This isn’t the Red Wings’ night.
Stanley is slipping away, possibly to reside in the Steel City for the next 12 months.
The Red Wings’ will is there, but I don’t know that their bodies are.
It’s appearing that as this series goes on, the Red Wings continue to wear down.
The Pittsburgh Penguins lead 2-0, and are 20 minutes from their first Stanley Cup since 1992.
Max Talbot has both Penguins goals.
The first came early, at 1:13, when Talbot stole the puck from Brad Stuart behind the Detroit net, moved in front of the goal and slid a nifty shot past Chris Osgood.
The second was the result of a bad luck deflection (for Detroit) near the Pittsburgh blue line that Talbot scooped up. He found himself on a 2 on 1, used the other Penguin as a decoy, and wristed a pretty shot over Osgood’s left shoulder, top shelf.
The Red Wings aren’t getting the loose pucks, they aren’t getting the bounces, and they aren’t getting anything seriously dangerous around Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
But my observation is that the Red Wings are gassed. They’re trying, but the Penguins—again—look like the fresher, hungrier team.
The culprit? Perhaps the Anaheim seven-game series in the conference semi-finals. Maybe the whirlwind schedule in the Finals, even though Detroit raced to an early 2-0 series lead.
This game has the feel that it’s the Pens’ night for glory. Even with Sidney Crosby injured (he skated off the ice early in the period in obvious pain), the Penguins have enough, so far, to handle the grizzled Red Wings.
If they pull this off, you have to hand it to the Penguins. To win four of the last five games of this series, including a Game Seven in Detroit after being humiliated at Joe Louis Arena in Game Five, is quite an accomplishment.
They will have earned this Stanley Cup, without question.