Friday, June 5, 2009

Dead-Locked: Its a Series!

1) Well it really shouldn't be a shocker that we are dead locked after 4 games. It was premature to bury the Pens after two games. Firstly they were in the same position against an admittedly weaker team than Detroit, the Capitals, having shown significant resilience. Also the first two games in Detroit were hardly blow outs.(3-1, both games). The Pens were right in both contests. Its conceivable that given a few favourable bounces the Pens could have swept the Wings. Its also possible given a few bounces and a healthy lineup that the Wings might have been able to sweep the flightless birds.

2) Thus we are where we are, deadlocked at two a piece. Basically its now a best of three series with the Wings retaining the home ice advantage going into a pivotal game 5 tomorrow evening in Mo-town. We will stick with our original prediction of Detroit in 7. Its also almost a done deal that we will see a return of Hart nominee Pavel Datsyuk to the Wings lineup. Not a moment too soon either. They are missing this key component of their attack. He might not be close to 100%, but even at 75% he's an improvement over another 4th line/AHL player.

3) Speaking of Hart nominee. Even though the award is based solely upon the regular season, Evgeny Malkin has been the best player in the playoffs. No doubt that if the playoffs ended last night he would have easily won the Conn Smyth Trophy as playoff MVP. The "other Russian" in the 2004 draft (picked behind Alex Ovechkin) has clearly made the case that he is every bit as good as the 1st player drafted that year (and probable Hart winner). He has eclipsed his team mate Sidney Crosby as the team's, and possibly the league's best player in our opinion. A far cry from last year's Finals when Malkin was essentially a no-show. This time he is a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps Babcock would bebetetr off to throw Zetterberg out on the ice when Geno's line is out there? Blysma has quite a bit of flexibility by having not one, but two amazingly talented centers. (Staal's no stiff either) Despite this we feel that Detroit has enough veteren leadership, and enough balenced scoring to prevail. Albeit, by a thread.

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