Penguins-Red Wings, Game Five: Let Pittsburgh Dig Their Own Grave
First, I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't watch the game. That's the biggest disadvantage about being from the UK. I did, however, search online as soon as I got up today to look at clips, reviews, stats, and the rest. So, that's my sort of apology for being badly informed on the full game.
Obviously, comments (unbiased if possible) would be more than appreciated to fill me in on the important parts that didn't make it into highlights.
When I first saw the score this morning my mind instantly went to one thing: "Wow, Dats' return has really impacted the Wings!" But then I noticed there was more to it. On closer inspection I noticed that while Datsyuk was very influential with the first goal, it seems that the Pens just fell apart as soon as they went down 2-0.
Don't get me wrong; they still fought even when they were down by five, but they just didn't seem to work well. I, along with many others, think that it's better to have a good team than a few great individuals playing.
If you don't have the chemistry to work together you're going to get either frustrated and/or sloppy. Sadly, the Pens appeared to take on both of those negative attributes as they gave up five penalties in the second period.
You can't give up nine penalties in one game against the Red Wings without giving up easy goals, especially if you're already losing. That's like giving them a loaded gun and pressing the trigger yourself.
I did feel bad for Fleury as he left the ice; it must have really hurt being able to make it nearly 36 minutes before being removed from the game. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't have kept him on if I were in charge but the goalie must take a loss like that harder than the players.
As I said earlier about the Pens falling apart, I don't mean they literally started skating in a figure eight because the pattern looked pretty. They still managed 22 shots to the Red Wings' 29, but if you read any of the post-game interviews with the Pens players you'll see that they don't really understand that they lost that game.
Every second question was responded to with "Erm... I don't know" or being really obscure in that sports-player way.
Talbot, of whom I am not fond, was asked the question "Is there anything you can take from a game like this?" To this he replied, "Yeah, you forget about it. That's what you try to do. The guys played really well. And the loss is the loss. We just have to regroup and go back on Tuesday."
Note the part that I underlined. Yes, in the regular season a loss is a loss, unless you need the win. In the postseason there's no such thing as "just a loss" because every game is that little bit more important, especially during a series tied at two!
Of course, I'm not saying that all players should dwell on a loss but they should never simply dismiss it as "one of those things" in such a nonchalant manner.
Your team just got shut-out for the second time in the postseason, you're 3-2 down in the SCF, and while you do have home ice advantage for the next game, you won't for game seven (if you manage to make it that far). Stop being so damn up yourself.
Osgood recorded his 15th career playoff shutout and his second of the 2009 playoffs. He is definitely one of the main reasons that the Wings are my favorites to win this series (hopefully in game seven).
Pens fans, as I said in a previous article, the Pens need exceptional luck and skill to win after being down 2-0 in the series. I'll leave you lovable scamps with this bit of information: Teams that have won game five after being tied 2-2 have a 73.7 percent chance of winning the series. But don't worry, two of the five teams that overcame being down 3-2 to win were in 2001 and 2004.
I'll simply reiterate what I said above; post a comment to let me know what you think, and to fill me in on the game.
I'm hoping for the Pens to win game six. I'm predicting a 3-1 score (but Malkin getting taken off in the second period due to a huge hit!).
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