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Red Wings Outworking Not Outclassing Penguins

June 2, 2009 by Big Tony · 1 Comment 

610x Red Wings Outworking Not Outclassing Penguins
Aside from Detroit’s third goal (poor play by the defense and poor goaltending to boot) the Pittsburgh Penguins have been in each of the first two games but the difference is they have been outworked. Detroit certainly has a lot of talent but what makes them so successful is they pride themselves on their work ethic from top to bottom. No matter the skill level of the player each and every Red Wings works as hard as possible from start to finish and it is killing the Penguins. There is also a little bit of bad luck invovled–mainly potential goals by Crosby and Guerin narrowly missing by hitting the post each time–but bad luck does not lose you a series. If Pittsburgh wants to win they simply have to work a little bit harder; they do not need to outmuscle or outclass Detroit (they can’t) but they can match their work ethic. By matching their work ethic they Penguins can surely win each of the next two games because that extra work combined with the home crowd, and the skill they already have can put them over the top. There is also the Chris Osgood factor, although he has played very well thus far he has been weakening as time goes on and there was a reason he split time with Ty Conklin this year and went into last year’s playoffs as the backup to Hasek; Pittsburgh simply needs to keep going after Conklin the way they went after Varmalov in the second round and the way they did in Cam Ward (slowly but surely) in the Conference Finals. Pittsburgh winning game three means everything to the series and they can certainly do that. If the Penguins win game three then the series will surely change in tide no matter what happens in game four as they have shown they can come back from adversity. We’ll see ya after game three everyone.

Down and Out? Caps Hold Serve, Pens Must Rally

May 4, 2009 by Big Tony · 1 Comment 

penguins down 240x300 Down and Out? Caps Hold Serve, Pens Must Rally
The Capitals and Penguins have played a fairly even series so far. Both Crosby and Ovechkin recorded hat tricks Monday night and both goaltenders have made some incredible saves. The difference so far has basically been timing. The Penguins have taken the early lead in both games but the Capitals are answering quickly before Pittsburgh can extend the lead to get a reasonable chance at protecting it. The Capitals are also getting timely goals as they have taken the lead late in both contests. Timing is key point one, but key point two is Varlamov making the mistake of giving very little in goal. Varlamov has given up a soft goal here and there but has done it at a time when the Caps can battle back, whereas Fleury gave up two soft goals in a row to Ovechkin with under five minutes left to play in regulation. So how does Pittsburgh right the ship? Evgeni Malkin has to step up his game and get himself on the score sheet. Malkin was a difference maker all season long and into the playoffs which is part of what separates Pittsburgh from the rest of the competition. As a Hart trophy finalist, Malkin (along with the other wingers) has to make a discernible impact to take some of the pressure off of Crosby and Fleury. Washington on the other hand simply needs to keep doing what they’re doing: make the Penguins play for every penalty they take, keep Varlamov from getting caught up in the moment of the big stage he’s on, and keep getting timely goals to keep the morale of the Penguins low. Now the series moves back to Pittsburgh where the Penguins need to win both games if they want any chance of advancing. The time to rely on last year’s finals appearance is now, because upstart Washington can taste the Conference Finals.