Stanley Cup will be motoring back to Detroit

June 04, 2002 7:15 AM
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The only cup Carolina will carry around Raleigh is the Winston.

The Stanley Cup will end up in Detroit, where most thought it would all along.

Any doubt was erased when former Red Wings forward Vladimir Konstantinov made a surprise appearance on the ice and injected an adrenalin boost not seen in the NHL since the days of Kate Smith in Philadelphia during the 1970s.

One look at Konstantinov, whose career ended after a horrific automobile accident several years ago that left him in a coma, was enough to send Joe Louis Arena in a frenzy. The Wings played with uncommon passion and blew "Patty Wa" away, scoring four goals on just eight shots.

What figured to be a classic Game 7 against defending Cup champion Colorado turned into a 7-0 snoozer.

The Hurricanes run into a Red Wings team firing on all cylinders behind Dominic Hasek, who has five shutouts in the playoffs including the last two games.

Hasek, arguably hockey’s top goalie the past five years, has won everything except a Stanley Cup. Twice as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Hasek failed in the finals. This time, he passes with flying colors. Call Hasek this year’s Raymond Bourque.

The Hurricanes have one chance and that’s to hope goalie Arturs Irbe can play out of his mind and force every game into overtime. But, the Wings just have too much firepower for that to happen.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants hockey guru Scott Ramsey has boldly called for Carolina to win the opening game, but thinks it will hard for the Canes to stretch the series past five games.

"Detroit (—300 in Game 1) will win, but Carolina is much better than a lot of people think," Ramsey said. "The Red Wings’ depth, however, will come through in the end."

Ramsey says that for the Canes to pull off hockey’s greatest upset, they have to play a perfect series.

"The BBC line (Brind’amour, Battaglia, Cole) has to score a lot of goals."

Carolina has been stellar in winning overtime games, but Hasek is on a mission.

Look for a Red Wings sweep or at worst a five-game series, and maybe another good luck visit from Vladimir to the Joe.