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RussiaMalkin

Pens fan here...first post. NO SMACK!

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No need to hope, that's how it works.

Hmm...the Anaheim series last year makes me question that theory.

<_<

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They are fairly evenly matched overall but Detroits D is way better and Hal Gil absolutely blows and hes going to be an absolute pylon if they play detroit, Gonchar is the poor man's zubov who is the poor man's lidstrom. The youngsters have a bright future but are largely unproven. That being said our 3rd pair has been a bit crappy but i think our amazing top 4 D more than over shadows it. i think if crosby and malkin are P and Z's age they are even or maybe better but i'd give the slightest edge to the wings 1st line simply because they are in their prime and i don't believe the pens have a guy who plays infront of the oppositions goalie. If Franzen can return the wings second line might also have an edge. I think the pens have to get Sykora and hossa going in order to compete on the second line. And Pit's 2 bottom lines are garbage compared to ours. Remember we have the veteran pest maltby instead of the penalty gorging ruutuu. Goalies are even, although Osgood has done this before, PP is even, after last series i think out pk is stronger. Its mostly about shutting down crosby and malkin and we have 2 guys on the back end who i believe can do it. The series will be a lot closer than any ones these teams have played so far.

Hal Gil is a pylon, he was toronto's lilja and think of how bad that is

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Hmm...the Anaheim series last year makes me question that theory.

<_<

Oh c'mon, get over it already. We fought hard, but objectively, Anaheim had better team D, offense, and netminding. They won the cup when they finished us off in six.

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ARice89 pretty much summed up everything I was going to say in thread. While not being arrogant toward the OP, you really need to know a little bit more about the Wings defense aside from Lidstrom before making a comparison. On paper, the matchup isn't even close. That's not to say the Pens won't find a way to score a goal or two, but the type of game the Pens play falls right into the hands of the way Detroit wins games. In all due respect, if you honestly feel Detroit only has a slight advantage on defense due to Lidstrom, then you don't much about the Pens' potential opponent.

I was just going to say, on paper it's not even close (knock on wood); Gonchar would be Detroit's number four. However, the Penguins do play impressive team defense -- more impressive than they get credit for, IMO. People seem to think they are all offense but from what I have seen that's not the case. Overall though, I don't think there's a team in the league that can match Detroit's defensemen or their forwards' dedication to defense.

Another thing to remember is the fact that Lidstrom is only averaging 25 minutes per game so far in the playoffs...and the Wings are still dominating teams. You can bet that Nick will be matching up with Crosby and Malkin for at least 30 minutes a game in the finals. Seems to me Babcock has been saving Nick for the most important games.

Another thing that I pointed out on another forum: the Penguins were dead last this year in faceoff percentage. That doesn't bode well for them. To me, Pittsburgh is similar to Colorado in this regard. Who takes the puck away from the Wings? The Wings have been excellent in the faceoff department all year while Pittsburgh has been weak. Pittsburgh obviously has loads of skill, but where are the shutdown forwards and defensemen? Is Hal Gill really going to strip Datsyuk of the puck?

A lot of Pittsburgh's game is waiting for the other team to screw up and capitalize on turnovers -- which was essentially how Dallas was playing prior to this series.

Edit: I think we'll be seeing a lot of my avatar in this series.

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You all may be right. The Pens have over-achieved this year and at this point...I'm not sure they know whats about to hit them when they play Detroit. That may be good or bad for Pittsburgh...who knows.

Personally...I think if you take the Pens top 2 lines and the Wings top 2 lines...they are pretty even. Hell, I hope this is a yearly tradition in the Finals with you guys!

Actually if you take the wings top 2 lines and teh Pens top 2 lines you'd have one hell of a hockey team!!!

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(Prefaced with a non-jinxing IF both teams win their series)

It's going to be a hell of a series, no matter what. The one thing the Wings have done very well this post-season has been rattling the other teams' goalies. If they can get to Fleury early like they got to Theodore and Turco, and Ozzie can stay solid with a few key saves each game, the Wings defense has to give them a slight edge. The Pens will have a ton of energy, but they will find out the same thing that teams playing the Wings have found out: teams have been physical against the Pens to stop them, just like they have against the Wings, when that just works to their advantage, since it opens the ice up. The Wings are better passers and roll four lines that are more capable of scoring, plus the Wings have the best first seven defensemen of any team in the league, plus two Selke finalists. The Wings are the best backchecking team in the league as well. The defense will be tenacious, and the offense can explode at any minute.

Hopefully this series can showcase the "new" NHL and bring the sport some more attention. I expect the highest ratings in a while for the SCF, and I think the Wings will prevail in 6.

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Coolio....HAving a rah-rah guy in the locker room that has to keep the kids heads on straight is over-rated. If need be we have veterans like Gary Roberts and Gonchar for that reason. But remember, this was a team that was down 3-0 in Game 1 against the Rangers at home and came back to win it in the final minute of regulation.

I think that some on here are not giving the Pens D the credit they deserve. They have shut down some of the very best goal scorers in the league this playoff year and so that is why I don't think the Red Wings offense scares them as much as some of you tend to think.

Spezza, Heatley and when he came back Alfredson were shut down

Jagr, Shanahan, Avery were shut down

Briere, Umberger, Prospal were shut down

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Coolio....HAving a rah-rah guy in the locker room that has to keep the kids heads on straight is over-rated. If need be we have veterans like Gary Roberts and Gonchar for that reason. But remember, this was a team that was down 3-0 in Game 1 against the Rangers at home and came back to win it in the final minute of regulation.

I think that some on here are not giving the Pens D the credit they deserve. They have shut down some of the very best goal scorers in the league this playoff year and so that is why I don't think the Red Wings offense scares them as much as some of you tend to think.

Spezza, Heatley and when he came back Alfredson were shut down

Jagr, Shanahan, Avery were shut down

Briere, Umberger, Prospal were shut down

Hal gil is still a pylon, the other teams just didn't capitalze on his mistakes

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Coolio....HAving a rah-rah guy in the locker room that has to keep the kids heads on straight is over-rated. If need be we have veterans like Gary Roberts and Gonchar for that reason. But remember, this was a team that was down 3-0 in Game 1 against the Rangers at home and came back to win it in the final minute of regulation.

I think that some on here are not giving the Pens D the credit they deserve. They have shut down some of the very best goal scorers in the league this playoff year and so that is why I don't think the Red Wings offense scares them as much as some of you tend to think.

Spezza, Heatley and when he came back Alfredson were shut down

Jagr, Shanahan, Avery were shut down

Briere, Umberger, Prospal were shut down

Its not about giving the Pens defense the credit they deserve becausee they have been very good this post season, its that most people without ties to either team will tell you that the Wings defense from top to bottom is much deeper than Pittsburgh's.

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Welcome to LGW. If both teams win the odds and meet up, it will be one great series! Looking forward to it already.

I haven't seen an entire Pens game from start to finish. I really tried last night, but it just seemed so slow and boring. I am wondering if it is because Philly couldn't get much going and dragged the game right down?

I can certainly comment about the Wings though! I think once you see them really in action, they will surprise you. Pavel and Zett are known for their offensive capabilities that what they do on the other side of the puck is often overlooked by opposing fans.

Also in regards to last nights game, I didn't see much traffice in-front of Fleury. That is going to be just one of many aspects of the Wings game for him to contend with. Also, as stated, our opposition has been unable to set up and take more than 20 shots per game. Again, a bit of adversity that I don't think the Pens have had to contend with yet.

And my last comment, in regards to our line-up. Our lines are constantly changing. Babs isn't afraid to mix up guys and throw all sorts of new looks on the ice. The chemistry our guys have not only with thier own "usual line" but with the rest of the team is simply amazing.

Should be some great games of hockey! Welcome aboard - I can't say good luck, but GO WINGS!

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I think that some on here are not giving the Pens D the credit they deserve. They have shut down some of the very best goal scorers in the league this playoff year and so that is why I don't think the Red Wings offense scares them as much as some of you tend to think.

Spezza, Heatley and when he came back Alfredson were shut down

Jagr, Shanahan, Avery were shut down

Briere, Umberger, Prospal were shut down

The Senators self-destructed after the first 20 games of the season. Alfredsson was playing on a torn MCL. I thought Jagr was pretty effective in the PIT-NYR series. Shanahan is a perimeter player now and was completely ineffective in his last few years here. Avery's spleen I think helped the Pens in shutting him down, and since when was Avery on the level of Datsyuk or Zetterberg?

Hank and Pavel are on the same level as Crosby and Malkin. Those other guys aren't.

Edited by ARice89

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Welcome to LGW. If both teams win the odds and meet up, it will be one great series! Looking forward to it already.

I haven't seen an entire Pens game from start to finish. I really tried last night, but it just seemed so slow and boring. I am wondering if it is because Philly couldn't get much going and dragged the game right down?

I can certainly comment about the Wings though! I think once you see them really in action, they will surprise you. Pavel and Zett are known for their offensive capabilities that what they do on the other side of the puck is often overlooked by opposing fans.

Also in regards to last nights game, I didn't see much traffice in-front of Fleury. That is going to be just one of many aspects of the Wings game for him to contend with. Also, as stated, our opposition has been unable to set up and take more than 20 shots per game. Again, a bit of adversity that I don't think the Pens have had to contend with yet.

And my last comment, in regards to our line-up. Our lines are constantly changing. Babs isn't afraid to mix up guys and throw all sorts of new looks on the ice. The chemistry our guys have not only with thier own "usual line" but with the rest of the team is simply amazing.

Should be some great games of hockey! Welcome aboard - I can't say good luck, but GO WINGS!

You didn't see much traffic in front of the Penguins net because after the first period of game 1, Therrien made it a priority among his defensemen to keep the net clear. Every time one of the Flyers tries to camp now, Gill, Orpik, even Gonchar have been in there clearing the crease. They realized pretty early on that was how Philly scored most of their goals, and they've been pretty effective neutralizing it.

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While Crosby and Malkin may lead the Pens to a Cup, I don't think it will be this year.

Also, the gap is much larger between the Wings Offense and Pens Defense than it is between the Pens Offense and the Wings Defense.

This is true. But when the Pens acquired Hossa, they officially became capable of beating Detroit in a 7 game series. Will they? I doubt it as not only are we at full strength (praying Mule gets back before the series) but we're also playing to our ability in every aspect of the game. When those planets align, I don't see anyone winning a 7 gamer against the Wings, though it'd be the Pens if anyone.

I think Pens players and fans will be shocked that they won't be able to saunter through the neutral zone and that the Wings' forwards are the best back checkers in the game. It's gonna get awfully clogged. The only thing I can see undoing us is the Pens forcing us into sloppy turnovers in our own end due to relentless forecheck. But since Lilja's in the press box, I worry less... ;)

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All the wings have to do to steam roll the pens is shut down Malkin and Crosby. That being said the hardest part of the series will be shutting down Malkin and Crosby. As for a series breakdown.

Offense - EVEN - I take Zetterberg and Datsyuk over Malkin and Crosby all day. As of right now, Zetterberg and Datsyuk are better all around players. An advantage for the pens is that Malkin and Crosby are separated and have two dominant lines. I think the wings can shut down one of the lines, but it will be extremely difficult to shut down both. Detroit has alot more depth and will need secondary scoring if they want to win.

Defense - Detroit - Pens fans would like to think this is a slight edge, wings fans would like to think it's a huge edge. The reality is somewhere in between. I dont think any Pens defender would be in the wings top 4, this includes Stuart. The pens, however, have played well collectively. They havent seen an offense like Detroit's yet, but the wings havent seen an offense like the pens either.

Goaltending - EVEN - Osgood has played well, but Crosby, Malkin, Hossa, Sykora will get to him. Wings fans have put Ozzy on a pedestal, however in reality he hasnt faced too many difficult shots. The pens offense will generate opportunities and beat him. Same goes for Fleury. He has never felt the pressure of a SCF and is very young, the wings will get to him. Both defenses will need to play extremely well to get an edge here.

Powerplay - EVEN- Pens powerplay is probably better, but the Wings powerplay is nothing to laugh at. Bottom line, any team that takes excessive penalties will get burnt.

Edge - There will be games when the wings simply wont have a remedy for Crosby, Malkin, and Hossa. In the end, experience, depth, and defense will provail. Wings in 7.

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I think we've been a little bit spoiled during the Dallas series. How many times has Dallas had a wide open net or total gimmie situation and choked on in it the first three games? C'mon, how do manage to botch a 4 on 1 as spectacularly as they did? The Pens are going to be far more competent at finishing the play.

And I think the Pens are underestimating just how good Detroit's defense is at generating offense. Look at how far ahead Dats is from anyone else is in the league when it come to takeaways. (And clean, unpenalized takeaways at that.) It's a very rare event when you get to move uncontested through the neutral zone against the Wings.

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You didn't see much traffic in front of the Penguins net because after the first period of game 1, Therrien made it a priority among his defensemen to keep the net clear. Every time one of the Flyers tries to camp now, Gill, Orpik, even Gonchar have been in there clearing the crease. They realized pretty early on that was how Philly scored most of their goals, and they've been pretty effective neutralizing it.

Holmstrom however is one of if not the best at getting in front of the net and he takes abuse from defenders and goalies look at turco hitting him in the head he is still gonna go to the front of the net no matter what

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This is where I have to put in my input....

I feel that the Pens have never had to face a line that was both a total SHUTDOWN D line and also the Top Scoring line as well.

Add to that our depth lines are adding much needed grit and offense and Im liking the Wings chances

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Both sides can argue back and forth aboout who may be slightly better in one are or another but there are certain issues that are going to tilt the ice WAY in the direction of Detroit. The Wings face off guys have been absolutely dominating opponents. Considering how bad the Pens are at face offs I think they might leave this series having a hard time remembering what a face off win is. This alone changes the whole game. Pens spend their time chasing us. Your top line is offensively gifted but that doesn't count for a whole lot when you don't have the puck. They have had a clear advantage in shots on goal, that's about to end.

Detroit is a grittier team than previous years but it's still the physical teams we struggle with. We've dominated every skilled team that we've played all regular season and through the playoffs. I don't see that changing. That's why 8th seed Nashville has been our hardest series so far.

Someone mentioned earlier they can't wait to see Kron flatten the kid. He's pretty shifty and may be hard to line up for a big hit. What I'm waiting for is seeing him hanging his head after Dats strips the puck and takes it down for a goal.

The Pens get a lot of breaks because Malkin and the kid are constantly cheating up ice. If they don't get in there and mix it up more when we're in their zone instead of waiting back hoping to cherry pick, we're going to make them pay for it.

Watching Pitt and Philly play it seemed like the Pens were winning all the battles along the board. I seemed like most of the time Philly isn't supporting their first man in at all. Time and time again there was one Philly player with to Pens on him. We have much better support than that and those battles are going to be a lot more hard fought.

The biggest advantage we have right now is our game, our system, is simply better. We can win without changing a thing. Pittsburgh's coach is the one that's going to have to make some adjustments very quickly.'

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Holmstrom however is one of if not the best at getting in front of the net and he takes abuse from defenders and goalies look at turco hitting him in the head he is still gonna go to the front of the net no matter what

Oh sure, I was just pointing out why you're not seeing many Flyers in front of the net this series.

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One thing we have is a guy like Homer. He may not light the lamp like Crosby or Malkin, but that's why we have Zets and Dats. The Demolition Man (remember that nickname old timers?) will give the Pens' defense fits. And if we get the Mule back, well, the Pens are in double trouble.

Do the Pens have anything like Homer? If so, I haven't seen it in the Flyers series.

Homer rules.

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The Wings face off guys have been absolutely dominating opponents. Considering how bad the Pens are at face offs I think they might leave this series having a hard time remembering what a face off win is. This alone changes the whole game. Pens spend their time chasing us. Your top line is offensively gifted but that doesn't count for a whole lot when you don't have the puck.

Bingo. The Wings have been dominating good faceoff teams in this playoffs - now they are going against bar none, the WORST faceoff team (all year long and into the playoffs). Malkin can not even win 40% of his faceoffs. This is one aspect that will be brutal for the Pens.

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I disagree with you guys. Hossa is one of the best 2 way players in the NHL. And if you keep thinking that the Pens defense is crap...it will be all of you who will be suprised.

Also, the Pens have heard this more expience crap before. The Rangers were banking on their experience to carry them to the confrence finals. They thought Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez and Straka would overwhelm the young Penguins. This team is extremely skilled on both offense and defense.

Well, the Rangers aren't the Red wings. :P I tihnk you're pretty spot on though with your first post. It'll be a great series.

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Welcome to the site RussianMalkin!

I like your breakdown.

The only thing I'd argue is that I think we have the edge on Goaltending and special teams while you guys have an edge in Offense. Especially if Franzen is still hurting by the finals.

Fluery is a heck of a talent, but I think he's still too prone to big rebounds and brain-farts from time-to-time.

Regardless of who wins, this final should be highly entertaining. Gary Bettman must be thanking God every day for this matchup.

The NHL's Golden Child vs a team from the Golden Era. And their both EST teams. Win-win!

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Welcome RussianMalkin.

Today on the local sports talk radio station, I heard that a 2008 Detroit-Pens Final maybe similar to the 1983 Edmonton-NYI Finals. Edmonton was taken to school by the Islanders, before they went all the way in 1984. I don't disagree.

Also I heard, on the same station, that the Pens last night were playing the trap against Philly. I'm wondering, and it was being discussed on air, that the Pens maybe getting ready to play the Wings that way. I didn't see the Pens-Flyers game last night so I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Pens change their game against Detroit.

In Game 3 of the Wings-Stars on CBC, it was mentioned by Glen Healy that Dallas shouldn't be trading chances with the Wings. Dallas instead should have been trying to limit Detroit's chances, because the Wings convert on their chances, and Dallas, not as much. Maybe the Pens heard/noticed that too?

Edited by Barrie

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