Thursday, May 21, 2009
Evgeni Malkin possibly heard that Alex Ovechkin had won the Sporting News Player of the Year Award for the 2nd year in a row. Malkin proceeded to own the Carolina Hurricanes with a hat trick and a 4 point performance in Game 2. This is not what I had expected, especially on the Hurricanes behalf. Wide open pond hockey with nary a care for defense. The Pens outshot Carolina 42-28 and in the end they deserved this win, no question about it. I just keep thinking that how could the Canes be lured into Pittsburgh's strength? Their strength is wide open offensive hockey. At least against Carolina, the Pens have that advantage in my eyes. I give Carolina an "A" for answering each of the Pens goals early in the game with one of their own, but this is a recipe for disaster - and that's what it became. Crosby and Malkin... and the Hurricanes are gonna match them with who? Eric Staal? Not quite! Looks to me like we might be heading towards a rematch of last years final, unless the Canes re-group at home in Raleigh (which is not out of the question). They will have the crowd on their side (loudest in the league), but they have to get back to what they do best! Pressure, play good D, and capitalize on mistakes. If the Hurricanes do not rebound, much like the Western Conference Finals - this one will be over quick.
Speaking of the Western Conference playoffs, Detroit won again (yawn), 3-2 in OT. Damn those Red Wings! Just when most of us thought Chicago was going to steal a game in Detroit and tie the series up at one. The Red Wings took advantage of the Blackhawks like playoff experienced teams do. They turned a huge blunder by Brian Campbell into a game winning goal in OT. First off, what in the world was Campbell thinking? Let's see... he had 3 options. 1) Shoot the puck on the net, 2) Dump it in the corner, and 3) Make a pass across the blueline with the Red Wings in the way? We all know what number Campbell chose in this scenario. Detroit is a tough enough team to play as it is... but jeez, don't make it easy for them! That's the game in a nutshell. Coach Joel Quennville has to be horrified by the turnovers in the first 2 games by his defensemen (which in turn led to Detroit goals). My last count is at least 3 goals have been scored by the Wings off of Blackhawk turnovers - including the OT winner. The Blackhawks played much better in Game 2, probably good enough to win. But, you can't, and I repeat you can't make dumb plays like Brian Campbell did against Detroit. If you do, like I said in my previous blog, this series will be over in a blink of an eye. Let's hope not! Over and out!
EDIT: http://greschnersports.com/ is now up. It's the sports Memorabilia website started by my good friend Ron Greschner, as well as Nick Fotiu and Vic Hadfield. If you want authentic autographed memorabilia, this is where to look! Go ahead and spend your money, people!