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THN.com Blog: Grab the nearest Penguin next time

Brian Rafalski penalty on Adam Hall in Game 4 made a difference. It wouldn't have in the dying seconds of Game 6. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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Brian Rafalski penalty on Adam Hall in Game 4 made a difference. It wouldn't have in the dying seconds of Game 6. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Naturally lost among the celebration of Detroit’s Stanley Cup title was a last-second attempt by the Pittsburgh Penguins to send Game 6 into overtime.

When the Red Wings cleared the puck down the ice with about six seconds remaining, it seemed like Bob Cole and the Detroit defenders went into relax mode.

The Penguins advanced the puck up ice quickly and Sidney Crosby made a deceptive backhand shot with under two seconds remaining that goalie Chris Osgood just got a piece of. Marian Hossa made a last-ditch attempt at the rebound, but it went barely wide. Turns out it would have been after the clocked expired, anyway.

Can you imagine what would have happened if the inches had come out in Pittsburgh’s favor and not Detroit’s? Overtime in Game 6 with 50-50 odds of the series going back to Detroit for Game 7. Talk about the drama that would have unfolded.

This leads me to a point I made a couple weeks ago in my blog about coaching. Why didn’t the Red Wings, in a critical situation such as this, not just grab a hold of a Penguin player in those final few seconds in order to prevent a possible calamity?

They can’t make a last-second scoring attempt if they’re being held. At worst, the Wings get a penalty with three seconds remaining and they have a 60 percent chance of winning the final faceoff.

RADIO SAVED THE DAY
Back-to-back Saturday weddings snuffed out my viewing of Games 1 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final this spring, but I did gain a new appreciation of the sounds of the action via the radio.

Thanks to top-notch performances of Sam Rosen and Bill Clement on NHL Radio, the flow of the games was easy to follow on sporadic trips to the car. Updates were frequent and play-by-play and analysis was excellent.

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What made the broadcast even more impressive were the microphones planted close to the playing surface. Listeners could distinctly hear the slice of the skates through the ice, the occasional shouts between teammates during action and the collisions along the boards.

It made me realize, maybe for the first time, what a great sounding game hockey is.

CHARA CLIMB UPDATE
There was lots of bidding interest in the eBay auction to join Boston’s Zdeno Chara on his quest to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but no winner.

There were 37 bids in the one-week auction, with the top offer being $5,785 (U.S.). However, it didn’t come close to the five-figure reserve bid so no fan will get to join Chara on his six-day challenge to scale Africa’s highest peak. One very interested, but unfortunate, bidder made 16 bids.

Chara’s climbing team will consist of Right To Play deputy director Mark Brender and three representatives from NHL Productions, who will document the attempt on film. The fundraising goal for the climb is $100,000 for the humanitarian organization. It takes place the first week of July.

Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior special editions editor and a regular contributor to THN.com. You can read his Top 10 list on Wednesdays and his blog each weekend.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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