Monday, June 1, 2009

Pens Face Early 0-2 Hole, Can They Come Back?

The Detroit Red Wings have taken full advantage of their home ice in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Behind a pair of 3-1 victories, the Red Wings now hold a commanding 2-0 series lead as the Finals moves to Pittsburgh. The Penguins have already overcome one 2-0 deficit against the Washington Capitals in the Conference Semi-Finals. The question now is, can they do it again?

Most people at this point will tell you that the Pens don't have a chance. Their argument would be that the Red Wings beat the Penguins last year and that Detroit is more talented than Pittsburgh. Those are two perfectly valid statements on paper but that shouldn't mean Pittsburgh fans are without hope. This is a much different Penguins team than the one that lost to the Red Wings last year in the Finals. They brought in veteran players to supplement their young nucleus.  Also Pittsburgh's young stars like Crosby, Malkin and Fluery all gained valuable experience with last year's run. As for the overall talent level, the Penguins match up pretty well with the Red Wings. While Detroit has there share of all-stars, no one is really on the same level as Crosby and Malkin with Datsyuk out. The Wings are the deeper team, and that so far has been the difference. 

Detroit's defense has kept the Penguins stars in check. For the Pens to come back in this series, they need to find some holes in the Red Wings defense. I think if they can get some good looks on goal they can beat Detroit's goalie Chris Osgood. Osgood is still a solid goalie, but he's not the All-star he once was. I feel that Pittsburgh can take advantage of him, but they need to find an answer to get past the defense. I just don't see Detroit shutting down Crosby and Malkin for an entire series. While you have to say the Wings are the favorite to win the Stanley Cup, I don't think we should dismiss the Penguins so easily. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree - The Wings are definitely talented, and deserve their 2-0 series lead, but factors other than the two teams effected both games, especially game 1. I don't think that Fleury was quite ready for those boards, and having 2 goals go off his butt really isn't talented hockey. The main thing though, is for the Pens to take advantage of their home ice and to even the series up... looking forward to great hockey though :)