June 3, 2008

It's Deja Vu All Over Again...

1996: Roy Vs. Vanbiesbrouck- That is what kept flashing through my mind.

Don't get me wrong, but when Krupp scored the game winner in the 3rd overtime, it was the only goal of the game. But watching Ozzie battle Fleury tonight brought me back to that June night in 1996.

Now onto the rest of this series: Where does is go?

I have to say, I was not impressed by the play of the Penguins during this game. I felt they were sluggish and were behind many of the plays. They were also sloppy, giving the Red Wings way too many opportunities, while they were unable to create opportunities for themselves. Watching blind passes in hockey is about as much fun as stabbing myself in the eye, and Pittsburgh did it way too much tonight.

What Pittsburgh did do correctly, was attack the net aggressively after pulling Fleury out of the net. Max Talbot was in the right place at the right time, and took advantage of it. He chopped at the puck until he popped it in. This win may have just shifted the series in Pittsburgh's direction. With the intensity high and the confidence high as well, you can bank of Pittsburgh playing well in their building tomorrow night.

The question is, assuming they win tomorrow, can they win Game 7 in Detroit?

Before the series started, I had felt confident that the Pens would win the cup. I figured that the youth had the speed and stamina to edge the Red Wings. I am not so sure anymore, however. It is clear that the Pens have had problems keeping up with the Wings. I am not so sure that in a Game 7, that the Penguins will have enough in the tank to keep up with the Red Wings.

At this point, anything that anyone says can only be an estimate based upon research and opinions. The real answer lies in the result to Wednesday's game. If the Pens find a way to win and look like they are ready to play the Red Wings, they may just have enough. If however, they win in similar fashion to tonight, I am not sure that they will be able to make it another game. They need to fight for every shot. They need to play more "heads-up" than they have so far. They need to cut out the second chance opportunities that they have given the Red Wings. They must also be much more aggressive with the puck. They were out-shot badly tonight, and this may prove to haunt them later in the series.

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