NHL Hopes Star-Studded Final Lifts Hockey

Penguins/Red Wings matchup starts tonight
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2008 1:39 PM CDT
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby smiles after scoring a goal during practice in Pittsburgh. The Penguins face the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals first game today in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Don Wright)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The NHL may have dinky ratings and a long way to go to catch the big three of American sports, but it couldn’t ask for a better pick-me-up than this year’s Stanley Cup final. The Pittsburgh-Detroit matchup that starts tonight is one of the most compelling in years, the Washington Post notes. The Penguins are loaded with young phenoms like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, while Detroit boasts a veteran lineup well suited for "Hockey Town."

“I cannot recall more stars in a final since 1987,” said Mike “Doc” Emrick, who will call the games. “I think the hockey gods are smiling so wide we can count their missing teeth.” Both teams also come from big, hockey-loving American markets, a far cry from recent finals like last year’s Anaheim-Ottawa.