Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Playoffs: Wrapping Up Game 1 Of The Finals

Well that sure sucked. The Pens really looked flat tonight, but full credit to Detroit. They outplayed the Pens and did a pretty good job of limiting the Penguins offensive chances, especially in the first period. Hopefully this game will be a good wakeup call for Pittsburgh, because tonight they looked a lot more like the team that got battered around by Ottawa last year than the team that cruised through the East this season.

Here are the rest of my notes and observations on Game 1:

  • The Pens defense looked shaky at times, but in all honesty the Wings didn't have that many good scoring chances. The Wings did take advantage of a couple bad mistakes by the Pens' D though, and in a series this close that will be the difference.
  • MAF looked a bit shaky for the first time in this post-season, but I think he did a good job of surviving the first period and then settling in.
  • Granted Henrik Zetterberg scored a garbage time goal, but he and Pavel Datsyuk were not much of a factor tonight.
  • Evgeni Malkin looked absolutely lost tonight. Geno can be the most dominant player in the NHL when he is on, but he also has nights like tonight when he is really off. Pittsburgh will need more from him if they are going to have a shot in this series.
  • Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa both looked good tonight. They weren't at their best, but they were probably the Penguins' two best players aside from MAF. I would even go as far to say that Sid was the best forward for either team.
  • I hated Mikael Samuelsson going into this game. I still hate him. Move along.
  • Niklas Kronwall is a nice hitter, but he really leads with his elbows a lot. Some ref needs to step in and call that when applicable. That said, his big hit on Jordan Staal was as clean as they come.
  • That Detroit crowd is a joke. Can't someone step in and officially strip them of the Hockeytown title already?
  • I couldn't be more excited about the fact that there is only one more VS. broadcast left in the season. Their broadcasts could not be worse.
One last piece of business to attend to. As I said in a previous post, I will be keeping a running list of Conn Smythe Trophy candidates for the duration of the Finals. So without further delay, here is the first edition of...
The Conn Five
  1. Chris Osgood
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury
  3. Sidney Crosby
  4. Henrik Zetterberg
  5. Sergei Gonchar

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