Thursday, May 29, 2008


Not so fast, my friends.

Pittsburgh got a real nice, uplifting win Wednesday night. But that's all it was. It wasn't a momentum-shifter or a series-changer. It was a win.

In the end, the Penguins are still facing some problems they need to overcome if they are to truly make this a competitive series.

For starters, they can't count on the officiating to work so much in their favor. Wednesday night's game was not consistently called, and that benefited the Penguins, who got away with more penalties than Detroit did.

Detroit missed a couple open nets, including that amazing pipejob from Tomas Holmstrom shortly after Pittsburgh made it 3-1. The bad-luck plays went against Detroit, and they couldn't overcome them because...

They (the Wings) didn't play well. They weren't tenacious enough defensively, and they weren't strong with the puck. Credit Pittsburgh for doing a better job of forcing the issue, but just like the Penguins couldn't afford to stand for getting badly outworked in Detroit, the Wings have to step up their effort in Game Four.

One of the things coaches harp on is the importance of having a good shift after a goal (either for or against). When you score, you don't want to lollygag and give up the momentum you just gained. Similarly, when you give one up, you don't have the luxury of moping around and acting like you have time to regroup.

Game Four Saturday night will be fun to watch. I expect the Red Wings to come out with a more balanced effort, and I expect it to be very difficult on Pittsburgh to generate any offense. They need to continue to be opportunistic, and they have to work hard to shut down the quality chances Detroit will create with their speed and skill.

I see the Wings rebounding to win, and then they should be able to clinch the series at home Monday night. However, if Pittsburgh wins Saturday (by any means necessary), this gets very interesting.


Freeptop said...

I will admit to being biased, but I'm not sure how the Penguins got away with more penalties than the Red Wings did. For every penalty not called against the Pens I can name one that wasn't called against the Red Wings, including some fairly nasty ones. The refs just plain put away the whistles, for whatever reason (oh, wait, Devorski was one of the refs, that explains it on its own).

Michael Krogmann said...

Crosby hit the crossbar, Hossa hit a post and he also missed a wide open net with :10 seconds left in the first. And Osgood found a puck behind him right before it slipped into the net.

The officials called Malkin for obstruction with 3:00 left in the game. They also called Hal Gill for a penalty when Holmstrom basically laid down on the ice.

I mean, what are you even talking about?