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GM Hockey » All things PLAYOFFS! » GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET

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Game 4 winner

GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap267%GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 67% [ 8 ]
GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap233%GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 33% [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 12

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davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET DetDetroit at GAME DAY: SCP '09, THURSDAY JUNE 4, STANLEY CUP FINAL--DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH, 800 PM ET PitPittsburgh

GAME THREE, 2009 STANLEY CUP FINALS
RED WINGS LEAD SERIES 2-1

8:00 PM ET, June 4, 2009
Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Versus/CBC/RDS

Red Wings-Penguins Preview

PITTSBURGH (AP/ESPN) -- Brand-new locker room humorist Evgeni Malkin is making fun of his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates in two languages, and they're loving it.

Coach Dan Bylsma is pleased because Malkin is laughing at his dry-humor witticisms. Sidney Crosby doesn't have a goal in the Stanley Cup finals, yet he's smiling, too.

The yuk-it-up Penguins trail the defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 going into Game 4 on Thursday night, but it was difficult to tell from their off-day levity that they weren't ahead.

They're not acting at all like they did when they were down a game in this same situation last year, against the same opponent. And it's certainly not because Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, who is capable of winning a game at both ends of the ice, expects to play after sitting out six games with a foot injury.

"It's a lot different than last year, that's for sure," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said Wednesday.

That was evident as Malkin repeatedly made fun of teammate Max Talbot, whose two goals during Pittsburgh's 4-2 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday included one into an empty net.

Malkin did it in English, too, rather than the native Russian that the NHL regular- season scoring champion used before this season, with defenseman Sergei Gonchar acting as his interpreter.

Malkin: "I'm seeing how Max plays, it's a lot of emotion ... and a little bit bad hands. He has a lot of scoring chances, but (does) not score. Just empty net."

Talbot: "I'm speechless right now, thanks Geno."

Later, teammate Bill Guerin said, "That's one side that I don't really think people understand. I think people think he (Malkin) is a quiet guy. But he's got a great sense of humor to him, yeah."

A pretty good set of hands, too, as Malkin has 33 points, the most in the NHL playoffs since Joe Sakic had 34 for Colorado in 1996.

Malkin's upgraded play is one of the reasons the Penguins are optimistic they can pull off a comeback after losing the first two games on the road, despite the fact only one of 32 teams has previously overcome such a deficit in the finals.

Malkin, badly off his game while being shut out in the first four games against Detroit last year, has a goal, four assists and the look of a player who could take over a series. Crosby, who trails only Malkin in playoff scoring with 29 points, has only one assist in three games and has yet to take off. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury settled down after two shaky losses to make 27 saves on Tuesday.

"I'm learning how to play now, it's the second final -- it's the same team," Malkin said. "I know how to play Detroit, and I try to play a little harder."

The Penguins also believe they are better prepared to take anything Detroit can throw at them after weathering a thrill-a-minute second period of Game 3 in which they were outshot 14-4. The Penguins also trailed Washington 2-0 in the second round before winning four of the last five, as they now must do to win the Stanley Cup.

"Last year, we weren't happy at all," Crosby said. "We knew we had a lot of work to do. We hadn't found our game yet. But I feel at this point we know what it takes."

Of course, the Penguins wouldn't be the first team to be wrongly convinced it was ready to take down hockey's most accomplished and consistent winners, a team that would likely make its fifth Stanley Cup since 1997 a mere formality by winning Thursday night.

A year ago, the Red Wings lost Game 3 in Pittsburgh, bounced back to take Game 4, then returned to win the Stanley Cup on the Penguins' ice in Game 6.

"We look at it like, `Hey, they won one game and played real well, but ... we can put ourselves in a great position by winning," defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said.

The return of Datsyuk, the Hart Trophy finalist and shutdown defender, has the potential to alter the series. Getting Datsyuk back might allow coach Mike Babc0ck to trim Zetterberg's ice time; he played 24-plus minutes while all but accompanying Crosby to the bench between shifts in Game 3.

What Datsyuk didn't lose during his absence was his sense of humor, which was in abundance on both sides -- especially by the Russians.

"Oh, I tell you, this is not fun to watch," Datsyuk said of sitting out. "I take in lots of beer."

What is this, the Stanley Cup finals or tryouts for David Letterman?

Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood also is wearing the no-big-deal look of a relaxed player who's won three Stanley Cups and knows how to deal with the occasional loss.

"The games have been played at a higher competition level and a lot closer than they have been before," Osgood said. "They've gained experience and added some key elements. ... But it's ironic that all three games have gone exactly the same as they did last year."

Game notes
Detroit is 3-1 after a loss. ... The last five teams to lose Game 3 won the Stanley Cup. ... Most of the Red Wings practiced, while most of the Penguins did not. ... F
Kris Draper (groin), held out despite being healthy for Game 3, will play Thursday, according to Babc0ck. ... Red Wings F Marian Hossa has six goals in the playoffs, all in Game 4.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Will Pav be back? Ask Doctor Rahmani...

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
I'm thinking Pavel will be back for the final win and only in a limited capacity.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
I finally watched the third period of Game 3. On that interference call that led to the winning goal, I was wondering why Ericsson immediately looked up at the ref -- this was just *before* the ref lifted his arm, so it wasn't an "Oh come one!" look. He was actually complaining about something.

Well, a little later they showed a reverse angle view of the play, and Cooke (I think it was Cooke) grabbed Ericsson's stick and put it in his arm-pit. That drew Ericsson in toward the boards and made the interference much more obvious. If not for that, he would have just forced him wide and that would have been it.

At worst, it should have been interference on Ericsson and holding the stick on Cooke.

Guest


Guest
I am loving this hockey. Don't like either team particularly but the hockey has been fantastic. Can't wait till tomorrow....

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
I'm really hoping Pittsburgh can pull off another win. No not just because of the Pool. I really want this series to be in doubt right to the end. If the Wings win tonight then it's over.


_________________
"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
So... will we see Datsyuk tonight? The video of him in practice didn't look too promsing... pretty gingerly.

swales

swales
Prospect
Prospect
With Tuesday's field trip over, I expect to see class back in session this evening. With the return of face-off specialist, Kris Draper, the Wings will not only be able to win more draws, but be more effective on the penalty kill as well. I am also crossing my fingers in hopes that Pavel Datsyuk will take to the ice, being at least 75% healthy. He will be able to take some of weight off of Zetterberg, who played nearly 25 minutes on Tuesday.

I am also glad to see that the Pingus are enjoying themselves right now because i think it might be the last time for a while. Mind you, I am a little biased being a Detroit fan. Still, I believe it will be the men against the boys once again. The Wings are still in control of the series, being up 2-1, and they seem to love game 4's. Hossa Especially. I would love to see him silence the crowd early on this evening, and keep his game 4 numbers going. Here's hoping tonights game will be as entertaining as the last 3.

Thoughts?

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
IMHO tough to call this one...

Factoid:

The Red Wings' PK has been one of the worst of any team in the SCPs so far.

Keys as I see 'em:

If the Pens get the first goal, maintain the aggressive play they showed in the 3rd in Game 3, and exploit the Wings' tendency to turn the puck over under pressure in their own end, it could get interesting. Pittsburgh did, after all, put three past Ozzy.

If the Penguins let Detroit play 'Red Wing hockey', meaning they give them space to skate, make their trademark pinpoint passes, and set up in the slot or at the top of the circle--all of which the Wings do better than anyone--the Pingus will lose.

Should be a terrific game, and would love to see this series go seven with a few OT contests.

:##:

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
I think tonight's game will come down to special teams. As DTR noted, the Wings' PK has been abysmal so far.

The return of Draper and possibly Datsyuk should give the Wings added inspiration and motivation.

Should be a good one!

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
swales wrote:With Tuesday's field trip over, I expect to see class back in session this evening. With the return of face-off specialist, Kris Draper, the Wings will not only be able to win more draws, but be more effective on the penalty kill as well. I am also crossing my fingers in hopes that Pavel Datsyuk will take to the ice, being at least 75% healthy. He will be able to take some of weight off of Zetterberg, who played nearly 25 minutes on Tuesday.

I am also glad to see that the Pingus are enjoying themselves right now because i think it might be the last time for a while. Mind you, I am a little biased being a Detroit fan. Still, I believe it will be the men against the boys once again. The Wings are still in control of the series, being up 2-1, and they seem to love game 4's. Hossa Especially. I would love to see him silence the crowd early on this evening, and keep his game 4 numbers going. Here's hoping tonights game will be as entertaining as the last 3.

Thoughts?

Having Draper and Datsyuk back would make a difference if they're both healthy enough. The keys here are Detroit taking back control and improving the PK will go a long way. They also have to stem the tide of Malkin's improved play. As far as Hossa and his love of game 4? I sure hope the Wings are counting on that simply because it's game 4.


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

- Unknown Author

Guest


Guest
I think this series will come down to the front of the net battles myself. Franzen and Holmstrom are unbelievable in front of the net (although I hate them both - which probably a good thing for them, means they are doing their job) there are many shots MAF can't even see. I still marvel at one of the saves last game, there was no way he saw it but kicked out his leg at the last second... marvelous. The Pens need to remain physical but up the net drive while having their physical defense move bodies out of the way for Fleury. If they do that they win again tonight... if not they lose.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
Datsyuk expects to play:
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/stanleycup/Stanleycupfinal/story/2009/06/04/sp-datsyuk-game4.html?ref=rss


The Russian star has been out for six games after breaking his foot
in the Western Conference final against Chicago, but he skated hard in
practice on Wednesday.

"He had a big smile on his face at practice," said teammate Henrik Zetterberg. "He looked good."

Added Zetterberg: "We've sure been missing him. He's a big part of
this team. He works really hard at both ends of the ice, so if he is a
go, it will be very good for us."
However Babcock says the final decision will be made after the morning skate.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
From aling to ale-ing:
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Playoffs/Detroit/2009/06/04/9673356-sun.html


Asked how he has been passing the
time during the Stanley Cup final while hobbling around with a foot
injury, the affable Datsyuk told reporters: "This is not fun to watch.
I take in lots of beer."

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Maybe it's the brews that are allowing him to come back early? cool)


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

- Unknown Author

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