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 » All things PLAYOFFS! » GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 2, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 2, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

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wprager


Administrator
Administrator
shabbs wrote:We have "a series" in the sense that it's not 3-0 Wings with them on the verge of a sweep. It may be short lived if the Wings win tomorrow and go up 3-1... but for now... it's a series.

Well, yeah, sure. The fat lady will sit down and have a sammich, but only because she's getting hungry.

shabbs


Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
HA HA! She'll have a lamb shank me thinks...

GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 2, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET - Page 7 Lambshank

Mmmmmmmmmm lamb....

wprager


Administrator
Administrator
Did you see Cherry pointed out that they were playing with six skaters for about 20 seconds? How can four men, charged to notice such things, completely miss that? Oh, they catch the puck fired over the glass, they call it hooking when you tap someone with your stick "parallel to the ice" (can someone explain to me what that's even relevant? Chara and St. Louis will never get called for that one). But when there's a four-man cycle with two more at the points, they miss it?

Shortly after that Detroit gets the holding call and Pens tie it up. But it could easily have been a PP for the Wings and a 3-1 lead.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
That was hilarious. When you see the replay from above... they've got 6-men cycling the puck around.

Amazing the missed it.

Not sure if Detroit was screaming about it - I think they missed it too.

swales

swales
Prospect
Prospect
I don't think that anyone thought that the Wings were going to Sweep this series. They played a hard fought game and still came up a little short.

I enjoyed the game thoroughly, in spite of the so-so officiating. But it went both ways I believe, and I am not going to use it as an excuse for my beloved Wings. I figured that it was going to be a split in Pitt, and expect Detroit to come out hard and fast iun game 4. This is now a series, and even as a Wings fan, I'm happy with the caliber of play thus far. Here's hoping they let them play tomorrow like they did in the first 2 games, it's much more exciting to watch.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
ESPN's Pierre Lebrun offers his theory for the Wings' loss in his article today:

Wings' first loss exposes poor PK unit

PITTSBURGH -- There are so few weaknesses on the Detroit Red Wings that when you actually stumble upon one, you scratch your head wondering how it could even be.

But a quick glance at the penalty-killing statistics in the NHL playoffs reveals a stunning truth -- the Wings rank 14th out of the 16 playoff teams with a measly 71.4-percent kill rate.

It's a statistic that has been easily ignored because of Detroit's romp through the postseason. But on Tuesday night, in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, it reared its ugly head as Detroit gave up a pair of goals on three power-play chances, including Sergei Gonchar's winner 10:29 into the third period.

"Tonight, we couldn't get the puck out, especially the third goal," said Wings star Henrik Zetterberg, who was among the four Detroit skaters trapped on the long short-handed shift. "We did a lot of good things but we ended up being there for almost 90 seconds. It gets tiring. They had good players out there, and they'll make a play eventually."

The Wings have given up 18 goals on 63 penalty kills this playoff season, continuing an alarming trend from the regular season (the team ranked 25th in the NHL at 78.3 percent). We asked defenseman
Brad Stuart, who was also on the ice for Gonchar's winner, if he could explain such a strange statistic for a team that does everything else so well.

"No, I don't know," Stuart said. "For whatever reason, we've had some trouble with it. If we knew exactly why, we would have corrected it. We're getting some bad breaks. The last goal, we just got caught out there and we're a little gassed. We've come up with some timely kills, but definitely, statistically this doesn't look too good."

Mikael Samuelsson, another member of the ill-fated penalty-killing crew on Gonchar's goal, looked stunned when we told him his team's short-handed ranking in the playoffs.

"I don't know what to say about that," said the veteran Swede. "We're trying to do our best and it's not going our way right now. ... I don't know how to answer that question. It's just numbers. It is what it is."

Well, yes, it is what it is: Pittsburgh's best chance at hanging on in this series. The Pens' power play is clicking at a 21.4 percent rate, sixth in the playoffs and very much a weapon. It's the only time of the night
Sidney Crosby has more space to breathe and not have Zetterberg draped all over him. So as much as Samuelsson may want to shrug it off, it's not a mere footnote. The Pens know this is where they can exploit an otherwise juggernaut Wings team.

"I think one of the things the Wings do well in their PK is they pressure initial pucks into the zone," said Penguins coach
Dan Bylsma. "They shrink those first few seconds very well. We feel we have to break that. Get that possession time and establish that zone time to kind of break them down.

"Our guys did a great job tonight," added Bylsma. "We broke the pressure when they did have loose pucks and did start to be aggressive again. We came up with good sticks and kept that thing alive. And I don't know what time it was on the clock when we scored that, but it was well past 1:20 into that PK. They were tired. Our guys were tired. But the determination with the sticks and guys in front, because of that, we got the big goal."

Wings star forward
Johan Franzen had a unique perspective on his team's PK problems.

"I don't know, maybe because we play so solid five-on-five, maybe the other team gives their all when they finally get a power play and really make sure they create a lot of chances because they don't get as many chances during five-on-five," he said. "Maybe that's a reason."

Whatever the reason(s), it's mind-boggling for a team with so much talent and, in our view, the best coaching staff in the NHL.

At times this postseason, Wings coach Mike Babc0ck has deftly deflected the PK issue, pointing out that some of those goals were not really because of breakdowns, but rather bad breaks, and he was right on a couple of them in the Chicago series.

But Tuesday night, he acknowledged breakdowns on both power-play goals by the Penguins; although, in our mind, Kris Letang's blast in the first period should have been stopped by Wings goalie
Chris Osgood.

"They went on the one goal [Letang], they went half wall across, which is a mistake by us," said Babc0ck. "We can't let it go there. OK, so it was an ugly goal, but it still went across; we should have cut it off. On the second power-play goal, to me, they worked real hard. I thought we worked real hard. We didn't get our stick on it good enough to get it 200 feet. That's the way it goes. They got the power play in the third period, we did not get it."

Ah, yes, a subtle message at the end there by the Wings coach. His team got two power plays on the night, scoring once, and the Pens got three. There was clearly frustration there, especially since the Penguins had six skaters on the ice for 21 seconds in the first period and none of the four on-ice officials caught it.

"I mean, what do you want me to say?" Babc0ck said before ending his news conference, likely wanting to avoid a league fine.

Stuart didn't hide his disappointment in his team having one extra penalty in the game.

"I think the calls we got were borderline, but you just have to keep your feet moving and make sure you don't put yourself in a position to let them have the liberty to make those calls," said the Wings blueliner.

That's a good idea for the Wings right now -- stay out of the box.


Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

Acrobat

Acrobat
Veteran
Veteran
Perhaps this is where the goalie really needs to shine - and he doesn't.

Osgoode is a better than average goalie, I will admit, however I would contend that on any other team (read: on a team without such a stellar defense corps), he would be exposed. Detroit's defense could make Gerber look like Luongo (OK, maybe not, but he'd be not as stinky, anyhow.)

Even-strength, Osgoode has the luxury of not having to deal with as much intrusion into his space, he typically has clear line-of-sight, and shots are typically from the outside. These are harder to ensure when you are killing penalties.

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Acrobat wrote:Perhaps this is where the goalie really needs to shine - and he doesn't.

Osgoode is a better than average goalie, I will admit, however I would contend that on any other team (read: on a team without such a stellar defense corps), he would be exposed. Detroit's defense could make Gerber look like Luongo (OK, maybe not, but he'd be not as stinky, anyhow.)

Even-strength, Osgoode has the luxury of not having to deal with as much intrusion into his space, he typically has clear line-of-sight, and shots are typically from the outside. These are harder to ensure when you are killing penalties.

He's shown what he can do on a lesser team. He did poorly in St. Louis and it looked like his career was just about over.


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Guest


Guest
Did poorly in St Louis? He was fine there, he didnt have the horses he did in Detroit though. Osgoode has never missed the playoffs, show me a goalie besides Roy who has NEVER missed the playoffs.

What he did on Long Island was amazing as well.

Guest


Guest
If/when Osgoode wins another cup and the Conn Smyth his place in the HHOF will be cemented, and rightfully so. Even if he goes into the dumps next year on he will be known as a goalie who could get it done when it mattered.

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