I don't know whether to feel bad for them, or find them clever.
From this post:
Gary Bettman (conference call) : Hi, Mario, Ray and Dan, it's Gary. I wanted to discuss with you our plans for the Stanley Cup Finals. We want this series to be extended to ignite some viewership and ad revenues and also gate revenues. Remember our phone call before the Capitals series? Same thing.
Mario : So what is the plan, Gary?
Gary Bettman : Here's what I'm thinking. Let's allow Detroit to win Games 1 and 2. Do the city and fans of Detroit a favor as they are going through some rough times with the U.S. Automobile Industry collapsing. Give them something to feel good about on their home ice.
Dan Bylsma : How are we going to accomplish this?
Gary Bettman : I figured you would ask. Play your game, don't change anything about it. We're going to have Bil McCreary refereeing this series and he's known league wide to be a pretty bad referee...
Mario Lemieux : You aren't kidding.
Garry Bettman : We're going to put the whistles away for the first 2 games, allow Detroit to do what they do, you know, clutch, grab, run pick plays, interference, slash's, hooks, crosschecks. Allow Kronwall to leave his feet for hits and anything else. We're just going to turn a blind eye to it. We address the officiating committee and told them to call at least 1 or 2 penalties for each team in the first 2 games to make it seem like the refs have a heartbeat. Oh and make sure you guys DO NOT complain about the refs in the media. Therrien f***ed up our plan last year.
Dan Bylsma : Even if you put the whistles away, what happens if we get the lucky bounces?
Gary Bettman : I was going to get to that. The End boards as you know at the Joe Louis Arena are basically like rubber. the puck bounces off of them faster than Ted Leonisis's man **** bounce off his belly...
Mario Lemieux :
Gary Bettman : Tell Marc-Andre to allow a couple of those to bounce off of him and in. Practice it with him in the morning skate. Have players shooting pucks off the end boards and work on Marc-Andre's positioning to allow them to bank off of him. You can spot Detroit a couple of goals that way and with all of the obstruction and interference Detroit runs, you guys will have a hard time scoring without penalties and power play opportunities.
Dan Bylsma : That sounds good for one game, but what abot the other?
Gary Bettman : We're going to talk to Ken Holland and Mike Babcock about this. Basically your run of the mill, run interference in the offensive zone to create shots, have Tomas Holmstrom inexplicably fall a few times around the crease into Marc-Andre. Any infraction against Detroit in your zone, we're going to allow and hope that it leads to a couple of real nice opportunities for Detroit.
Mario Lemieux : After Game 2, what is the plan?
Gary Bettman : Well, the series goes back to Pittsburgh for 2 games. Basically we're going to allow your offense to crank it up and score some goals. We'll get your Power Play some chances. That's really the whole key there. If we put Detroit on the Penalty Kill too often in those first 2 games, there's no way that they will win. It's their achillies heel. I mean it's really bad. Mike Yeo can figure it out, it's that bad. So, we'll get you guys some Power Plays, some momentum, you'll have the home Crowd. Just keep playing your game, it's likely going to give Detroit problems even when we advise the officating crews to not call anything.
Ray Shero : Wouldn't it be an advantage for Detroit after Game 2 since they'll be getting Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper back? I think it would make more sense for us to win Games 1 & 2 since it would be more expected and then for them to tie it up with those guys coming back.
Gary Bettman : We thought about this as well but we decided that a better storyline would be how the young Pittsburgh Penguins lead by Sidney Crosby overcame adversity being down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup finals came back and won it. It works better than a team a team that was up by 2 games and blew that lead because they couldn't close out the deal to a Geriatric Swedish team that has injuries.
Ray Shero : Makes sense to me.
Gary Bettman : Ok, good. I'll talk to you guys after Game 3 when I concoct up the final plan for this series. It might seem slow, dull and boring at the beginning but it's going to get real good. It has to be, our ratings suck. did you see that reruns of Reba are higher than all of our games on Versus?