Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Pittsburgh Penguins, left for dead by many, have made the Stanley Cup Finals at the very least an "interesting" series with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Pens got a nice hand from the NHL and the officiating as they were given the benefit of the doubt more often than not in Game 3. Much like Detroit was given in the first 2 games.
The Penguins started out fast and controlled the opening play with a ton of pressure. In turn, this got Pittsburgh the lead on a nice shot by Maxime Talbot which beat Chris Osgood on the short side. All the momentum was lost however when the Penguins got confused with the new line changes (trying to get Crosby away from Zetterberg) and Zetterberg tied the game up at 1-1 on a nice snapshot. The only question that I have on this one is why was Crosby gliding behind his net while there was 2 Detroit players in front? Sorry, Sid. That's a no-no! From there, Detroit took all the momentum that the Pens had and turned it into their own. Although I thought it was a cheap call on Brooks Orpik, the Wings took advantage on the ensuing PP with Johan Franzen roofing one by Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Wings the 2-1 lead. Pittsburgh was able to tie the game back up at 2 on a PP when Kris Letang (who almost whiffed completely on the first attempt) was able to get his shot off and it flew between Osgood's legs. At this point I thought it was crucial that Pittsburgh tied the game up before the period ended. It was a big boost for the Pens.
Detroit came out flying in the 2nd period and really controlled the play the entire way through. On the flip side, the Pens looked really sloppy and a step slow. Fortunately for the Penguins, it was a scoreless period for the first time in the Finals. Fleury had to be sharp in this period as he turned away 14 shots. In the 3rd period, Pittsburgh was the aggressor and really took it to the Wings. Their hard work finally paid off with a PP goal on a blast by Sergei Gonchar. Osgood did get a piece of the shot, but it was not enough. The final 9 1/2 minutes of the contest was just wild as both teams went up and down the ice with reckless abandon. Maxime Talbot finally put it away with an empty net goal, making the final score 4-2 in favor of the Pens.
When you look at this game, you gotta wonder once again about the officiating. It was horrible. If you're a Wings fan... you start with pointing out how on Earth does an officiating crew miss 6 players on the ice for Pittsburgh for 20-30 seconds! Let's see... 2 referees, 2 linesmen, and the Detroit bench screaming. Not one official picks up on this? You have got to be kidding, right? Basically what has happened is that both teams have benefited from non-calls and each has resulted in wins for both sides. Is this a good thing? I don't think so. But this is what we have and it's not going to get any better. Trust me. At least we have a series! I think... Over and out!
**Also, the poll is closed and a new one is up. It seems like the majority think Colton Orr will not be a Ranger next season. I hope this isn't the case! Well, go ahead and vote on the new poll.