Misconduct

Stanley Cup Finals Thoughts, Game One Pregame

It's been quiet around here since the Red Wings finished off the Blackhawks and for good reason. Like the Wings themselves, I've needed some time off. Much like my hiatus at the end of the regular season it hasn't been for any bad things, just very busy right now.

Detroit finished off Chicago in five games an as a reward got all of two days rest. Their injuries at the end of the Western Conference Finals have partially healed but they're still hurting. Nicklas Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson are scheduled to return to the lineup tonight but it's looking like the Red Wings will begin the Stanley Cup Finals without Pavel Datsyuk or Kris Draper.

It looks like this puts Chris Chelios and Derek Meech back in the press box while Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino make their first-ever Finals appearances.

A lot has been made of what the Pittsburgh Penguins learned during last year's Finals loss to the Red Wings and that Pittsburgh is a better team than last season. While I won't deny they're playing extremely well, I have a hard time taking them seriously.

Their team has gotten better but last year they had Marian Hossa and this year they don't. That's a huge loss, one that the addition of Bill Guerin doesn't make up for. While the Penguins individual players have gotten better I don't see them as being as talented of a team as a whole without Hossa.

It's not like the Red Wings haven't gotten better, too. Assuming Datsyuk and Draper will make an appearance in this series, the only players they've lost from last year's team are Dallas Drake and Andreas Lilja. Lilja has been more than capably replaced by Jonathan Ericsson. Drake's spot in the lineup has been taken by the aforementioned Hossa, who defected to the Red Wings over the summer.

Hossa is the key to this series, to me. The Penguins couldn't beat the Red Wings last year when they had Hossa but now they're expected to when not only do they not have him but Detroit does? On paper, the Penguins are toast.

Of course, the games aren't played on paper. Cliche but true.

Detroit's defense will be the other key. Ericsson plays on the Wings' third defense pairing and could fight for a spot on the top pair of any of the teams the Penguins have eliminated thus far. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have torn it up against Kimmo Timonen and Mike Green and Tim Gleason but will that continue against Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall?

The Wings and Penguins split the regular season series this season, one game a defensive collapse by Detroit leading to a 7-6 Pittsburgh win, the other being a dominating defensive performance by the Red Wings in a 3-1 win.

That stresses to me the importance of defense in this series. If the Wings shut things down like they've done all but one game of these playoffs, they have the series. If it becomes a run-and-gun game then they lose their advantage and the Penguins have a chance.

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User Comments

Pav and Drapes are infact scratches for game 1

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 4:34 PM

 

In my opinion, I think the biggest challenge will be defense and the ability to shut Crosby and Malkin down. If you look at the playoff stats you have to go pretty far down the list to find any other point producers and while I can't remember the name I think the next best person they have only has something like eight points.

That being said, I can't say that I am happy with how the schedule turned out only because of the injuries to the Wings. I would rather have both teams go head to head at 100 percent than to have some of our Super Stars out of the lineup or playing at half capacity. This way there would be no room for excuses.

A lot of people are trying to make this series look like what happened between the Oilers and the Islanders in the early 80's, while I would agree that you could say there are some parallels however, that was then and this is now.

I think this series is going to go the distance, last year we saw six games. This time I think all seven will be required with the major key being a loss on home ice.

Game starts in less than two hours.... I can't wait!

One last thing: Looking forward to seeing Stevie go into the Hall this summer!

Posted by SYfanSD on 5/30/2009 at 6:38 PM

 

yeah the schedule kind if irk's me as well but what can ya do we did great last year shutting down Crosby and Malkin what scare's me is Malkin seem's like a totally different player this year thus far...Another guy of their's we need to watch is Fedotenko he's been playing well in the playoff's Bill Guerin as well both playoff tested vet's..As for the comparison's of the Oiler's-Isle's i don't know that Pitt has the talent level of that Oiler's squad but the similiarity of it is very comparable. If Pitt split's the 2 in Detroit things could get interesting i'm still stickin with what is said to my buddie's Wing's in 6 bout an 1 1/2 hour's till the puck drop's and i'm starting to get antsy lol

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 6:48 PM

 

I'm thinking that if Hossa scores today the Wings will win.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 7:54 PM

 

Damn, the Wings are wearing the Finals patch on the front of the jersey, same side as the captain letters, like last year. They need to put these things on the shoulder.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 8:01 PM

 

oh of course the Cindy lovefest start's within the first 3 mins of the NBC broadcast

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 8:04 PM

 

Feeling a bit numb. I think I stopped breathing for awhile and the game's not even on yet.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 8:15 PM

 

Off the boards, off Fleury and in! That's Stuie's goal.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 8:45 PM

 

Get in there. The infamous JLA end boards in action.

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 8:47 PM

 

f*cking giveaway turns to a goal. God f*cking damnit.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 8:53 PM

 

Not to mention that rebound. sh*t.

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 8:54 PM

 

Wings looked pretty good that period. Too many giveaways for each side but I think the Wings were controlling play a bit better.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:06 PM

 

f*cking giveaway turns to a goal. God f*cking damnit.


Swearing will not make it go away - signed your mother!!

Posted by webmasters mom on 5/30/2009 at 9:11 PM

 


f*cking giveaway turns to a goal. God f*cking damnit.


Swearing will not make it go away -signed your mother!!

Blame your husband, I learned from him. <img src="http://forums.detroithockey.net/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.png" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.png" />

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:20 PM

 

Exciting game for sure.. Wings gettin a lil lazy and takin silly penalties but good game.

Posted by klaitinen on 5/30/2009 at 9:31 PM

 

For the record, the Wings have only two captains again today.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:38 PM

 

The Wings are getting their asses kicked around the crease.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:43 PM

 

how was that not a penalty on Cooke??? BULLS**T!!!!!! the NHL sure doe's seem insistent on giving their postergirl a Cup

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 9:44 PM

 

Back in front, bitches! How's that time out working, Pittsburgh?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:50 PM

 

Another one off Fluery. <img src="http://forums.detroithockey.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.png" />

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:51 PM

 

YEEEESSSS!!! great job of grindin that one out

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 9:51 PM

 

Franzen strikes again. What a beast.

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 9:52 PM

 

Not a great period by Detroit. To come out of it with the lead is huge.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 9:54 PM

 

Not a great period by Detroit. To come out of it with the lead is huge.


agreed there were some really scary point's in that period for the Wing's

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 9:59 PM

 

Kronner nearly ended Malkin.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:14 PM

 

Justin! What a play!

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:15 PM

 

that was an absolutly beautiful play by Abdelkader

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 10:17 PM

 

What a play. What a way to score your firsty playoff goal.

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 10:18 PM

 

It should be interesting to see the fourth line's TOI stats after the game. The seem to be on the ice every other shift.

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 10:39 PM

 

Fantastic shift by Helm, Maltby and Samuelsson.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:40 PM

 

It should be interesting to see the fourth line's TOI stats after the game. The seem to be on the ice every other shift.


Only line consistently getting offensive-zone time.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:40 PM

 

Did Malts just get called for coming back onto the ice without his helmet? IIRC, that's illegal.

Edit: Guess not.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:42 PM

 

How the hell did the Wings not score with the empty net? Nice defense by the Pens.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:45 PM

 

One down!

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:47 PM

 

*whew*

Three to go.

Posted by catmandu on 5/30/2009 at 10:47 PM

 

WOOOOOOO!!! 1 down 3 to go!!!!!

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 10:47 PM

 

Crosby's a petulent little bitch, with the little slash on Maltby as the Wings come out to celebrate the win.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:48 PM

 

there was Cindy Crybaby at her best on Maltby as the Wing's came off the bench

Posted by bigred4478 on 5/30/2009 at 10:49 PM

 

Great game. One down. Crosby taps Maltby's skate when they're going to congratulate Osgood. What the hell?

Posted by Britishwingsfan on 5/30/2009 at 10:51 PM

 

Without Datsyuk. Without Draper. Still get the big win.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 5/30/2009 at 10:51 PM

 

Good game however, it's not over, we still have three games to win. I agree that the fourth line for the Wings is looking real good and seemed to be on the ice for every other shift. This is what really seperates the two teams, while the Pens roster does have some good talent, nobody other than Cindy and Malkin have proved themselves in the post season.

Where was Staal? What about Guerin? Or even Satan? Each one had maybe one or two good shifts and that was about it. Again, this is why the Wings are so potent on both offense and defense.

Unless the second, third, and fourth lines step up for the Pens this thing could be over in four.

Posted by SYfanSD on 5/31/2009 at 10:11 AM

 

I only saw the first period, but that goal by Stuart was a crazy fluke <img src="http://forums.detroithockey.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.png" /> BUT I'LL TAKE IT. Happy to hear that the Wings won, though.

Posted by Mathieu_Datsyuk132351 on 5/31/2009 at 3:44 PM

 

Another nail biter! (If I actually bit my nails, I would have none left....)

Stay focused, Wings! (Talent seems to be on our side...the mental game is all that's left to be proven!wink.png

Posted by OldBroad on 5/31/2009 at 4:31 PM

 
Pittsburgh Penguins

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