It all changes Monday night, when the story lines go from theories and thoughts to a real-time, on-ice matchup of Pittsburgh, chasing its second straight Cup and third in nine years in a city that has grown accustomed to hockey celebrations, against Nashville, a first-time finalist in a festive town learning to love hockey on the fly.
A police report then showed that a Florida trooper who suspected Woods was driving under the influence sought a subpoena for the golfer's blood test results from the hospital, but prosecutors rejected the petition for insufficient information. A midseries switch back to Murray helped lift Pittsburgh past Ottawa in seven games in the Eastern Conference final.
"I was there at his Cup party".
"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions", Woods said in a statement Monday evening. "I was having a lot of fun playing some games. I just tried to lay it there for him".
Pittsburgh beat the San Jose Sharks in six games a year ago. Veteran Pekka Rinne is making his first start in the Cup Final for Nashville, while Matt Murray is back after winning the title previous year. "I know it's going to be hard".
Anyone who tries to tell you that the Subban trade wasn't motivated hugely by issues of personality and being the "right fit" in the dressing room, probably can't yet admit what a colossally bad idea it was. "I know what he's feeling like". And Nashville makes everything happen from its blue line even after trading Shea Weber and Seth Jones within the past 16 months.
It hasn't come easy for the Penguins this postseason, and it won't start now with the Stanley Cup on the line.
When asked if he is happier now, he spoke about the success he and the Canadiens had during his time in Montreal.
Rinne has spent his entire career with the Predators, and until recently he was at the top of the list of National Hockey League goalies with most playoff wins that had yet to reach a Final.
"I was happy in Montreal", he said.
Woods apologized to his family, friends and fans and said, "I expect more from myself, too".
Still, it's clear that Subban - like Kessel and Phaneuf - has found a place where he feels more accepted on and off the ice. The Penguins never scored over two goals in the first period all playoffs long except recently during game five of round three.
Fisher has practised the past few days, an optimistic sign for the Predators and their loyal legions of fans. The total has gone over in seven of Nashville's last 10 road games against Anaheim, with two pushes. "I didn't really see it that way". "We're not ideal on some nights by any stretch. You have to raise your level", Hornqvist said.
They're missing their top center in Ryan Johansen, who had emergency surgery after Game 4 of the conference final after suffering compartment syndrome in his left thigh.
"That's Subby being Subby", said Ellis. "I think they've got a great chance".
You think that's insane?
Had there been a cap in the late 90s, Bowman's Red Wings would have had trouble keeping their star-laden group together for multiple seasons.
That's about to change, said Subban. The Nashville Predators however may have something to say about that.
He said he enjoyed watching the Leafs rise this past season.
After losing to the San Jose Sharks in 2016, a dejected Rinne wondered how many more chances he'd get.