Red Wings Are Dominating, But How Will They Do in Undefeated Mellon Arena?

Caleb JohnsonContributor IMay 27, 2008

Two games, the Stanley Cup Finals, and the praised Pittsburgh Penguins can't even muster a goal. 

Where are Hossa, Crosby, and Malkin? Where ARE the Penguins?  Was it the jitters?  No, they not only lost game 2 but got shutout.  Was it fatigue?  No, they had a five day break, and lets not blame it on the 1:30 AM wakeup call.  What exactly was it? 

Pittsburgh has failed in every department, including getting on the ice.  They have only one advantage:

They're heading into a building in which they're undefeated. 

Not to say the experienced, talented, and confident Detroit Red Wings team will be intimidated, but there's something to be said about the fans.  Three years ago the suffering Penguins were very close to being sold, the seats were empty and all hope was lost. We all know the story, Sid the Kid saves the team and leads them into the 2007 playoffs, only to be defeated by Ottawa four games to one. 

Not this year.

The Penguins have dominated every Eastern Conference opponent they've faced.  And in the playoffs, the Mellon Arena is not the place anyone besides the Penguins want to be.  The Mellon Arena, which only three years ago was empty, where attendance was so low they resorted to counting rats in the official game attendance.  But now its a white, crazed, loud storm which has acted as the 7th man for the Pens.  Will it help?  Can it bring the Penguins back to even the series, heading to Detroit with a whole new attitude?

I don't think it can, the Red Wings are too powerful, too experienced, and too far ahead for any kind of comeback.  Sure, Pittsburgh will have one in their city, but not two.  And they will not win at St. Joe's Cathedral.  When a bunch of 20- year-olds, in what is for most their first Stanley Cup Final, look up to the rafters and see the countless banners, see the names and numbers of Yzerman, Sawchuck, Howe, Delvecchio, the concentration is then lost, and when they finally look down, Henrik Zetterberg is dangling past them ready to score another.

It takes a loss to get a win.  It takes the taste of defeat, of pure domination to win the Cup.  It's something that takes experience and talent.  And the Penguins just don't have it this year. Sure, the talent is there, or was...but it's nothing compared to the Detroit Red Wings, who this year will be hoisting their fourth Stanley Cup in 12 years.

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