I decided to post after reading some posts on here and I must compliment all of you on your insight and knowledge of the game. I must admit that the Red Wings are my second favorite team in all 4 sports. I really found a new appreciation for Detroit after the Super Bowl a couple years back where Detroit felt like "home."
That being said, I am a die hard Pens fan as you are die hard Wings fans. With both teams us 3-0, I think it's a given that we will meet in the finals. Without being bias I think the series breaks down like this:
Offense: EVEN- I think that the Crosby-Hossa-Dupuis and the Malkin-Malone-Sykora line are 2 of the best in the NHL with as much firepower as anyone in the league. That being said Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Cleary and Holmstrom-Draper-Samuelsson are just as explosive. I see a very even series on offense. I may have to give a slight advantage to Detroit because of their experience. Jordan Stall is 19, Evgeni Malkin is 20, Sidney is 21.
Defense: DETROIT- Even though this is close as well, advantage because of Lidstrom. He is clearly the best offensive d-man in the league. I am not really familiar with the rest of the guys but with the way you guys play, I think they are a solid bunch. I am going to say now though...Gonchar, Whitney, Orpik and Gill may surpise you. The Rangers and Flyers had star power and were totally shut down by us. The conception among most is that Pittsburgh is weak on defense but, that is not fair.
Goaltending: EVEN- This may not be popular. However, Flurey is 11-1 in the playoffs and playing his best hockey right now. He is finally living up to his billing as the number 1 overall pick a couple years back! Osgood is a fantastic goalie as well and so I think this is even.
Special Teams: PENGUINS- On the PP, the Pens are flat out deadly. Crosby-Malkin-Hossa-Malone-Gonchar are on the firstline and they make teams pay on the PP. The Pens PK isn't bad either. They are killing close to 90% of the opponents PP in the playoffs.
Overall, this will be a series for the ages. I hope for everyones sake it goes 7 games. I thank you all for allowing me to put in my 2 cents on this board. Good day to you all.
Offense? Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Cleary and Holmstrom - Draper - Samuelsson are not regular lines for the Red Wings. You're thinking of Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Holmstrom and Cleary - Filppula - Samuelsson. Mind you, the Wings are right now beating the snot out of Dallas without their top goal scorer (Franzen). If he's back on the second line by the time the finals start, we'll be much stronger for it. As is, we're doing fine without him. Your top line will go against a line containing two of the three Selke candidates (Zetterberg and Datsyuk); I can't imagine that'll go well.
Defense? The Pens have a terrible blueline. Gonchar can score. Whom else? How can you possibly compare Whitney, Orpik, Gill and Gonchar to Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall and Stuart? The latter group has a tremendously larger number of points, and in general play better defensively. The Pens` defense doesn't really score, and none of them are two-way. Kronwall, Rafalski and Lidstrom are all tremendous two-way players. You call Lidstrom the best offensive D-man in the league? Well, you're right... but he's also indisputably the best defensive D-man in the league. Gonchar, your best D-man, doesn't even nearly measure up to Lidstrom, and you've got nobody else on the blueline who can score. Detroit has three in the double digits in points. Further, the Wings don't play an eastern conference style. Good luck shutting them down; no other team in this entire season has succeeded in doing so. Really, no team last year could... and this year's Wings are better than last year's Wings.
Special teams? The Wings have a very good PP. The Wings` PK is the best in the playoffs so far, and the Wings can certainly score on the PK. I don't see any advantage on the part of the Pens. Further, the Pens play a 5-man umbrella on the PP; most of those shots won't get past the Wings defense, nor will those that get through beat Osgood should there be no traffic in front of him.
Goaltending? Yeah, Fleury's stats right now look good. So do those of all goaltenders before they play against the Red Wings. Ask Theodore and Turco if you don't believe it. Theodore was the star of the Avs` first-round victory, and Turco was the story of the playoffs for the Stars. Theodore had a 6.72 GAA against the Wings, and Turco is currently being lit up. When said goalies are facing dozens of shots with traffic in front of them, they don't do too well anymore. Only the Wings bring that; the Pens don't.
While I appreciate the spirit in which your post is made, I don't know from whence a lot of your data came. I predict Wings in four. I'd not mind five, as it'd give us the 4th win at home. I also predict that Crosby, at some point in the series, will be flattened by Kronwall. Mark that.
Edited by Crymson, 14 May 2008 - 01:05 AM.