Unlike their predecessors of the 1984 Stanley Cup Finals rematch, this year’s version were no-where close to being a swept from either side. With both teams winning every home games of the series, the powerhouse from Detroit and the young-guns from Pittsburgh will faceoff in a deciding game 7 this Friday.
Playing a near-perfect game, the Penguins dominated the first and second period doubling the Red Wings in S.O.G. Coupled with the sensational performance by Goaltender Fleury, the Penguins were just too much for the Red Wings to handle.
Of course, logic dictates that this may very well be the final wins for the Penguins this season as the game heading back to Detroit will provide an advantage for the Red Wings in almost every aspects. Red Wings almost near-perfect in Joe Louis Arena for the past two playoffs will most certainly be a different team on Friday, but if history is as indication, all bets are off in Game 7 for any Stanley Cup Finals.
Personally, I would love to see the Penguins win the Cup this year, since they’ve showed passion, commitment and hunger to the level unmatched by the Wings. The reason why the series is tied is simply because the Red Wings talent-wise and experience-wise are just that much better. With the Cup on the line, the Penguins will have to do the impossible on Friday, and that is out-performing what they did tonight.
Fleury will have to be even better, the best players will have to be their best, namely Crosby and Malkin must provide the scoring. Gonchar will have to play his best defensive game, while supporting secondary scoring from the point. Role-players like Staal, Cooke and Kennedy will have to repeat what they did tonight, and marginal players like Sykora will have to step up his game significantly.
If, by any chance, the Red Wings do make a mistake or two, maybe, just maybe the underdog Penguins will have a chance of becoming this year’s Stanley Cup Champions.