Friday, June 12, 2009

Still Proud of the Detroit Red Wings

I have heard that one's downfall could be from aiming too high, but the Detroit Red Wings took that too literally tonight. In the third period, the Red Wings were down 2-1 when Niklas Kronwall took a shot that hit the cross bar and ricocheted back into play. His aim? One inch too high. An inch lower and the puck would have careened into the net for the tying goal.

Sad to say though, the Red Wings should not have had to be scrambling to tie up the score in the third period. The Penguins first goal came only seconds after the ref swallowed the whistle on what should have been called an icing. If he would have blown the play dead for icing, the goal would never have happened and the game would have gone into overtime.

Icing or no icing. One inch too high or not. The Detroit Red Wings dug their own graves tonight as once again their undoing was the turnovers that turned into goals. If the Red Wings would have played their usual smart hockey, the Stanley Cup Finals likely would never have made it to the game seven tie breaker in the first place. Turn overs gave Pittsburgh too many goals in the series and gave them the winning goal in game seven.

I feel bad for Hossa really. After defecting from the NHL's favorite team to the Detroit Red Wings in hopes of winning the Cup, he had to watch his former team lift the Cup. That had to be seriously heart wrenching for him. I only hope he signs a long term contract with Detroit so he can be a part of taking it back next year.

So the Red Wings lost and as much as it irks me to see it, the NHL's poster child, Sidney Crosby got to lift the Cup. I was bummed, but I realized something else. I was still proud to be a Detroit Red Wing fan. They were the defending Stanley Cup Champions and took it all the way to game-7 in the Stanley Cup Finals again this year before being eliminated. The Red Wings did not lose their composure as time wound down. They did not take stupid penalties. They played hard and lost like professionals. The Detroit Red Wings are a team to be proud of and I look forward to sweeping them next year in the Stanley Cup Finals to let them know the Cup belongs here. In the REAL Hockey Town!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red Wings will Win Game-7

The Detroit Red Wings are optimistic. They need to be and have good reason to be.

So far in the first six games of the Stanley Cup Finals, the home team has won every game. Game seven will be played in Detroit. Point... Detroit.

In the first two games in Pittsburgh, without Datsyuk, the Red Wings did not play well at all and lost decisively. In game-6, with Datsyuk, Detroit still lost, but they played far better and controlled the game in the third period. In the first two games in Detroit, the Red Wings did not play well and only squeezed out the wins. In game five in Detroit, the first with Datsyuk back in the line-up, Detroit played very well, dominating the Penguins in a 5-0 route. Game seven is in Detroit AND Datsyuk is again in the line-up. ... Point... Detroit.

With another three day rest, the Red Wings veterans will have fresher legs. Being in front of the home fans will give them a boost in energy. Point... Detroit.

Game seven, being in Detroit... Babcock will have the advantage of making the last line changes. Allowing him to place who he wants on Crosby and Malkin. .... Point .... Detroit.

Throughout the Finals, the NHL has promoted Pittsburgh to no end. The stations have put microphones on Crosby and other Pittsburgh players whether the game was in Pittsburgh or in Detroit. The refs have for the most part put the whistles away, however, they seem to come out on ticky-tack plays in crucial times to hurt the Red Wings. In game-6 in Pittsburgh, a penalty was called on Zetterberg for goaltender interference. The replay showed he would have skated by Fleury without ever coming close to touching him, but a Pittsburgh player hit him, and shoved him into the goalie. Yet the call was a penalty on Detroit. In another game in Pittsburgh, the whistles were swallowed for most of the game on what should have been blatant penalties on both teams. Then in the third period, the Red Wings were called for interference on a questionable call. I still do not have any idea how three different refs missed the fact that Pittsburgh had six men on the ice for 21 seconds and never got a penalty. In a single game you will hear Crosby's name mentioned as often as Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom's together. It is obvious to me that the NHL would love to see their poster child, Crosby get the Cup. Point.... Pittsburgh.

The Detroit Red Wings have been here many times. They have won the Stanley cup far more than Pittsburgh has and they are the defending Champions. Throughout the Finals it has been obvious that Detroit does not lose their composure when they fall behind near as much as the Penguins do. Detroit takes far less stupid penalties due to a lack of composure. If Detroit falls down a goal, they will play harder to get one back. If Pittsburgh falls down a goal, they begin to lose their tempers and will take stupid penalties. Point.... Detroit.

In three games in Pittsburgh, the Penguins won by a total of 10 goals to Detroit's five. In three games in Detroit, the Red Wings have out scored Pittsburgh 11-2. Pittsburgh has scored a total of 2 goals in Detroit. One of those was knocked in by a Detroit player. So one could almost say the Penguins have only scored one goal in three games in Detroit. Fleury on the other hand has not given up fewer than 3 goals in a game in Detroit. They will score one more as the Red Wings beat the Penguins 4-1.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Osgood Not Good Enough to Save the Red Wings

Osgood was outstanding, but he was not good enough to save the Detroit Red Wings from a loss in game-6 in Pittsburgh.

In the first period alone, Osgood faced 12 shots while Detroit only had 3 shots of their own. Most of the play was in Detroit territory and Chris Osgood looked great. In the second period, Osgood faced another 12 shots, one of them finally finding its way through and the Detroit Red Wings fell down 1-0.

In the third period, Detroit stood tall and controlled the game for the most part, but one flurry of play aloud a second goal for the Penguins and the Red Wings found themselves with a 2 goal deficit. It was all Red Wings after that. Detroit pounded Fleury with shots and 8:01 into the third period, Draper picked up a rebound and flipped it to the back of the net to cut the Penguins lead in half. Detroit had a taste of blood then and they seemed to like it. The fought all the harder to have another taste and at one point, it looked as if they had gotten it.

There was a scramble in front of the Pittsburgh net, seeing Fleury sliding out of position with the goal out front. One Pittsburgh player tried to cover the puck with his glove only to have the puck slapped before he got to it. The puck slid toward the net, hit the same Penguin's skate and came back out again. Before the puck could be hit again, Fleury had recovered and dropped his catcher over top of the puck. When the play was whistled dead, from the overhead camera, it looked as if there were more players inside of the net than there were in front of it. The puck never crossed the line.

In the end, the Penguins came away with a win in game-6, tying up the series and sending it back to Detroit for a game-7 finish. It is not a good feeling to have it come to a deciding game-7, but there is some good to take from this. Detroit played their best road game in Pittsburgh and came away with a loss that went down to the last seconds. Most of the third period, in Pittsburgh, the Red Wings dominated the game. If they can put that kind of pressure on the Penguins while on Pittsburgh ice, Detroit should be able to control them on home ice.

Another good thing is that the Detroit veterans will have another three day rest before facing the Penguins Friday night at 8:00 PM in Detroit. And if (when) they win the game? They will get to lift the cup in front of their home town fans.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red Wings in Six?

Can the Detroit Red Wings beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh? Here are some reasons to say 'yes' they can!

Everyone and their brothers, sisters and second cousins were surprised at how handily the Red Wings demolished the Penguins in game 5. After how bad Detroit played in Game 4, it was simply shocking to see what they did the next game. The fact is, the Red Wings looked tired and lost in game-4. In game-6, Detroit will have a much needed three day rest. The older players whose legs were beginning to feel like they were made of silly puddy should have an extra step after having three days between games for the first time in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Another reason the Red Wings looked so much better in game-5 over game-4 was the return of arguably the best player in the NHL, Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk had two assists in the lopsided win and his puck handling along with his composure showed up well. Do not kid yourself, the rest of the Red Wings had a boost of confidence with his return as well. When a team is down and their best player returns to the line-up, it can be like an adrenalin shot to the other players.

The Detroit Red Wings will be a different team than the one who faced the Penguins in game-4. I would not expect Detroit to roll over as they did in the last game in Pittsburgh and I am expecting the Red Wings to come away with the Stanley Cup. Nicklas Lidstrom will be the first to hold up the Cup but the best moment will be when he turns and hands the Stanley Cup to Hossa. Seeing Marian Hossa lift the Cup in front of the Pittsburgh fans who so emphatically booed him, will be a great moment.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

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