Well, maybe the Penguins were shooting too much in the first two games. In both of those games, which were losses, the Pens outshot the Red Wings. Tonight, a victory, the Pens were outshot 29-21. On this night, the Pens made their shots count more as they went on to a 4-2 victory.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played a very physical game tonight. The Pens out hit the Wings 36-17 tonight. Chris Kunitz had 11 hits by himself. Many of the hits were big-time hits as well. I would have to say a couple of the Red Wing players are uncomfortable right now as a result of some of the hits. Pittsburgh also got some opportunities as a result of the physical play.
I would love to see the Penguins play the whole game with the same energy and determination they showcased in the third period. Not only did they outscore the Red wings 2-0 in the period, they outshot the Wings 14-3. They were very aggressive on their forecheck, they were very physical and took advantage of opportunities. This was especially important after having a pretty bad second period.
Timing is everything. The Penguins sometimes demonstrate very bad timing. It did not hurt them as badly tonight, but it has stuck out during the series. Just after getting the first goal and the momentum, the Pens allow a goal to Zetterberg. Now that the momentum had been stolen, they get called for a penalty. This is horrible timing. Though Detroit did not score on the insuing power play, they scored moments after the penalty time had expired while still in Pittsburgh’s zone. This really turned the momentum around. The puck was kept in our zone after yet another lost faceoff. As it has been too many times in this series, bad timing for a lost faceoff. It would be nice to see the Pens keep momentum going in their favor and maybe get that elusive two goal lead.
It appears that the secret to getting a penalty call in your favor is to take a dive. After missing several blatant penalties, the refs finally called a penalty on Brooks Orpik. This was a very questionable call as the player that drew the penalty definately embellished the hit. Later in the first, Jordan Staal decided to take a page from the same book and was able to get a power play late in the period. What kind of a message does that send to players and fans?
- Good decision to keep Letang in the lineup.
- How about Mad Max!
- Nice to see Malkin with 3 assists. He continues to play well.
- Fleury had a very solid game tonight. He was especially good in the second period as the Pens were being outplayed very badly.
- Sid gets his first point of the series tonight. I don’t think his not scoring is a good reflection of how well he has played. Though it would be nice to see him on the board more, he has played well.
- There were lots of good opportunities again tonight. Again, they had diffuculty finsihing those opportunities. In fact, many of the scoring opportunities did not even end up with a shot on goal. It is good that they won the game, but I would like to see them bury more of these chances.
- The officiating continues to boggle the mind. There are so many missed calls on both teams including a 21 second stretch where the Pens had six men on the ice.
- Interesting to see the coaching battle over getting the match-ups each coach wanted.
- It was announced tonight that Sidney Crosby is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.
Time to even this thing up!