Stanley Cup Finals, Game 5
Red Wings 5-0 Penguins
Wings are 11-1 at the Joe in these playoffs. They haven't lost a home playoff game in regualtion since Game 5 of the '08 Conference Finals. The last two home losses were triple overtime marathons. This could mean nothing, or could mean that having the last change is a big deal, and teams nealy have to kill themselves in order to beat the Wings in Detroit.
Zetterberg is still picking the splinters out of his taint after coming over the boards so many times during Games 3 and 4. So he has to love coasting out to the faceoff dot against Crosby, as opposed to chasing him down from the bench at full speed. And he drove Crosby to the brink of homicide tonight, to the point where the finalist for the Mark Messier's Penis Award slashed and punched Z until right around his bedtime, which was apparently the 14:08 mark of the 3rd Period. Matt had one of the better lines I've read in some time in regards to Z's perofrmance: "Zetterberg looked like a man freed from wrongful imprisonment."
Hard to top that one. I'll just say that he's our MVP. He has been the heart, the soul, the legs, the hair, the beard, and everything else. Other thoughts ...
- Datsyuk wasn't at full speed, but still had a great impact on the game with his passing. He had two assists, but more importantly was probably the mental boost it gave to his teammates. He played 17:38, but Babcock held him off the PK unit.
- Hossa had an assist and led the team with 8 hits.
- So much for the guys losing their composure in Game 4 -- they looked liked 18 guys on one page tonight. I'm sure it was discreetly handled by a 45 second speech from Lidstrom, followed by one of those team-unity videos that your job shows you like once every six months.
- The entire defense was superb all game, aside from those pesky first five minutes. After that they swallowed up everything in sight and continually deflected shots, to the point where deep into the 3rd period you realized that Ozzie didn't really have to do much of anything all night.
- Pav's return allowed the reuniting of the Goldilocks and Two Bears line, which did quite a job on Malkin (minus-1, 3 penalties).
- Dan Cleary is a preposterous +18 in the playoffs. The Pens had the momentum from the start of the game to the middle of the period when things evened up a bit, but after his goal it was all Detroit.
- Kunitz is still a Duck as far as I'm concerned.
- Hypothetical question: Should the Wings win Game 6 or 7, does Malkin win the Conn Smythe? Not "do you think he SHOULD win it", but do you think they'll give it to him. They're really slobbing over the "most points since Gretzky in '93" thing, and it wouldn't shock me if he won it. He's got 11 more points than any Wing (Zetterberg: 24), but with all those points, he's only a plus-2. That stands out to me. Z leads the Wings in points, wipes out the opposition's top line, and had the team on his back in the absence of Datsyuk, so he would have my imaginary vote. You know, just because of those reasons -- not because of a bias or anything.
Holy shit. One more win away. No jobs to get in the way either -- Triple Deke HQ will be packed Tuesday night in hopes of a Stanley orgy. This never, ever gets old.