Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2

Well, nothing much really changed: the officiating was pretty bad (inconsistent calls at both ends, both refs and both linesmen inexplicably missing too many men on the ice for 20-30 seconds), neither team really played well, and the home team caught a couple of breaks and won. Or put another way, the visiting team did not make enough breaks for themselves.

The only thing that really surprised me was that it wasn't a blowout ... but then again last year's Game 3 wasn't either. Pittsburgh just isn't good enough to blow out Detroit unless the Wings flat-out collapse, and they've shown no signs of doing so. Case in point: two-on-one, Crosby draws the D and feeds ... Chris Kunitz, who whiffs badly on the shot.

Pittsburgh acquired too many "grit" players; granted, there weren't many Hossas around, and the one they had chose less money to play in Detroit, but still, they don't have enough talent around Malkin and Crosby. They can win this series, but they'll have to grind it out. No wonder Malkin was frustrated in Game 2 ... he just doesn't have the luxury of playing with the same talent that Zetterberg does.

Fleury was better in this game. I don't think either goal was really his fault, and he played well during the part where the Wings were basically holding Pittsburgh shotless.

Just like in 2008, this was a winnable game for Detroit, but they got outplayed. Hopefully Game 4 will also be like 2008.

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