If like me, you’re a fan of all sports, you probably have, at one time or another, found yourself drawing a comparison between two teams or players across different leagues.
For me, and I know I’m not alone on this, one of those pairings has always been the New Jersey Devils and the San Antonio Spurs.
In terms of success, the Red Wings’ four Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2008 might seem like a better Spurs comparison (San Antonio won four NBA championships between 1999 and 2007), but because they’re seen as the more skilled team, the more exciting team and the more historically significant team, the Wings might be better suited to a Lakers comparison.
Through their most successful years, the Devils, like the Spurs in the NBA, have always been seen as a fundamentally sound, wildly successful, yet unspectacular team that isn’t exactly fun to watch (though they play a much more exciting style this season). They’re still not considered a big draw for general fans and despite their success, have found a way to stay out of the spotlight.
And while both organizations have seen players come and go during their runs of dominance, there has always been two constants. In New Jersey, Martin Brodeur and Lou Lamoriello. In San Antonio, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich.
Heck, you can even draw a parallel between those two aging franchise pillars. Brodeur and Duncan may be the greatest at their respective positions in league history, and yet like the teams they so proudly represent, they somehow stay somewhat under the radar.
So with the similarities abounding, perhaps it’s fitting that the Devils are sniffing the Cup Final again at the same time that the Spurs are running roughshod through the competition in the NBA playoffs, with both teams getting significant contributions from their “old” reliables in Brodeur and Duncan.
It would be easy to say that both teams are facing the final opportunity at another championship before the window on this era closes, but would anyone really be convinced of that?
Some things never change, whether you notice them or not.
Now here are your morning links:
- Have you seen video of Mike Rupp’s jab at Brodeur yet? (theScore.com) It was a pretty half-hearted “punch” from Rupp, and Marty definitely looked like he was embellishing it, but it was bizarre nonetheless.
- Tortorella’s tactics can’t rescue the Rangers in Game 4 (New York Post).
- Zach Parise: Nothing But Net (New York Post).
- The Coyotes are too tough to die (The StarPhoenix). It’s hard to say that when they can still be eliminated in five games. I’d wait until they at least forced a Game 6 before leading with that headline.
- The Coyotes are cautiously optimistic heading into Game 5 (The Arizona Republic).
- A Kings infographic pokes fun at the local L.A. media (Fishbowl LA). Best social media department in pro sports?
- Would Alexander Radulov follow Patrick Roy to Montreal? (NBC Sports) Radulov won a Memorial Cup with the Ramparts.
- Sean Avery is getting a handle on semi-nude modelling (Puck Daddy).
- An Ottawa Senators 20th Anniversary Team (TheHockeyWriters.com).
- Max Domi isn’t a chip off the old block (Montreal Gazette).
- Jamie McBain’s contract extension with the Hurricanes was the perfect pact for both sides (Red Light District Hockey)