The Stanley Cup Finals resume tonight, and the Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in a precarious “must win” situation. If they lose again, the Red Wings will just need to win one of the upcoming two games in Pittsburgh to be able to close things out back in Detroit in Game five.
The Pens will be changing the lines up a bit and will also insert old-timer Gary Roberts into the mix tonight. Roberts was unceremoniously benched before Game one because coach Therrien wanted to stay with the same players who closed out the Flyers. The vet had been battling some injuries and an illness, but apparently feels fine now.
He wasn’t happy about missing Game one and should have a chip on his shoulder tonight. (Does he ever play without a chip on his shoulder?)
Saturday night’s game started out pretty well for Pittsburgh but they couldn’t take advantage of four consecutive penalties called against the Wings. After the first period was over, the Pens could only manage seven shots on goal (that’s not a typo), and in my opinion that was the major story of the game.
If you can’t get more than seven shots on net in two periods of hockey, then you quite simply don’t deserve to win. I’m sure the boys will be looking to up that ante tonight.
The Red Wings were much more physical than I thought they would be and even Pavel Datsyuk was throwing his body around. The Penguins have their work cut out for them.
The refs are obviously paying special attention to Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom, a banger who loves to hang out in the crease. They disallowed a goal on a somewhat questionable call as Holmstrom had his stick between Fleury’s legs while Nicklas Lidstrom roofed a perfect shot in the net.
I thought that it was a questionable call because I have seen much worse than that not being called in the past. But Holmstrom has made his living antagonizing goalies and they do need to keep an eye on him. He may have gotten that particular call more because of reputation than action.
More action tonight on the world renowned, Versus Television Network.