One thing about run-and-gun teams, and I think this gets lost a lot, is that there’s a fine line between high-risk/high-reward passes and brutal giveaways.
The Red Wings, led by Brad Stuart, did a nice job of showing us that line last night in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the Penguins.
Pittsburgh definitely had their strongest game of the series, actually spending time in the offensive zone. Their speed was there and they hit back against the Wings. Getting the Crosby line away from the Holmstrom line also seemed to help, although Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien seemed to stop avoiding that match-up in the third. Penguins defenseman Darryl Sydor, who hadn’t played in months, living within the Therrien dog house for whatever reason, also had a beautiful return, taking a decent role in the offense when he had the chance. You could tell he was pretty psyched to be in the finals again. I wish someone would ask Therrien why it took so long for Sydor to crack the lineup.
Obviously, everyone in Pittsburgh is once-again in love with Sidney Crosby.
The Penguins are still in a tough situation. They definitely took advantage of every opportunity, but I don’t see Detroit handing them a game like that again. If I’m Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, I’m just going to remind everyone about the simple beauty of the north-south pass. There’s nothing wrong with a pass behind the net rather than across the goalie. If Detroit fixes that, Pittsburgh doesn’t have much to work with Saturday.