Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Peek a boo Penguins need to get on the same page
Pittsburgh's dreams of a Stanley Cup for 2008 are starting to look a little further away, that after a second consecutive shut out at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.
While the Penguins continue to profess that they aren't out of this series by any means, their struggles have become well documented over the first two games of what they now must hope will be a best of seven series.
Pittsburgh has had a bad case of the nerves as they took their spot in the spotlight of the NHL's final series, once reliable scorers like Malkin and Hossa suddenly are finding it difficult to push a puck behind Chris Osgood. While at the other end of the rink, when the big save has been required, Marc Andre Fleury hasn't been as successful as is required in a big series.
It's not that he's playing poorly, but more that the Red Wings seem to have a sense of the key moment to put the Pens away for good.
Sidney Crosby has shown flashes of making a break out in this hard checking series, but just as quick as the momentum builds up, something seems to go awry in the Detroit end and the puck is heading back down towards Fleury.
Michael Therrien, tried shifting the lineups around in game two and found little in the way of offensive skills, instead the Red Wings answered most every challenge provided and have taken a fairly hefty hold on the championship as they head for games three and four in Pittsburgh.
The game was much like that of game one with the Red Wings taking charge of the play and scoring early, shutting down the Penguin attack and holding down their own end of the rink quite nicely in the third period.
Game three is now the pivotal one in this series, a win for Pittsburgh will energize the crowd for game four and more importantly provide the Penguins with a dose of resolve that may carry them further into the final series.
A loss and all that may be left to do is decide what time the parade starts on Woodward Avenue and whether it arrives at the Joe Louis Arena or at a larger venue to let the Motor City celebrate another championship.
How that scenario will play out will be all but determined upon the outcome of Wednesday night's game...
Globe and Mail-- The new Motor City hit man
Globe and Mail-- Youthful Penguins need to find their legs
Canadian Press-- Detroit's Fab 4 steal spotlight
Ottawa Citizen-- Hey, Pens, the Wings the ones to fear
Montreal Gazette-- Penguins haven't shown up
CBC Sports-- Shell-shocked Penguins giving off air of desperation
Detroit Free Press-- Michel Therrien: Wings' obstruction pays off
Detroit Free Press-- Penguins look for goals, answers in desperate times
Detroit Free Press-- Wings historically burned with big leads in playoffs
Detroit Free Press-- In Pittsburgh, fans brace for worst
Detroit News-- Wings' commitment to defense is cornerstone of success
Detroit News-- Motor City meets Steel City
Detroit News-- Pistons beat the Red Wings in local TV ratings game
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Penguins look for goals, answers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Tables turned, Penguins in panic mode
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Penguins face huge odds in trying to overcome 2-0 deficit
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Detroit's domination has Penguins dazed, confused
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-- Pens plan changes to combat Red Wings
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-- Pens' Kennedy still without a playoff goal
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-- Pittsburgh Trib fans compose odes to Pens
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-- Pens bring desperation home
NHL.com-- Stats Pack