard Ducks and hockey fan and you know what, I live in sunny California and I DID decorate my yard and my car! Can't wait for Saturday to celebrate in the parking lot. WAY TO GO DUCKS!!!!!!
First things first, I wanted the Sens to win. I'm not a Pronger, Rob Niedermayer fan. I think Scott Niedermayer is a great player, comparable to Bobby Orr now. I was nice to see Selanne get a Cup. That being said, the Sens didn't show for the finals....period. Wade Reddon, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza were all no shows. These guys are big-time players and in big-time games/series they need to show up and they didn't. Emery let a couple a REALLY bad goals in...but he also stop some. The bottom line you can't expected to win games playing 35 out of 60 minutes, it just doesn't happen, now the Cup is in Ca. were around 20,000 people care about it. I'm speaking as a Flyers fan in Philly. When we tried to trade Forsberg to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan, I would have taken Ryan Getzlaf.
Some comments after reading the posts:
- first and foremost, I am a Canadian and a staunch Habs fan.
- there is no conspiracy to keep the cup out of Canada and anyone who thinks this is just bitter. Just for fun, count the number of Canadians on the Ducks roster. I think it is around 16. And of those count how many points they scored. Conspiracy, no. Better team, yes.
- Phillips didn't cost the Sens the cup. The whole team lacked drive and energy to even make this a competetive series.
- did pressure play a part on the Sens performance? I don't know but if I had to answer yes or no I would say no. In some way I truly think they ran out of gas.
- Is the West better? For this year you can answer: yes.
- The Ducks won fairly.
- both teams had cheap shots
- the officiating was okay but not great
- In my opinion Pronger is not a goon but he was not the smartest player on the ice.
- For the Leafs fans that are happy to see the Sens lose and openly state that -- enjoy!! Everyone knows that those that have inferiority complexes lash out at those they are threatened by. That and you are just jealous that the Sens had a chance to win; because you know the only cup the Leafs players will hoist for quite some time is that of the athletic support variety.
- for the person that commented that there were not any ill feelings from Americans when the Blue Jays won the World Series the first time, I would have to strongly disagree. I was in the U.S. at the time and saw several people comment quite openly about what they deemed a "travesty" of the fall classic.
Congrats to the Ducks for the win and congrats to the Sens for some marked improvement.
Congrats to the Ducks for their total dismantling of the Sens and everyone else they whooped to win the Cup (including my Minnesota Wild). To those of you who disagree that the West could have sent 4-5 teams to the finals and won---WAKE UP!!!! The West is better than the East - by far - not even close. The west went 82-48-20 head-to-head against the East this year. Only 2 Western teams had losing records against the East. Someone mentioned that Western playoff teams fattened up their point totals on Western doormats - actually, the best "punching bag" the Wes had this year was the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa does get one nod from me - the fan spirit award goes to the Sens fans in a blowout. You really know how to do a national anthem. I was sincerely impressed by Alanis Morissette and the entire crowd - a memorable moment in this years' final.
Anaheim was lucky as hell to get past Detroit. Once past that, the Senators had no sufficient answer for the Ducks forchecking. Ray Emery is not the goalie to take Ottawa to the top; they might have taken it to a sixth game with Gerber. Other than that, the Senators took a good run at it.
I blame jet lag. This was the first time Ottawa played a game out of its time zone, wasn't it?
Though jet lag is blame for producing a boring series. I would have preferred the Sens to show up playing better hockey, not getting blown away by an obviously skilled squadron. The Sens have a history of choking in the playoffs. Not enough wood for the fire, so they can't get as far. This year, they didn't think they'd even get a chance to get that far, but once the time came, they got there, but there was no wood left. Ran out of steam and that was it. Phillips caused three goals to go in, but the loss was a team effort. As great as Alfredsson is, he can't carry an entire team on his back for that long.
So, congratulations to Anaheim, a team that clearly deserved the cup. ...maybe not so much Pronger. And, for anyone who cares to know, Leafs fan living in Ottawa.