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Kukla: Don't jump the gun

Tuesday, 05.26.2009 / 11:14 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Finals

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

 
No, no, no this is all wrong. Recent headlines in the past 36 hours…

"Wings/Penguins Rematch Building"

"Penguins Have Learned Their Lessons"

"Wings & Dynasty Talk"

The Conference Finals are not completed, yet we have many folks in the media looking forward to the Stanley Cup Final. Something is very wrong with that talk and I refuse to look that far ahead.  I don't want to upset the karma gods in any fashion and then have everyone pointing at me if things go terribly wrong in the games yet to be played in the Conference Finals.

I prefer to take games as they come. Heck, teams have come back from 1-3 and 0-3 deficits before and it can happen again.  Nowhere in the rules of the NHL does it state teams must lose when facing double- and triple-elimination games.  I have witnessed enough games to know anything can still happen, a bad bounce, an injury or anything in-between can cause a series to change in a hurry.

If I were a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks or the Carolina Hurricanes this morning, I am hoping my opposition is reading all the stories basically stating both series are over. All those stories should be a motivational factor and be highlighted on the team's bulletin board.

If I were a member of the media (which I am not, I am just a hockey fan), I would be careful with what I am writing.  I sure do not want to be the writer known as the "guy who jinxed us" or be the person who wrote the piece that motivated the opposition to a great comeback, one for the record books.

Taking a looks at the games that still need to be played, the Blackhawks are only one win away from making this a series.  A victory in Detroit Wednesday would force a Game 6 in Chicago where a rejuvenated crowd would make it very hard for the Wings to win that game. Then on to Game 7, where as we know, anything can happen.

Carolina has a much larger hill to climb, but it can start tonight with a victory at home.  Then back to Pittsburgh, where they could come up with the greatest victory of the season and guess what, we have a series again.

Taking a look at the hockey bloggers from Pittsburgh and Detroit, the two teams that are one win away from moving on to the Stanley Cup Final, I notice a definite pattern.  Most bloggers are refusing to take the same route many of the media members have, they are avoiding all talk of what the very near future could hold for their teams.

They do not want to disturb the "good karma" they have at this point and will not mention Stanley Cup Final until it becomes official, then I would imagine, the chest-beating will begin.  But until that time, they are laying low, not wanting to put a sudden end to the good times their teams are experiencing at this point.

Carolina Hurricanes Playoff GearAs we await the two elimination games that will be played tonight and tomorrow, remember anything can happen. A bad bounce, a bad penalty, an injury or a bad line change can shift the series in a hurry. We must be prepared for it, then we can point our fingers at the person who wrote "This Series is Over" and blame them for the momentum swing.

Of course, both Pittsburgh and Detroit may move on to the Final very soon, then we will have a few media types writing after Game 2, that the Cup will be in the hands of _______  very soon!


Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres