The Series heads back to Pittsburgh for what could be the start of many years of seeing the Pens in the SCF or could be the last time that we see a SCF game played in Pittsburgh for a little while.
I will not go totally negative with the blog (just for you Jules) but history shows that the Pens have a long tough road to travel against these Wings in order to just get back to "even" in the Series. The Pens are being beaten by a team that is playing the same type of game, just with a lot more perfection. So the same Hockey Gods who looked on the Pens so favorable in the first 3 rounds have turned their attention to the Wings for this series. All is not over just yet.
If you look closely at these past two games, the Pens have had their opportunities, but just not able to finish them. If you are to look at the stat that I think the NHL should officially start tracking, scoring chances, I do not think the Wings have that many more scoring chances than the Pens. The Penguins killed off all 8 Wings PP's last night, but in their quest for the Stanley Cup the Pens have got to make it a little more like Their Quest for the First Goal of the game (or just their first goal would be nice!). So, where have the young Pens gone wrong thus far?
I fully believe that they may be "taken aback" too much by these Wings, and similar to the first round playoff loss to the Sens last year, are being caught watching a team that is executing much better than they are, and not fully executing their own similar game plan. There are many things and players who could be pointed to in their current demise, but that is not necessary. They are all being caught watching the Wings freight train come straight at them.
In order to get back in this series and try to make it like everyone has been saying it should be, one of the best SCF series in a long time, they need to get back to the basics that got them here. Winning individual battles, balanced scoring, and strong defense and goaltending. They all need to come out with their game faces on and fight hard for the lose pucks.
I "Believe" that these Pens can do it. They have come a long way in a short time, but they have the guts to do it. If they don't win the Cup, fine. But at least play the way you did to get here and give everyone watching a good show. I feel that the Pens first SCF Series goal will come from a Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal, Adam Hall, Max Talbot, or Adam Hall. These guys are the ones who can jump-start the team with their speed and grit. I feel that they will get the Pens back on track and MAF, even though he has done a great job thus far, will stop giving up those "weak" goals. With the exception of Filppula's goal last night, all of the Wings goals are ones that he would like back.
So, I hope the Pnes can turn it around in short-order, or else we may have the displeasure of watching another team, other than our Pens, carrying Lord Stanley's Holy Grail around our building. And a kind note to all Pens fans at the games on Wednesday and Saturday.....if you see someone trying to through an eight-legged piece of slime onto the ice, please stop them by any means necessary. That is something that someone who has pride in their team, will not stand for, or allow to happen in their own house. I will be watching my area very closely.