Pittsburgh Penguins Playing the Victim Instead of the Puck

Ryan LengCorrespondent IMay 27, 2008

Despite what some may think, many in Detroit are not surprised that the Detroit Red Wings are bagging and tagging the Pittsburgh Penguins. There are some who believed in this team from the beginning, even when hockey columnists picked the San Jose Sharks, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks to win the Stanley Cup.

Which is what the Detroit Red Wings want the press to do: Pay attention to some other team.

Toward the end of the game, the Pens engaged in some priceless on and off-ice jackassery. My girlfriend's sister, a Pens fan, bayed with schadenfreude as Gary Roberts decked Johan Franzen.

Which is exactly what the Detroit Red Wings would have them do: Take cheap shots and after the game, deny you took them. 

During last night's press conference, Sidney Crosby and Michel Therrien exhibited little accountability for their loss. Therrien breathed hard into his mic and talked of poor officiating, obstruction, and acting. A non-plussed Sidney Crosby claimed his team played fine: "They’re [Detroit] not getting that many more scoring chances than us."

Word of honor: When game winners are determined by how many chances you get, Sid, I'll let you know first.

The Pens skipper talked at great length about Chris Osgood's acting abilities and the obstruction, stating "They're [Detroit] really good at it." As a coach, he must ask himself how much Osgood's embellishment—whether real or imagined—actually affected the game. The Red Wings were already out-playing them at the time, ahead by three goals, and were giving up very little defensively.

Speaking of obstruction, far be it from Michel Therrien to restrain his goons from punching, hitting and clobbering Detroit's stars long after whistles have sounded and the puck has left the area.

Maybe it was Niklas Kronwall leaving his feet that lost the game for Pittsburgh. There's got to be a scapegoat somewhere.

This is where the Penguins are showing their youth—that is, a youth that cannot and will not be held accountable for getting schooled.

Was there even a hinting at a referee conspiracy? A conspiracy in which Gary Bettman and co. would rather Detroit, with their business-crippling murder rates and sketchy Afro-Gaelic mayor, win the cup than Pittsburgh? He'd rather the etchers etch on the Stanley Cup the names of a bunch of Swedes taken from the basement of the draft than people named Crosby, Malone and Roberts. Therefore, the league allows Detroit to play their clutching and grabbing game.

Detroit played the same as they always play. They finished early, played the left-wing lock, and out-skated the Penguins for the full game.

As long as the Pens go back to Pittsburgh thinking their home ice advantage will save them, the Red Wings should win the Cup easily.