Sunday, May 24, 2009
Well, it looks like the Carolina Hurricanes great run in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs is just about over. With a convincing 6-2 win over the Hurricanes, the Pittsburgh Penguins were led by the awesome two-headed monster of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Pens are now 1 win away from heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals. Carolina just doesn’t have enough talent to deal with Crosby, Malkin, and company. Sorry, but if you think they do - then where has it been? I give the Hurricanes great grades for their run in the playoffs, no doubt. They had to beat the best team in the Eastern Conference all season long in the Boston Bruins, as well as the Atlantic Division champion New Jersey Devils. However, to play and win against the Pittsburgh Penguins you have to be perfect and the Canes have been far from that. Malkin, who woke up towards the end of the Capitals series, is on fire right now! Also, as usual, Sid “The Kid” is playing like the star that he is - tough tandem, wouldn’t you say? Even with the Canes scoring first and the Raleigh crowd as loud as ever, the Pens were too much once again. The Pens outshot the Canes by a 40-34 margin. That is becoming a habit for the Penguins in this year’s playoffs. Can the Hurricanes win one? Sure. Can they win the series? Forget about it!
Onto the Detroit Vs. Chicago series. Try to bear with me a little bit here as I’m trying to condense 2 stories into one! Here it goes… In Game 3, the Chicago Blackhawks looked like a lost hockey club for almost 2 full periods. However, they still managed to pull out a dramatic 4-3 victory in OT. Patrick Sharpe became the hero of the night as he snapped a Samuel Pahlsson pass (which was a beauty) past Chris Osgood 1:52 into the first OT session. The Hawks did a little growing up in this contest as they were able to rebound after blowing their commanding 3 goal lead in the game. I’ve gotta tell you, Chicago definitely looked like the inexperienced team that I thought they were. At times during the game it seemed like the rink was cut in half in Detroit’s favor for the entire 2nd and 3rd periods. Detroit just shot down any and all Hawks efforts to attack offensively. One last point about this game: Niklas Kronwall. I usually jump on this guy all the time due to the fact that the majority of his hits are illegal (he leaves his skates like there’s no tomorrow). In Game 3, however, I have got to lean on his side with his hit on Martin Havlat. It hurts me to say it, but it was a clean hit (Marty, keep your head up).
In Game 4, the Detroit Red Wings proved what I suspected all along. The Chicago Blackhawks youthful inexperience finally came to the forefront. The Hawks looked very nervous, slow, and shockingly tentative after coming off the big OT win in Game 3. Detroit showed it’s poise and experience in a commanding 6-1 win. The Red Wings have now placed the stranglehold on the young Hawks and this series with a 3-1 lead. Detroit is just too good for the Hawks. With the rules of the NHL being what they are, the Red Wings have built their team according to suit. I personally don’t care for this style that they play and I could debate anyone in the NHL on it. But, it is what it is and Detroit plays it perfectly. The Blackhawks on the other hand got a little flustered and frustrated trying to exact some physical punishment on the Wings. Sorry, it doesn’t work in today’s NHL! The Wings may be the most talented team, I will admit that. On the flip side, they are also the game’s best actors and fakers. Oh well, enough for today. Game 5 in Detroit doesn’t look very good for the Hawks - this series may be over soon. Over and out!
EDIT: New poll added. Go vote! The last poll has closed: "Who Will Win The Stanley Cup", the majority of the votes went to the Red Wings and the Penguins. They definitely have the best shot as of now!