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Penguins-Red Wings: Random Thoughts Before Game Five

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04:  Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings defends against Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Four of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 4, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Mike BurseCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

The Penguins have started to show why they have been picked by some to defeat the Red Wings for the Cup.

They now have Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Jordan Staal rolling—and I am sure Detroit is aware of it.

This is where the series will get very interesting.

I see Crosby much in the way I saw Yzerman when he was still playing at his peak. Like Yzerman, Crosby does not let not scoring points get in the way of contributing to his team. Crosby has not been on the same level offensively as Malkin has in this series, but he is keeping Zetterberg relatively quiet on the score sheet.

For Detroit to take over the series again, they will need Pavel Datsyuk back in the lineup and performing at top speed. He would provide them with a much improved attack, and another weapon for the Penguins to have to concern themselves with.

The problem is no one except the Red Wings knows just how much Datsyuk is hurting. Unless he is playing close to 85 percent, he may be a non-factor against these high flying Penguins.

Also, I now know why Penguins general manager Ray Shero made the trade to get Hal Gill at last year's trade deadline. He has been very effective in front of his own net at clearing the Red Wings out and allowing Fleury to see the shots. Tomas Holmstrom has not been as effective as he can be because of Gill's tremendous efforts in front of his goalie.

Well people, we have ourselves a series now. I am sure that the Red Wings know and have seen that this is not the 2008 Penguins they are playing. This is a more matured and determined team that will not give up. I applaud Pittsburgh for their resilience and composure for coming back from down 2-0 to tie the series.

I, for one, cannot wait to see the fifth battle in this war they call the Stanley Cup Final.

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