You are not connected. Please login or register

 » All things PLAYOFFS! » 2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS

2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS

Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11

WHO WILL BE THE 2009 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS?

2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap20%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 0% [ 0 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap27%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 7% [ 1 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap229%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 29% [ 4 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap214%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 14% [ 2 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap20%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 0% [ 0 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap20%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 0% [ 0 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap243%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 43% [ 6 ]
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_lcap27%2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Vote_rcap2 7% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 14

Go down  Message [Page 11 of 11]

davetherave


All-Star
All-Star
Wes Goldstein of CBSSports provides a pertinent perspective on the Penguins and their pipe patroller:

GUILTY OF BEING GREAT? JURY ON FLEURY MIGHT COME IN GAME SEVEN
Wes Goldstein, CBSSPORTS.COM/June 10, 2009

DETROIT -- Less than two minutes remained in a Game 6 the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to win to save their season ... and one of the Detroit Red Wings' most prolific scorers was breaking in alone on Marc-Andre Fleury.

It wasn't the most pleasant sight for the young goaltender whose confidence could have been reasonably undermined from being pulled in the previous game.

Fleury had only an instant to decide whether his best chance at preserving a 2-1 lead would be to attempt a poke check or to wait out
Dan Cleary's move.

He opted for the latter, deflecting away the backhand shot and prompting Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr to text message a friend in Penguins owner Mario Lemieux's box, saying, "That might be your Cup."

And Fleury's chance to prove he really is one of the game's elites.

The jury remains out on the 24-year-old netminder -- even if he has put up some big numbers over the last few seasons -- largely because his often-spectacular efforts tend to get overshadowed by much weaker ones at inopportune times.

Like in the deciding Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals last year, when Fleury allowed a pair of weak goals in a 3-2 loss after stealing a triple-overtime victory in the previous game.

Or in his three losses in these Finals in Detroit, all erratic outings that, despite some remarkable performances in these playoffs, have kept doubts alive. At least outside the Penguins inner circle, that is.

"Marc has a unique ability to refocus after pretty much any scenario that he's been given, he's not bogged down by outside attention or media," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "There were questions about him after Game 5 and we acted out of confidence and said the things we said as a team because of the way he's played in the past and the way he's responded in the past.

"The breakaway in the third period is a pretty big save at a pretty big time for our team, and that's what Marc-Andre has been able to do for our team throughout the playoffs."

Even so, Fleury has to prove he can get Pittsburgh to the next level, something the team has been counting on since anointing him franchise savior at the tender age of 18.

That was back in 2003, well before Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin arrived to take over that pressure, when Fleury became only the third goaltender in history to be drafted first overall. It was a special distinction, but the downside -- as it usually is for anyone taken with that pick -- is that it meant going to a pretty bad team.

In Fleury's case, the problem was compounded because of the dire financial straits Pittsburgh was in at the time.

Facing bankruptcy again, the Penguins had been unloading high-priced stars for a couple of years and were in need of an attraction.

So instead of giving its newest prize a chance to grow up before getting to the NHL, Pittsburgh rushed Fleury into the lineup the following season, when he was still eligible to play junior hockey.

It was as much an attempt to sell some tickets as it was to improve the team, but the plan bordered on the disaster because Fleury clearly wasn't ready and suffered the consequences with such a weak team in front of him.

"It was really hard to watch," recalled former Penguins forward
Ryan Malone. "I mean, the guy was seeing so many shots, it was ridiculous. We didn't have a very good team and he was getting lit up all the time, so everyone really kept wondering why this was happening and where we were going."

That didn't long to figure out. The Penguins ended up dead last while Fleury played in 21 games, winning just four and posting a goals-against average of 3.64. He started the season in Pittsburgh and showed flashes of the talent that made him his draft year's prize, but Fleury was sent back to juniors in December, only to be recalled a month later, moves that raised questions about whether his development was being mishandled.

"I don't think so," Fleury said of his rush to the pros. "It was a tough situation with the team we had and I was pretty young, but getting to the NHL is everybody's dream and I was glad to have the chance. I think it helped me get better."

Not everyone agreed, even as recently as last season after Fleury had put together a 40-win 2006-07 and helped Pittsburgh get to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Fleury had a slow start to 2007-08 and then went down with a high ankle sprain midway through.

But instead of fading, the Penguins caught fire under their backups, leading critics to argue that Fleury was really nothing more than an average goaltender on an offensively talented team.

It didn't help when GM Ray Shero joked before last year's playoffs that he had spent Christmas looking for the kind of goaltender many felt was the missing piece on the team, but "there were none available," although he quickly insisted that the organization never had any intention of giving up on Fleury.

Fleury responded with a strong postseason before falling short in the deciding game of the title round against Detroit.

Now, with a chance to win it all in Game 7 on Friday, he gets another chance to show he really is among the NHL's best -- even if that's not foremost in his mind right now.

"You have stuff happening in your head, but you have to just block all the outside, all the negative thoughts and just play the game, keep it simple, have some fun," Fleury said. "To have an opportunity like this to get [the Cup], it's awesome."

davetherave


All-Star
All-Star
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 PitPittsburgh 2, 2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 DetDetroit 1

GAME SEVEN, 2009 STANLEY CUP FINALS
PENGUINS WIN SERIES 4-3
123T
PIT0202
DET0011
Final

8:00 PM ET, June 12, 2009, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Fleury robs Wings in final seconds to secure Stanley Cup for underdog Penguins

DETROIT (ESPN/AP)-- Slide over Super Mario and make room on the Stanley Cup for a new batch of Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fast Facts

2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Pit 2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. DETROIT RED WINGS - Page 11 Det
• Dan Bylsma became the second rookie head coach hired midseason to win the Stanley Cup (Al MacNeil of 1971 Canadiens).
• The Penguins are the first team to win a road Game 7 in the MLB/NBA/NHL since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. They ended an 18-game losing streak by road team in Game 7.
• Friday was the first Stanley Cup final rematch to go to a Game 7 and have the team that lost the previous year win.
• Chris Osgood allowed two goals in the second period after allowing just two goals total in the first three home games of this series.
• It was the fourth time in sports history that a city has won Stanley Cup after winning the NFL title (Detroit in 1953-54, Detroit in 1935-36, Chicago in 1933-34).
-- ESPN Stats & Information

Max Talbot scored two second-period goals, and the Penguins overcame the loss of captain Sidney Crosby to beat the defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Friday night in Game 7 and win the Stanley Cup.

Instead of the Red Wings becoming the NHL's first repeat champion since winning titles in 1997 and 1998, this turned into a Penguins party. The last time Pittsburgh won the Cup, in 1991 and '92, it was captained by owner Mario Lemieux.

Marc-Andre Fleury was stellar in making 23 saves -- none bigger than the one he made with one second left as he dived across the crease and knocked away a shot by Niklas Lidstrom.

"I knew there wasn't much time left," Fleury said. "The rebound was wide. I just decided to get my body out there and it hit me in the ribs so it was good."

He erased the memories of a 5-0 loss in Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena that put the Penguins on the brink of elimination. Pittsburgh returned home and gutted out a 2-1 win, behind Fleury's 25 saves, on Tuesday that forced a seventh game in Detroit.

This was Pittsburgh's second championship in four months, following the Steelers' Super Bowl victory in February.

Fleury's last save started a wild scene in the crease that culminated in the awarding of the Cup. Crosby took it from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and skated a half lap to center ice before handing it off to Bill Guerin, who joined the team at the trade deadline and became a champion for the first time since 1995 with New Jersey.

Lemieux, the No. 1 pick in the 1984 draft by Pittsburgh, celebrated on the ice with Crosby -- the phenom who has been living in the owner's house since joining the team.

The Penguins turned the tables on the Red Wings and captured the Cup on enemy ice, just as Detroit did in Pittsburgh last year. The Penguins are the first to win the title the year after losing in the finals since Edmonton did it 25 years against the New York Islanders -- the last finals rematch before this one.

Evgeni Malkin, who led the playoffs with 36 points, earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason MVP. He assisted on Talbot's first goal.

Crosby, just four years after being the No. 1 selection in the draft, became the youngest captain of a champion at 21 years old. He played just one shift after leaving the ice during the second period after taking a hard hit along the boards from Johan Franzen.

"It's unbelievable. It's the stuff you dream of as a kid. It's reality now," Crosby said. "We worked so hard. It's amazing to see how far we've come, and couldn't feel any better."

Jonathan Ericsson made it tense when he cut the Red Wings' deficit to 2-1 with 6:07 remaining. His shot from inside the blue line sailed past Fleury's glove and sent the fans into a frenzy.

Niklas Kronwall nearly tied it with 2:14 left, but his drive smacked the crossbar flush and caromed out of danger. The Red Wings pressed further in the Penguins end after goalie Chris Osgood was pulled, but the puck ended up behind the net as time ran out.

Pittsburgh had gone 1-5 in Detroit in the past two final series before pulling this one out at the most clutch time. The Penguins' only other victory at "The Joe" was a triple overtime win in Game 5 last year that kept them alive. Talbot made it possible by scoring the tying goal with 35 seconds left in regulation.

The Penguins are the first team since the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Cup after trailing the series 3-2 and the first to take Game 7 on the road after the home team won the first six games since the 1971 Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago.

Crosby crumpled against the boards after he was hit and seemed to get his left leg caught. He glided to the bench hunched over and stayed bent at the waist as he was guided to the dressing room 5 1/2 minutes into the period.

He was limited to two shifts, totaling 2 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time in the frame, but his teammates doubled the lead while he was gone. Crosby made it back to the ice midway through the third period for the one shift.

"I just wanted them to keep doing what they were doing," Crosby said of what he told his teammates before the third period. "We did a pretty good job of keeping things away from (Fleury) and he was doing a good job of making saves when he needed to."

Uncharacteristic mistakes by the experience-laden Red Wings led to both Pittsburgh goals.

Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer in the regular season and the playoffs, forced defenseman Brad Stuart into making a bad pass from the right corner. Talbot intercepted the puck and fired it between Osgood's pads at 1:13.

The rest of the Penguins stood tall after Crosby left the ice, and Talbot turned a 2-on-1 into a two-goal lead.

"Max came up with some big goals there," Crosby said. "We just wanted to play the same way. It's not easy watching, especially this time of year."

Stuart pinched at the right point of the Penguins zone, and Chris Kunitz beat Jiri Hudler to a loose puck. Kunitz swept it out and onto the stick of Talbot, who raced up ice with Tyler Kennedy and only Kronwall back for Detroit.

Talbot snapped a wrist shot from the middle of the left circle that sneaked in under the crossbar to make it 2-0 at 10:07.

Fleury took care of the rest, looking more solid in the Detroit nets than ever before. He wasn't fazed by Red Wings crashing the net or screening him or any funky bounces off the end boards that tortured him in the earlier games of the series.

Rookie coach Dan Bylsma elected to keep his team home in Pittsburgh an extra day during the two-day break between Games 6 and 7, giving up a chance to practice in Detroit one more time.

The move paid off, and Bylsma became the second coach to win the Stanley Cup with a team he took over midseason. Bylsma helped rescue the Penguins from a near-playoff miss by leading them to a 18-3-4 mark after replacing Michel Therrien on Feb. 15.

Bylsma was on the losing side as a player in 2003 with Anaheim in the last series in which the home team won all seven games. The Mighty Ducks team that lost then was coached by current Red Wings bench boss Mike Wang.

The Red Wings were the overwhelming favorite coming in with four players on the verge of their fifth Stanley Cup rings. Detroit had been 11-1 at home in the playoffs.

NOTES: Bylsma is the 14th rookie coach to win the Cup. ... Both teams stood at the benches and tapped their sticks on the boards when Muhammad Ali was shown on the video screen and introduced to the crowd during a first-period stoppage. ... The last road team to win Game 7 of the championship round in any major league was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the World Series in Baltimore.

Cap'n Clutch


Co-Founder
Co-Founder
So are the Pens for real or was this just a case of the stars aligning in terms of staying healthy, getting career years out of some unlikely players, hitting the right teams and hitting a tired and beaten up Wings team in the Finals?

Time will tell. It should become pretty obvious what the answer is by December.

SensFan71


All-Star
All-Star
• It was the fourth time in sports history that a city has won Stanley Cup after winning the NFL title (Detroit in 1953-54, Detroit in 1935-36, Chicago in 1933-34).

think they will take that a step further next year and the Pirates win the WS?

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
The way they are going, they won't make the playoffs.

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 11 of 11]

Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum