Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pens Get On The Board

Well, it's their first home playoff game in six years and it didn't take long for the Penguins to get jump started. Just 52 seconds in, Sidney Crosby took a hit to setup Gary Roberts for his second after Ray Emery let out a bad rebound. There isn't anything No.87 won't do to win. That's why we picked his team in this series.

The Pens have come out sharper here than the first two games where they were outshot by a wide margin (74-47). They definitely have gotten some energy from the soldout Mellon Arena.

I didn't watch the entire Flames-Wings Game 2 before but saw enough of the final two periods to know what's wrong with Calgary. They just can't deal with Detroit's speed. As NBC's Brett Hull and Ray Ferraro pointed out, they're unable to get any sustained attack and also have lacked their trademark physicality they've been known for. The Wings are moving the puck very rapidly and with succession. If not for Miikka Kiprusoff, the combined score could be 15-2 instead 7-2.

That's how dominant the Wings have looked. They seem very focused and really paying attention to detail. At this point, I'm eating a ton of crow with how poorly the Flames have played. To be outshot by as much as they have so far in this series is just insane. I can't recall the total number but it was pretty significant.

So can Calgary go back home to the Saddledome and get some momentum on their side at a place where they had a great record? They'll have to be a lot better.

P.S. David Hale was dreadful. Remember when he was compared to Scott Stevens? It kind of reminds me of what happened to Jamie Lundmark, who once drew Stevie Y comparisons. Ironically, both guys wound up in Alberta. One is now on his fourth team with LA while the other is trying to regain the confidence he lost with his first team. Not for nothing but the Devils ruined him. It's similar to how the Rangers mistreated Lundmark. I really wonder if Hale can recover. Lundmark hasn't.

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