Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 0

Detroit Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula beats Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on a highlight reel goal in the third period to make it 3-0.
(John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Valtteri Filppula flies through the air and slips the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period.
(Dale G. Young / The
The Penguins are in trouble. BIG trouble. Of the 31 teams that have won the opening two games of the Stanley Cup final on home ice 30 went on to win the Cup. The 1945 Maple Leafs were the only team of those 31 to come back from an 0-2 deficit (0-3, actually) and win four straight to take the cup. That’s bad news. But there is good news, of a sort: Toronto beat Detroit in the Final that year. It ain’t likely to happen again, though. From the AP, via ESPN:
DETROIT (AP) -- If the Red Wings keep this up, the next time they perform back in Hockeytown could be along a parade route.
Producing timely offense and perfectionist defense, Detroit is not only beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are shutting them out.
With first-period goals from Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom and another lockdown effort, the Red Wings topped the Penguins 3-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals on Monday night.
If they can match this twice in Pittsburgh, the Red Wings will return to Detroit with the Cup in tow.
Puck-possessing Detroit held onto it all night and registered 34 shots. After a 19-save effort in a 4-0 series-opening win Saturday, Chris Osgood stopped 22 in a rocking-chair game and earned his third blanking of the playoffs -- 13th of his career.
From Canada’s National Post:
DETROIT -- The Pittsburgh Penguins thought they knew what it took to play with the big boys. Then again, the National Hockey League thought it had a dream Stanley Cup Final this spring with Pittsburgh meeting the mighty Detroit Red Wings.
After two games, both are heading back to the drawing board as the Red Wings dominated Pittsburgh again, winning Game 2 by a 3-0 score to secure a 2-0 series stranglehold with their second straight shutout.
The Penguins were blanked 4-0 in Game 1 and had just 19 shots on goal. On Monday night, they had slightly more offence - 22 shots - but still, 120 minutes have passed and the Penguins have not dented Detroit goalie Chris Osgood. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-André Fleury has been good, but might have to start scoring if his Penguins hope to come back here for Game 5 in a weeks' time.
DETROIT -- As they waddle their way back to Pittsburgh down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final and in desperate need of a starting point if they intend to claw their way back into the series, here's a goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins for starters.
How about getting one?
A goal, that is.
Through two games, Sidney Crosby and company have yet to dent the twine and have been limited to a combined total of 41 shots. Steadily and surely, the Penguins are learning the hard, stifling lesson that the Wings have dished out to each of their playoff opponents this spring.
Almost nothing gets by them.
A 3-0 victory Monday at Joe Louis Arena sent this best-of-seven series headed to Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena Wednesday for Game 3 with a look of decisiveness about it. (ed: Read the whole thing…it’s GOOD.)
“A look of decisiveness about it.” That pretty well sums it up. The Versus studio analysis team of Bill Patrick, Keith Jones, and Brian Engblom… along with guest Hall of Famer Mark Messier… spent the first two intermissions of last night’s game trying to “fix” Pittsburgh, offering up obvious and somewhat inane suggestions as to how Pittsburgh could solve Detroit (“more ice time for Crosby!”), and most specifically Detroit’s overwhelming defense. Pens coach Therrien must not have been listening, because the third period was more of the same: total Detroit domination. Messier, when asked by Patrick “What can Pittsburgh DO?” after the game was over, answered “Not much. Detroit is a machine right now. They’re playing perfect hockey.” Messier is right. It seems like all Pittsburgh can do at this point is make excuses, and that’s just ugly. As are the cheap shots.
Detroit's Johan Franzen pounds Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin in third period fight that put three Penguins in the penalty box as the Red Wings beat the Penguins, 3-0, in the second game of the Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on Monday May 26, 2008. With the win, the Wings grabbed a 2-0 series lead.
Dale G. Young / The
Still and even… it’s only two games of a seven-game series, and…as everyone knows…Shit Happens in sports sometimes. The Wings won the first two games at home in the first round, then dropped the next two to Nashville on their ice. There is a difference in that series and this one, though… the Predators managed to score three goals at Joe Louis Arena during the first two games of that round…and that’s three more goals than Pittsburgh has scored.
And then we have Wings coach Mike Babcock’s 2003 Anaheim Ducks, who dropped the first two games to New Jersey before bouncing back and losing that year’s Final in seven games. So, yeah…Shit Happens. It’s pretty danged hard to believe it can happen to this Detroit Red Wings team, though…and that goes double for Pittsburgh. The Penguins haven’t shown any of the qualities necessary to pull off a turn-around of this magnitude. This series isn’t close at all… and it’s never been close.


  1. It's over! The Wings may take the Pen-Queens in 4 straight.

  2. Yeah, I'm smelling that sweetness of Sweep in the air!!! Or actually, no more than 5-games. You know, the win the Cup at home thing, share the Win and the Season with the Fans. That's what I see happening. And Detroit has the team to engineer that.

    Jimmy T

  3. I saw an interesting stat Monday (or was it yesterday?)... at the start of Monday's game the Wings were 14-1 in Stanley Cup Final games going back to 1997. Carolina was the only team they faced that won a game, what with Philly and Washington being swept in '97 and '98.

    I'm superstitious. I don't wanna jinx 'em by saying "sweep" too loudly. But ya know that's what I'm thinking. I'm sure the Penguins are, too. ;-)


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