Penguins Need Their Game Back

Scott BarnerContributor IJune 4, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 02:  The Pittsburgh Penguins bench celebrates a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Three of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 2, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Momentum seems to be going in the Penguins' direction after their game three performance, but they still face an uphill battle. The solution is simple: play the game that got them there!

What the Pens are not doing is playing the type of game that got them to the Stanley Cup Final. They are playing physical but not physical enough. Detroit has played more hockey down the stretch and should be a little more tired.  

The Penguins should be taking advantage of this and pick up the hitting the way they did in the Flyers and Capitals series. Be the more physical team.

Have somebody in front of the Detroit net at all times! Screening the goalie is basic hockey. Detroit seems to get it. Fleury is screened almost all the time.  

When Guerin set himself up in front of the net in game three, Gonchar scored. The Penguins have some big bodies like Staal, but they are not using them in front of the net. I ask, why?

Quit looking for the perfect pass. Put the puck on the net and rush it. The Penguins need to have at least 10 to 15 more shots on goal at the end of the game than Detroit will have. 

Double shift Crosby and Malkin. This is especially important when playing in Detroit where they have first change status.

Mix up the first and second lines to keep Babcock guessing. Let's face it, all players need to generate more offense, but Crosby and Malkin need to get more ice time in order for the Penguins to create more chances and get more points.

Play a flawless game. This is probably the hardest of all the points made so far. If the Penguins can stay out of penalty trouble, they will prevail. They proved this in Washington. The Penguins even played a penalty free game against the Caps.  

It is only going to get tougher for the Penguins with the possible return of Datsyuk for game four. They will need to dig a little deeper in order to beat the Red Wings. If the Pens can find the game that they played up to the this final series, they CAN prevail. 


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