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 » All things PLAYOFFS! » GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

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WHO WINS GAME SIX?

GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap253%GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 53% [ 9 ]
GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap247%GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 47% [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 17

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davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET DetDetroit at GAME DAY: SCP '09, TUESDAY JUNE 9, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET PitPittsburgh

GAME SIX, 2009 STANLEY CUP FINALS
RED WINGS LEAD SERIES 3-2

8:00 PM ET, June 9, 2009
Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

NBC/CBC/RDS

Red Wings-Penguins Preview

MORE FROM ESPN.COM, INCLUDING STATISTICAL COMPARISONS:
http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/preview?gameId=290609016

PITTSBURGH (ESPN/AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings skated into Pittsburgh for this very game last year, outplayed the Penguins in their building and, in the final indignity, paraded with the Stanley Cup on the same ice where Mario Lemieux once played.

Think Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury don't remember the emptiness and frustration they felt after that Stanley Cup finals Game 6? After more than 100 games played over more than eight grueling months, the season ends and the other team celebrates before your friends, family and fans?

"We don't want that image in our heads again," Penguins forward Max Talbot said Monday.

If the Red Wings win this Game 6 on Tuesday, a year and five days after winning their last one there, it will be more than an image to the Penguins. It will be an instant replay.

Not since Montreal clinched in Boston in 1977 and 1978 has a team won the Stanley Cup in the same opponent's building two seasons in a row, but the Red Wings will gladly take another clincher in Pittsburgh if it means avoiding an ever-dangerous Game 7.

"It's obviously a special night when you know you have a chance to win the Cup in one single hockey game," goalie Chris Osgood.

The Penguins have heard for two days how they lost the Stanley Cup with a more-than-miserable 5-0 loss in Game 5 on Saturday. Even if they win Game 6 before an all-in-white home crowd, they must go back to Detroit and inhospitable Joe Louis Arena, where they have been outscored 10-2 while losing three games and, at times, their tempers.

No, the Penguins don't need to be told what many outside their dressing room are thinking: This one's over.

Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko is certain it's not.

Five years ago, his Tampa Bay Lightning were down 3-2 to the Flames going into a road Game 6, with seemingly half of Alberta filling Calgary's Red Mile entertainment district to celebrate. Instead, Tampa Bay won in overtime, and the Lightning also took Game 7 at home as Fedotenko scored both goals during their 2-1 victory.

"You don't think about Game 7," Fedotenko said. "You focus on one game, one shift, and focus like it's your last shift, and you do it again on the next shift. You play like that, you take care of business, you put yourselves in a good position to win that game."

The Penguins' problem is the Red Wings are in a much better position. Two-way star Pavel Datsyuk's return after missing seven playoff games with a foot injury gave them a big lift in Game 5, and many of their players have been in games like this before.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom and Kirk Maltby played on all four Red Wings Stanley Cup winners since 1997, and they can make it five on Tuesday. None of those previous four finals went to a Game 7.

"You play for home ice and we have it, but that doesn't give you any guarantees," Maltby said. "You always want to try and get that fourth win sooner than later. We have to play like we're a desperate team."

Especially against Crosby, who is second in the playoffs with 31 points but was neutralized in Game 5 by a combination of Henrik Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and the Penguins' ineptness. The Pittsburgh captain said it's one bad game and it's over.

One more loss and the Penguins' season is over.

"I think we're going to bounce back," Crosby said. "We have all year. We weren't happy with that effort, but we've moved on. I think we realize that, when we were in 10th place in the middle of the season, if they had told us that we had to win a game to force Game 7, we would have taken it."

For all the Penguins' struggles in Detroit, Game 7 couldn't look more attractive.

"I really believe it's not over," goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "I really look for that Game 7. But at the same time we've got to be ready to just play the game."

There's no talk now that the Red Wings are too tired or too slow -- funny how winning 5-0 quiets all that -- but they also understand that if Pittsburgh forces Game 7, the pressure shifts from the Penguins to them.

"You have to find a way to win in the other team's building. Except in this series, we've been able to do that," Draper said. "It's up to us to respond, to play the kind of hockey we know we can play."

And the way Marian Hossa believed they would play after he jumped sides from Pittsburgh to Detroit after last year's finals.

"It's the first time I've been in this position, so close," Hossa said. "That would be a dream come true (to win it in Pittsburgh), obviously."

Not for the Penguins, who still remember Hossa's last-second shot skittering along the goal line but not going in during their decisive 3-2 loss in Game 6 last year.

To coach Dan Bylsma, the best teams and best players are those that accomplish the most during the toughest times. For his team, this is about as tough as it gets.

"I like it being a defining moment. Moments like this define where you're at," he said. "Everyone in that room should be ready to play their best game and make a difference."

PTFlea

PTFlea
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
I'll say the Wings this time - they don't want a Game 7 where anything can happen.

Guest


Guest
The Wings should end it tomorrow night, buuuuut if anyone cares the last Eastern Conferance team to beat the Pens are the Sens, haha. Thats saaaaaaaad.

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
I went with the Pens. I think Fleury has a bounce back game and I really think this Pens team is better than last year and at least good enough to make this series go the distance. In the end you can't bet against the Wings at home in a game 7. If the Wings Or when the Wings win it I'll be rooting for the Dynasty. I wasn't old enough to appreciate the Isles Dynasty and would love to see one in my life time.


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
I'd like to see the Pens win at home and then send it back to Detroit for Game 7.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
Just imagine how much it would suck for Pens fans if the Wings do win it tomorrow. That would be two years in a row they have to watch the Wings win THE CUP on their ice.

Cue the NHL commercial with Sidney in it...

"I'm back in this photo and it sucks! Diddle THE WINGS!!!!"

Heh heh.

Guest


Guest
Could the Pens be the Buffalo Bills of the NHL?

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
I voted Pens. I thought I would be in the minority, but it's now 8-3 in favor of the Pens -- surprising. I want the Wings to win in 7 because of the bracket pool, but I also think the Pens will do all they can to avoid what happened last year. Seeing the Cup being awarded in your barn to someone else has go to be worse than losing it on the road. They'll leave everything on the ice, and if they win they'll have nothing left for Game Seven. We might actually see an overtime or two for the first time.

On the other hand, remember what happened the last time Fleury got yanked. While Fleury rebouned with a 1-0 victory, getting the first star, look at what the rest of the team did: 1 lousy goal, against the Islanders! You think they may have been playing it a little safe? It worked against the Isles' pop-gun offense, but it will not work against Detroit. In the interest of seeing a Game Seven, I certainly hope that Bylsma is aware of this.

Number Twenty Nine

Number Twenty Nine
Veteran
Veteran
something tells me this will be decided in a game 7 in OT....I could be way off, but it will be someone like Kunitz in OT

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
The Guy With The Mustache wrote:Could the Pens be the Buffalo Bills of the NHL?

I was wondering when that would be brought up. Laughing3


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Number Twenty Nine wrote:something tells me this will be decided in a game 7 in OT....I could be way off, but it will be someone like Kunitz in OT

I hope you're right I'd love to see a multi-OT game 7. As a Hockey fan it doesn't get any better than that. Of course lets get past game six first.


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

SensFan71


All-Star
All-Star
The Guy With The Mustache wrote:Could the Pens be the Buffalo Bills of the NHL?

what, they are going to be rumoured moving to Toronto as well, sheesh, how many teams in Toronto can the league handle? Laughing3

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
Number Twenty Nine wrote:something tells me this will be decided in a game 7 in OT....I could be way off, but it will be someone like Kunitz in OT

I agree with the middle part ... :^^^^:

If the Pens get to game 7 I believe they will be completely spent. Nothing left in the tank. Game seven will then be much like game seven was in the Washington series. And has Kunitz done *anything* to make you think of him as a go-to type player?

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Stan "The Maven" Fischler, arguably hockey's most esteemed writer--and certainly one of its most prolific over a 50-year career--offers his uniquely crafted and slightly mischievous perspective:

Premature Extinction Of The Penguins
Stan Fischler for MAXHOCKEY.COM, June 8, 2009

You have to wonder why the Penguins will even bother to show up at their Igloo on Tuesday night.

Penguins can read, can't they?

Haven't they seen the papers?

Answer: Of course they can; and they have; and they know that a majority of the "experts" (that means hockey writers -- mostly Canadian -- who believe they invented The Game) have consigned Pittsburgh to the playoff scrapheap.

Granted, a 5-0 spanking in Detroit is not exactly Exhibit A in Chapter One of "How To Win The Stanley Cup" but, then again, that shutout is ancient history in terms of the here and now.

Dan Bylsma, the Penguins rookie coach who sometimes actually looks like an oversized penguin in man's clothing, is a keen student of his club's history. He believes that there's reason to BELIEVE, particularly if he can quickly find a good wall in The Igloo.

"We've played our best hockey when our backs were up against a wall," says Dangerous Dan, The Goony Bird Man. "I'm confident in our group that they will be focused and ready to go."

Now isn't that nice.

What else would you expect in Game Six of The Stanley Cup Finals, Sid Crosby un-focused and not quite ready to go?

But if Detroit is Hockeytown, Pittsburgh has become Clichetown where someone ought to invent a new set of cliches.

Another good invention -- for Penguins-use only -- would be an anti-Zetterberg serum that would free Sidney from Henrik and all the annoying things the Red Wing does, such as reduce Crosby to a rather dirty, little hockey player whose cheap shots have embarrassed himself, not to mention his team.

Not that his buddy, Evgeni Malkin is Mister Clean. The Rapid Russian didn't learn much of a lesson after escaping an NHL suspension which should have been enforced, nor does Malkin believe that crosschecking a Detroit player in the back deserves anything but a standing ovation.

Who knows, maybe those tactics will have reduced the Red Wings to fear -- if not loathing -- and cause them to disintegrate before the capacity crowd which will be roaring for another comeback.

Hey, if he Pens can rally from a two-nothing games deficit, why shouldn't they be able to win one more home game?

Answer: They should -- and will, 4-2 -- but if you don't believe The Maven, listen up to Sidney The Kidney.

"We've been through a lot that we've had to bounce back from," asserts Mister Mangled Moustache.

They have; they have. Pittsburgh could very well win The Stanley Cup but that will depend in large part on Pavel Datsyuk and his ability to match a nifty comeback (two assists, Plus-2) game on Saturday; not to mention Chris Osgood's enthusiasm over playing in a BIG game -- like Number Six -- and some lessons learned by Detroit's intense coach Mike Babc0ck, who has to like his goalie today.

Right now, Osgood's numbers include a .927 save percentage, 2.00 goals against average and a pretty clear head going into his biggest game of the campaign.

"I gotta stay focused," Chris says. "We've had a lot of ups and downs since the playoffs started; the series have been real difficult."

Now for some HOT, late, breaking news: How well Osgood can defuse an awfully scary lineup will go a long way toward determining whether The Cup will be won in Pittsburgh.

Babc0ck is betting on nothing, just hoping that his troops realize how close they are to the champagne.

"I've talked to my players," he reveals, "telling them that you never know when you'll get an opportunity like this again."

But Babc0ck has a one-game lead. In the end, the onus will be on Crosby and Malkin to lift their team.

No, they don't necessarily have to score as long as the support troops do the job.

But when the night is out, and the Penguins triumph, they will have had to have
been key factors in the ultimate decision.

It's as simple at that -- Game Seven at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night for the marbles.

Unless, of course, Duke Datsyuk of Detroit shouts, "Hell, no, these are MY marbles!"

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
This is the thread for tonight's game, folks... Smile

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