The Penguins polished off a nice cold pitcher of Hurricanes last night, earning a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals and a chance at redemption. Then captain Sidney Crosby just thumbed his nose at all that by skating around the ice with the Prince of Wales Trophy.
Hockey tradition (well, superstition anyway) dictates that players not touch the conference championship trophies for fear of jinxing their shot to lift the Stanley Cup. There's nothing to it really, since several teams—including Mario Lemieux's championship Penguins—have carried both in the same season. And as Crosby himself pointed out, he didn't lay a finger on the trophy last year and look what that got him.
Speaking of last year, a win by the Red Wings tonight will set up a rematch of that Finals, won by the Wings in six games. It's hard to know how much either team has improved since then. Both had slightly worse regular seasons this year than last, but have looked more and more sharp has the playoffs have progressed. One can only hope that the Finals will be more like the thrilling second round of this year's postseason than the snoozer of a third. One thing is certain, however: Whatever Three Rivers bridges Bill Cowher didn't burn are now in worse shape the one on the River Kwai after the stunt he pulled last night. You might have grown up in North Carolina, but dude ... that's not cool.
Penguins' dress rehearsal for trophy display [Pittsburgh Post Gazette]
Some say Pens mightier than they used to be [Detroit Free Press]
Bill Cowher cranks Hurricanes' siren before Game 4 [NHL]
Related: Wings' Hotel Doesn't Carry Versus [Winging It In Motown]