After game 4, the media and so called 'experts' were fitting the Penguins for Stanley Cup Championship rings as well as verifying the spelling of their names for engraving on the Cup, because the Red Wings were too old, too tired and the Penguins were just too energized to lose another game. Marian Hossa was supposed to be searching for a small desert island to exile himself to after the inevitable loss to his former team. The Red Wings could be heard bickering in their locker room for hours about who's walker belonged to whom. Then when word came that Red Wings superstar and league MVP finalist Pavel Datsyuk would be playing in game 5, it was said that he would not be a factor. Too much rust! He's less than 100%! He'll be a liability out there!
Ever-dedicated, injured Pavel Datsyuk searches for ways to skate without using his feet...
Well, it turns out that a rusty, below 100% Datsyuk is better than 99% of the league. Early on, Pittsburgh looked pretty good. Osgood held them off the board for the first 10-12 minutes before Detroit took over. After receiving a pass from Brian Rafalski, Datsyuk carried the puck over center ice and into the Pittsburgh zone where he sent the puck towards Dan Cleary. Cleary used Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik as a screen as he beat Fleury to put Detroit up 1-0 at 13:32 of the first period. After that goal, Detroit never looked back. After an early second period goal by Filppula, Pittsburgh began to show signs of frustration as they took penalty after penalty for elbowing, slashing and roughing. Probably the most controversial call came when Max Talbot of the Penguins tripped Pavel Datsyuk. After missing 7 games with a broken foot, the slash on Datsyuk's skate seemed to have malicious intent. Talbot said after the game, "I went for the puck..." Riiiiiight. Since the puck was absolutely nowhere near Datyuk's skate, Maybe Talbot should take a tip from Pavel himself:
The Wings needed to do 4 things to win game 5. Get Pavel Datsyuk back, work hard and win battles, commit as few penalties as possible, kill the ones you do and score when they have the man advantage and stop turning the puck over. They did all 4 to the extreme and that's why they won 5-0.
So what about game 6 in Pittsburgh? It's going to be loud and the Penguins should be full of energy. Fleury will be better in net, almost for certain. I also don't see Pittsburgh gooning it up like they did in game 5 even if they get down early. So what's the plan?
1. Stay out of the box. The easiest penalty to kill off is the one you don't commit. Then when you do get short handed, kill it off like it's overtime!
2. Score on the power play.
3. Score a garbage goal or two to try and rattle Fleury.
4. Match Pittsburgh's energy. Match their performance in net. Let your depth take over.
If Detroit does these things, they can survive the onslaught of chances Pittsburgh is sure to have.
As a Red Wings fan, I want to see Hossa win the Stanley Cup. I don't care if he wins it in Pittsburgh or Detroit, but I would prefer Pittsburgh because I can't handle another game 7, lol.