Red Wings Lead Series 3-2
"When you play Pittsburgh, you play the entire city."
-- Howard Cosell
Tonight the Stanley Cup could be won.
For the second year in a row the Detroit Red Wings could skate hockey's most treasured prize around Mellon Arena ice.
Marian Hossa - with the Stanley Cup over his head - could smile as the crowd boos, knowing he made the right decision.
Chris Osgood could win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
A lot of our worst nightmares could come true tonight.
But none of that matters.
Because that isn't what tonight is about.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will not play this game hoping to prevent Detroit from winning the Cup.
They will not play to spite Marian Hossa.
Tonight they will play with only one thought in mind.
They will play to give themselves a chance to win the Cup.
It doesn't matter who the opponent is.
It doesn't matter how vomit-inducing a trophy presentation could be tonight.
All that matters to the players wearing black and gold is winning the Stanley Cup.
That is all that has always mattered.
Was it nice to defeat the hated Flyers?
Of course it was.
Did it feel good to show up "the greatest player in the NHL by far" in his own rink?
But those things were never the ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal weighs 34 1/2 pounds and is inscribed with the names of some of the greatest players in NHL history.
This isn't about preventing the Red Wings from winning.
This is about winning ourselves.