You know, I could write about how Pittsburgh managed a three-overtime win in Detroit, keeping them alive in the finals, but I’m probably not the best person to ask. Wings coach Mike Babcock would be a better place to start:
Babcock: Well, I mean, I thought we we had every opportunity to win the game, obviously. And saying that, though, we started slow.
I thought we were really nervous. We never made a play in the first period, for whatever reason. And whether that’s focusing on outcome rather than just process and doing what you always do. You know, we really battled our way back, we had every opportunity. And we had it twice, one at the red line and one on the half wall. And we didn’t get it deep, and we never got it out.
In the end, they scored, and we never scored on our chances in overtime. So that’s the game.
I thought Marc-Andre Fleury was the real difference-maker. Pittsburgh basically gave up the game for a good 10-15 minutes in the third. They stopped checking. They stopped shooting. Detroit just went to town on Fleury and he never gave up. That allowed Pittsburgh to wake up in the last minute to bring the game into overtime.
And how about Petr Sykora getting the game-winner? It was especially surprising after Pierre McGuire oddly announced Sykora was hurt, standing next to Sykora on the bench, but not really asking him about it, with Sykora seemingly pretending not to hear him.
Also, I love how much ice time is becoming a storyline. Of course, after three overtimes, it’s not really something you can control. But before yesterday’s game, Penguins coach Michel Therrien defended his practice of not leaving Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby out on the ice for the entire game. I bet Therrien is mad he addressed it at all. It would have been cool to come back today and be like ‘OK. You guys were right. I gave Crosby 34 minutes yesterday.’ Jacques Demers wrote about ice time in USA Today the other day, praising Detroit for their short shifts. Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios’ minutes have been pretty low — he’s been out since game five of the Dallas series. While Chelios was supposedly scratched with a leg injury, Shelly Anderson speculates he’s actually been a healthy scratch. Chelios certainly isn’t the most mobile defenseman in the league, but if there’s one thing the guy knows how to do, it’s win big games. I wouldn’t mind having him out there.