Yes, the Red Wings were the recipients of two quirky goals that propelled them to the 3-1 victory in Game One. But a goal is a goal. And the fact is, the Penguins only managed to score once in this game.
One goal after posting a mere 10 in six games in the 2007-08 Stanley Cup Finals versus these same Red Wings. Marian Hossa was directly involved in seven of those 10 Penguin goals in last year's Finals (three goals, four assists), yet now he skates for the Red Wings. Who on the Penguins is going to pick up that slack absent from Hossa's previous production?
Simply put, no one made a case to do so in Game One. If the Red Wings continue to stifle Crosby and Co. the way they did last night, which was reminiscent of their complete shut down of the Blackhawks' young guns in the Conference Finals, then the Penguins could be here and gone in four quick ones.
The solution to the Penguins prediciment? Play crazy.
As the old joke goes, "I may not know karate, but I know ka-razy." That's what the Penguins need to embody. They can't keep up with the regimented play of the Red Wings. Not over the course of a seven game series.
To defeat that style, the Penguins need to throw everything plus the kitchen sink at the net. Game One proved how effective such a strategy can be (well, at least with the funkiness of the boards in Joe Louis Arena).
No shot should be considered a bad shot on net for the Penguins. Blue line slappers, wrap-arounds, odd-to-no angles, through traffic, heck even from center ice, let 'em fly.
Forget matching up on line changes. Forget defense for that matter. Fluery was solid in Game One even with the oddities that got past him. The Penguins need to lean on him and hope he can stand on his head while they play full-tilt offensive hockey.
You only win by outscoring your opponent. The Penguins will only accomplish this by peppering Osgood with a constant barage of frozen rubber. From that rebounds and second change opportunites will flow. And the goals will follow.
By staying course and worrying about what the Red Wings are doing will only prove the Penguins demise. They need to constantly slant the ice towards the Red Wings' end if they hope to hoist the Cup. To do that, they'll need to forget everything else and let it all hang out.