You would think that this year's Stanley Cup Finals had all the makings of a series to remember. First rematch in decades. The two most talented teams going head to head for a second straight year. MVP candidates, Norris Trophy finalist, the top players in the game. Add to it, the storyline of Hossa changing allegiance, and you should have a remarkably intense series. But it's just not there.
While games 1-4 have been hard-fought, they have been quite forgettable. The series as a whole has been a major let down after the dogfights and battles of the first 2 rounds. There's one thing that this series is lacking that it has no excuse for… Where's the hate? The fans are feeling it (thanks largely to Hossa). The media has tried to drum it up. But when it comes to the teams, there's just nothing there. The superstars and front offices of these two franchises have been groomed and polished to a fault, which keeps you out of trouble, but generates very little interest from a fan perspective. When it comes to class, you just can't top Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Crosby, Bylsma, etc. But it's just down-right boring. Any question that gets asked in regards to the other team results in a short statement of praise for the opposition. I can't imagine the players are actually this unemotional about this series, they've just been trained too well on how to respond.
So while the hockey world can be pleased with the fact that we're witnessing the best two teams in the world do battle, don't be surprised when the casual fan yawns and turns on SportsCenter to catch the latest NFL off-season rumors. It's time for NHL stars to let down their guard and trash talk a little. Maybe then, we'll all get a little more excited about the product on the ice.