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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thoughts on Game 2 SCF (3-0 win over Pittsburgh)

-- When the Red Wings get scoring from players other than Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Holmstrom, they're about as good a hockey team as I've seen.
-- Sorry to be cliche, but the defense by Detroit is a total team effort. Obviously Chris Osgood is playing excellent. And the blue-liners have been great. But watch how the defensemen will step up at the offensive-zone blue line to take out an opponent ... and when that happens, watch how quickly a Red Wing forward is back taking the spot of a defenseman. It's flawless. The perfect example last night came in the first period when Andreas Lilja stepped up and took his man out at the offensive blue line. The puck was dumped into the neutral zone where Mikael Samuelsson was waiting for it like a defenseman. Beautiful teamwork.
-- Osgood's performance in Game 1 of this series (and continued in Game 2) won me over as much as his fight against Patrick Roy did. I hear over and over still that Osgood a good goalie with a great team. You're watching a great goalie out there. The Red Wings have had the better goalie in each round of the playoffs. Chris Osgood is not Trent Dilfer.
-- What a ridiculous goon cheap-shot by Gary Roberts skating up from behind -- from behind -- and clocking Johan Franzen. No honor whatsoever. Of course seeing Roberts' face after Pavel Datsyuk threw punches at him was priceless. Actually, better than Roberts' face was Brett Lebda's smile when he saw Datsyuk taking on Roberts. And a beautiful job by Datsyuk of answering Ryan Malone's late hit on Henrik Zetterberg in the third period.
-- The Penguins accused Osgood of flopping when Petr Sykora bumped him. He might have gone down easily. But the main point is that Sykora did run into the goalie and did so intentionally. Watch Sykora's left shoulder. He leans into Osgood. How quickly Osgood went down is meaningless.
-- I'm still not sure why Datsyuk and Zetterberg didn't get more MVP attention this season. I'm not just saying this because they're outplaying Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa in this series. At the end of the regular season I asked why Datsyuk wasn't an MVP finalist after finishing fourth in the league in scoring and being a finalist for best defensive forward. Three forwards were named as finalists (including Malkin). There aren't three forwards more valuable than Datsyuk or Zetterberg. And if you're curious, I gave Datsyuk my first vote for the Selke and voted for Datsyuk as a Hart finalist behind Alexander Ovechkin.


Blogger Danno said...

Love Osgood, but he took a huge dive on both penalties.

Going for a guys injuries is a natural part of the game, but I agree, heads are off limits. No class by Roberts and Whitney.

May 27, 2008 at 2:29 PM 
Anonymous Jason said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly in Datsyuk deserving a lot more consideration for the Hart than he received, especially in light of the fact that Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Cleary and Franzen among others all missed significant stretches up front, and Lidstrom, Kronwall and Rafalski all missed time in back. Datsyuk has been the pin of this Detroit team, and watching him play (especially with Zetterberg) is to see the poetry of hockey--he has the tools, yes, but more importantly he has the passion and dedication to do what it takes, and to stand up for his teammates, dispelling those Don-Cherryian stereotypes of the soft Euro-players. There's a good reason he wears the 'A' on his jersey, and while I know Hank often and deservedly gets talked about as being the next Wings' captain, I wouldn't be surprised to see Datsyuk taking over the 'C' as captain or co-captain with Zetterberg, should, god forbid, Lidstrom decide to hang them up in the next ten or twenty years.

And yeah, as for Osgood putting on a little show when he got run into--well that's what goalies do. Every goalie in the league is trained to fall down like a house of cards the moment an opposite colored jersey skates by. The proof is at the start of Game 1--Fleury saw those kids in the red jerseys when he was entering the rink and his training took over--flopped right down! That was such a dive and I can't believe the refs didn't whistle him for it. Actually I'm surprised Holmstrom didn't get called for interference on it. Ha. So, yeah, I don't know why this is news to people, and I'd say the Pens have quite a bit more to worry about than Ozzie's slapstick routine.

- J

May 27, 2008 at 3:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. The losing team always complains about something. first it was Homer, now it's Osgood and obstruction. Sooner or later the pens have to raise their game and realize excuses gain no victories, execution and overall team play does.

May 27, 2008 at 4:29 PM 
Anonymous Alex ( said...

Hi, Bruce. Big thanx for your "Thoughts"!
Have a question - what do you think about our 4th line - Molts-Helm-Huds?
I think that when in that line was DMac, it was better - in Game 1 they make the 1st goal of Sam - they dominated in offencive zone in that shift and when Sam xame out from the bench all Pens were tired already...
And another reason to return MacCarty into the line-up - messages from Pens. Pav is good - he aprove that he can be phisically and tough. But it is not his deal. We have MacCarty! MACCARTY! Everybody have to remember, that if they'll try to injury smbdy of Wings - they'll be punish. Not by Pav, but by serious man - DMac. )))
What do you think - is there any chancesto see in Game 3 MacCarty. For Example - at Moltbys' place?

Please, check your Macomb Daily mail-box.

Thanx in advance!

May 27, 2008 at 8:06 PM 
Blogger Kyle said...

It doesn't matter whether Osgood dove or not though. Therrien seems to be conveniently forgetting the precedent that was set in Game 1 with the Holmstrom call. If you've forgotten, Holmstrom actually got two minutes out of that, for goalie interference. Any intentional or deliberate contact with the goalie (body, stick) should be called goaltender interference.

It won't be called that way sadly. There's so much bumping that goes unnoticed in the NHL. Imagine if they did call guys for touching goalies with sticks.

Just bringing it up in case Therrien forgot. Doesn't matter that Osgood dove, both Malone and Sykora made intentional contact.

May 27, 2008 at 8:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Datsyuk was lucky a referee TACKLED Gary Roberts and saved his life!

Thats two exact opposites there! One TUFF son of a gun and one softy in Datsyuk. The referee intervention he knew was there is the only reason he didnt run and hide under the team bench.

May 27, 2008 at 11:11 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Datsyuk's a softy? Hmmmm. Roberts is a tuff son of a gun. Datsyuk stands up to him. That's a softy?
And for hiding under the bench, cute line. But the fact is that Datsyuk went at Malone and Roberts. You and me wouldn't do that, so give the guy some credit, anonymous.

May 28, 2008 at 12:13 AM 
Blogger Nathan said...

"so give the guy some credit, anonymous."

Priceless. Well done, Bruce.

May 28, 2008 at 8:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut and paste this's worth it.

The man who guards The Stanley Cup talks about who hasd drank the most from it and other crazy tales travelling with the Cup.

May 28, 2008 at 11:10 AM 

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