The Stanley Cup Playoffs 2010 are underway. Four games were played on Wednesday night. The only road team to lose, the Red Wings, was the one most likely to win. All four games were decided by one goal. Does this mean that San Jose, Detroit, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh are all going to lose in the first round? Probably not.
Our concern is the Penguins. They opened the playoffs with one of their worst games of the season. Most fans want to put the entire loss on Fleury. He had a big hand in it. He wasn’t the only culprit on the ice. As bad as the team played, they still could have won the game if the goaltending was better. It will be better on Friday.
There are a few changes that I would like to see in the way the lines are configured. Staal, Kennedy, and Cooke can remain intact. Crosby needs a winger with some speed. I would put Dupuis there and keep Kunitz. One of the best combinations in last year’s run was Talbot and Malkin. They should be put back together. Poni and Feds have done nothing to earn the right to stay on the second line. Bylsma is intent on keeping Guerin on one of the top two lines, so put him with Malkin and Talbot. That leaves Adams, Poni, Feds and Rupp for the fourth line. If a demotion to the bottom line doesn’t do anything to spark Feds or Poni, then put Rupp back in the lineup. We do know for sure what his work ethic is.
I don’t believe that the Pens can play much worse than they did on Wednesday. I think they don’t believe they can either. My prediction was Pens in six — I am standing by it, as the Penguins will win games 2,3, 5, and 6. Hope for a Flyer upset of the Devils. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — I can’t believe how many Fleury bashers call themselves Penguin fans. He can be criticized when he has a bad game. He did have a bad game Wednesday. Even though Johnson has proven to be a good backup, anyone who thinks that he gives us a better chance to win than Fleury knows very little about hockey.