PITTSBURGH – It was another whiteout at Mellon Arena for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final, but the fans outside had to deal with a blackout.
NBC again refused to allow the game to be televised outside the arena, where thousands of fans came out to watch Games 3 and 4. They were broadcasted by Versus and shown by the Penguins on the big screen.
The Red Wings had also planned to show Game 6 for their fans at Joe Louis Arena, but had to change those plans. Coach Mike Babcock was among those who questioned the logic behind NBC’s decision.
“I don’t understand the dynamic of all that stuff,” Babcock said Tuesday morning. “That makes no sense to me. But to me we’re all in the selling the game business. And the more people that can see it, the better off you are.”
NBC is believed to be concerned about the ratings loss that would come with so many people watching games in one venue. An email to the network seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
IN LUC’S MEMORY: Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang is still playing with a heavy heart.
He says that he often thinks of best friend Luc Bourdon, the former Vancouver Canucks defenceman who was killed in a motorcycle accident during last year’s Stanley Cup final.
In fact, it’s common for players to think of loved ones while playing for the NHL championship.
“This is a special time, a unique opportunity,” said Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. “And there are things that you hold to mind and to heart when you get in these situations. For Kris, that’s talking about a close friend that draws focus to him and meaning through this particular time.
“But I don’t think there’s a guy in that room who doesn’t have similar thoughts about someone or something, that’s why it’s a special thing to be able to do. It’s a great opportunity, and it’s a unique situation to get the opportunity to play for and to win the Stanley Cup.”
SOME LOVE FOR FLEURY: When Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled during Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena, the first player he spoke to was Petr Sykora.
His teammate was a healthy scratch that night and wanted to make sure that Fleury didn’t get too down on himself. Sykora stopped the goaltender in the tunnel on the way to the team’s dressing room and shared a few words.
“I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it, just get ready for the next game because we’re going to need you,”‘ said Sykora. “And I told him that I love him. That’s it.”
NO COMMENT: A few eyebrows were raised when Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik suggested after Game 4 that the Detroit Red Wings looked tired. The comment certainly caught the attention of his opponents.
On Tuesday morning, he sought to clarify the remark.
“The comment started from: ‘What was the difference between the first couple games to (Games) 3 and 4?”‘ said Orpik. “I said, ‘We played the right way and that made them tired.’ …
“I don’t know, if guys want to run with that they can run with it. That’s all I was trying to say.”
GREEDY WINGS: One thing that remains constant around the Detroit Red Wings is the desire to win the Stanley Cup.
No matter how many times it happens, they still yearn for another title. And they don’t feel the least bit guilty about not wanting to share with others.
“You want to be greedy,” said forward Kirk Maltby. “You want to keep adding on to it. It’s not a bad thing.”
Added coach Mike Babcock: “We’ve done a lot of winning in Detroit. And we enjoy it.”