It's official, and while I have already compared the two teams, a column by Ross McKeon on Yahoo! Sports made me a little angry. Ross is their NHL columnist, and he said the Red Wings would win. I have already written that I think the Penguins would win and now I will reinforce my belief.
After watching Chris Osgood in the Dallas series, I am now 100 percent positive that Fleury is the better goalie. Osgood is completely reliant on the defensemen ahead of him. The best part about this is he is playing better than Hasek. Experience will not benefit the Red Wings in this position at all.
On top of that, the Red Wings have not faced an offensive powerhouse yet this year, since they cannot play themselves and they did not play the Penguins. Again, goaltending will not favor the Red Wings.
In this postseason, I think Detroit has showed its one true flaw, their lack of ability to score against a hot goalie. The trouble they had beating the Stars was not because of the Stars stifling defense, but because of Marty Turco's unwillingness to let in goals. The Red Wings do not have a true NHL goal scorer. They rely on systems play to score. The Red Wings score using passes, not shots.
The Penguins, on the other hand, can beat a hot goalie simply resting on the back of Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby or Marian Hossa. Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Homstrom and Johan Franzen have the ability to score, but they are not NHL-caliber natural goal scorers. They pass to score, which is good, but not good enough to beat a hot goalie. And Fleury cannot be called anything short of a firestorm because he is blazing hot.
Their special teams are equal, if not an advantage to the Penguins. The Red Wings have a solid minute of power play ability, but their second unit is quite a slack off compared to their first. The Penguins on the other hand have two strong minutes of power play, especially if Malkin stays out for all two minutes, which he likes to do. The Penguins penalty kill has been one of the best in the playoffs. Talbot and Staal are two of the best in the league.
I'll keep it simple, I say Pens in six.