Hockey being a sometimes haphazard game, a little luck might have turned one of those Ottawa losses into a win in this Stanley Cup Final. But never mind the close scores. Anaheim's advantage in the series - three games to one after another convincing victory on Monday - more accurately reflects the difference between these teams.
Ottawa being a devoted hockey town, media attention in the coming days will focus on the Senators and their many shortcomings. Their defensive miscues are so embarrassing that even CBC bigmouth Don Cherry is left almost speechless. ("I mean, this is junior B stuff.") Their $6.5 million defenseman, Wade Redden, is in a fog. And has any number-one center looked as bad this season as Jason Spezza looks right now?
But the obvious answer doesn't require much analysis. Watching these last four games, even a hockey novice would identify Anaheim as a vastly superior side. The team that Mickey built has been a force all season. It's hard to imagine a more deserving champion.
Notwithstanding the Senators' win last Saturday, this Stanley Cup Final harkens back to the dark ages of 1995-1998, when the championship series ended in a four-game sweep every year. Recent seasons have been better, with four of the last five Cup Finals going down to a seventh game. But you can't expect that kind of drama every June.