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The refs have been doing an admirable job in letting the teams play hockey. You do not see the players on the ice complaining a whole lot. These first three games have been the best officiating I have seen in a long time.

As for Detroit, they have an overall team superiority compared to the Pens, they have a composure that comes from winning (been there, done that), Osgood is playing out of his head (playoff mvp at the moment), and Lidstrom is probably one of the top 5 defensemen to EVER play the game of hockey, and I am putting him in elite company - Orr, Harvey, Robinson, Potvin.

Based on that assessment, you would think that I would have picked Detroit to win in a cakewalk. Not so! The Pens have THE two dominant forwards in the game today in Crosby and Malkin, either one of whom can change a game any time. In the first two games, Fleury let in at least 3 goals that had "stinker" written all over them, last night (esp. in the second period) he played up to his potential.

It ain't over till it's over....

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gselkhunter

Ben the Pens are taking head shots at the Wings players and I don't care if it is the first game of the year or game 7 in overtime for the cup, it must be called. There is responsibility on the refs part to control the game for players safety. Bottom line cheap shots are cheap shots. Level playing field is what is needed here and it isn't happening. I found it odd that 4 refs could miss 6 players on the ice for Pens for that long. Let me pose the question, is the league and TV network trying to make this go 7 games? Keep it fair, both of these teams can play hockey so lets see that.

Tom to answer your question it is team system. The Wings work their system very well and it is a two way system with the right players.

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calgaryrookie
The rumour that Jacques Lemaire is coming back into the fold would almost guarantee that "defence" will be the catch word for some time. That may win some games, but that is not (should not be) the Habs' style. But they tell me that I am living in the past!

I know exactly what you mean. A few teams have built a persona and it seems like heresy to stray from it. Montreal means "firewagon" hockey, or should. I feel the same way about the Oilers, and I think most of their fans do as well. We couldn't stomach an old New Jersey style of play, even if it meant more wins. Oilers are supposed to be young and fast. Goals against doesn't matter much. I think that's why they have continued largely with ex-oilers in coaching and management positions. They want to retain the tradition. Hasn't been too successful lately though.

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Hmmmm, the bounces and calls started to tilt the Pens way and some are now saying that it affected last night but not when when the bounces/calls were against the Pens.  Meanwhile, after 3 games, the ledger sheet is still not balanced, the Pens are behind in bounces and calls.  Or really, should that matter?  if it goes to 6-7 games, it should all be equalized in the end, right?  Last night the Wings outplayed the Pens and lost.........

GO PENS!!!!

No disrespect to you intended here but you oviously haven't watched Detroit play very much if you think they outplayed the Pens in this game.  That was pretty much the worst game they have played during the entire playoffs.  They have yet to perform at the standard we who follow them (and the Wings admit this) have come to expect in this series and although he is just one player, they may not if Datsyuk is out for the remaining games which many believe he is(broken foot?)  The penalty kill has been abysmal without Draper and they miss him greatly on faceoffs in the offensive zone, as noted by the improvement in the Pens win vs loss ratio in that regard.  Until he was injured, he had a 70% + in faceoff wins.

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No disrespect taken.  

Good points.  From my perspective though, the Wings had more shots, better quality shots, more time on the puck and more time controlling the neutral zone.  That's why I wrote they outplayed the Pens.  

The opposite occurred in Game 2 and they were both close in Game 1.  The only stat I think the Pens prevailed in for sure last night was more hits.  Not sure about face-off wins -- do you know who had the better play there?  In Game 1, the Wings hugely won the face-off ratio.

So I'm almost hoping the Pens get outplayed again in Game 4 since the reverse trend has not worked at all for Pgh.

It does make me smile to read that Wings fans are not pleased with the calls from last night so I will write it again:  the Pens are still on the wrong side of the balance sheet for bounces and calls.  Maybe, just maybe, the Hockey Gods are trying to make amends.  Or the refs?  Still, the non-call with 7 Pens v 6 Wings was truly embarrassing officiating and my 1st thought after the game about it was this -- if the Pens somehow eke out a huge upset over this vastly superior team, there will be howling in MI over that non-call until Crosby is inducted in the HOF and even beyond.  

Anyway, this thread that Gselkhunter started has been excellent.  I really love the Cup finals and am sorry I became a puckhead as late as the mid-80's when I really started to watch the Pens and get season tickets.  Mario L was the guy who brought me into the fold -- watching him was like watching the 2nd coming of Roberto Clemente; players who just transcended their sports into something much more than mere athletics.  

As for tomorrow night:

GO PENS!!!!

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What I thought was real classy was the official telling the defenseman to get off the ice and never blowing the whistle "cuz he wasnt in the play" and none of them blew the whistle. They all saw it. You just cant tell Me none of them saw it.  its kinda like when they just let Malkin go on the instigating in the last 5 minutes. The rules say that if you draw an instigating penlty in the last five min. You dont play the next game. What am I missing?   Malkin shouldnt have evan played last night. But Just change the rules as we go. I'm actually worried about the integrity of the N.H.L. its starting to ruin the series for Me.
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It seems to me that the Wings still have not played their best. They have given up quite a few turnovers in their own zone which created some opportunities for the Pens. With that exception, they have outplayed the Pens. I would hate to be an opposing team when they are running on all cylinders.

I just wish that I had played the game as a kid. There is so much more in depth understanding when you have actually played. I'm not a big baseball fan, but I like to watch it with someone who played extensively because the small points are what makes it interesting. Those really small points are what I think I miss when I watch hockey. It still is fun though.

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Tom, am not anywhere near seeing the fine points that others do in the game but the more I watch, the more I see how the small things really matter.  For instance, in Game 3, Talbot's 1st goal was the result of his play as a backchecker that started the puck the other way and in his skating into an open zone unmarked.  Recently I've been noticing how much more the blade of the skate is used to redirect or position the puck than I recall from years past.

From about '87 to '95, I shared 4 season tickets to the Pens with a good friend who still maintains those seats in the 'burgh.  Our seats were on the blue line on the side of the ice where the Pens shoot on goal in the 2nd period.  We were in the last row of the 1st tier which gave us a nice combination of seeing the entire rink but not from too far away.  Even though I played a little pond hockey as a kid, seeing the game live was not just a great time, it really helped me understand the tactics and strategies.  To me, it's very similar to Lacrosse and Soccer in both.

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Spice64........the reason for the suspension not being inforced is that there are perameters that must be met.  For example, the history of the player involved (is this a normal routine of his), intent to injure and a couple of more.  In Malkins' case, none of the requirements were met to justify the suspension although why they put a rule in then have the ability to change the rule makes no sense.

Jeff88...although I do not have the exact numbers, I believe the Pens faceoff wins improved AND Datsyuk are scheduled to play tonight.

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Spice64........the reason for the suspension not being inforced is that there are perameters that must be met.  For example, the history of the player involved (is this a normal routine of his), intent to injure and a couple of more.  In Malkins' case, none of the requirements were met to justify the suspension although why they put a rule in then have the ability to change the rule makes no sense.

Jeff88...although I do not have the exact numbers, I believe the Pens faceoff wins improved AND Datsyuk are scheduled to play tonight.

DennyB, which makes me even more on edge about this game than usual, which is pretty far out there on the edge.  The Wings are loaded!  When is the last time we've seen a Pro team this balanced?

Truth time Wings Fans -- wouldn't you like to see a tied series tonight going back home just to prolong this adventure?  A 7 game series where each team in the 1st 6 games wins at home and forces a 7th game -- hockey hog heaven!  

GO PENS!!!!

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Spice64........the reason for the suspension not being inforced is that there are perameters that must be met.  For example, the history of the player involved (is this a normal routine of his), intent to injure and a couple of more.  In Malkins' case, none of the requirements were met to justify the suspension although why they put a rule in then have the ability to change the rule makes no sense.

Jeff88...although I do not have the exact numbers, I believe the Pens faceoff wins improved AND Datsyuk are scheduled to play tonight.

DennyB, which makes me even more on edge about this game than usual, which is pretty far out there on the edge.  The Wings are loaded!  When is the last time we've seen a Pro team this balanced?

Truth time Wings Fans -- wouldn't you like to see a tied series tonight going back home just to prolong this adventure?  A 7 game series where each team in the 1st 6 games wins at home and forces a 7th game -- hockey hog heaven!  

GO PENS!!!!

No.

Why?

The pens are not that good and that would some how give them more credibility than they have earned.  Your right the wings are very ballanced and more so very deep.  The pens are young and could get there.  I see the hawks reaching that point faster, I see the wings staying on top for a while more yet with the proper off season moves...what is proper dont ask me but Ill have thoughts on what happens and go with my gut.

Wings tonight

also I see the CAPS growing even more next season and likely taking the pens place int he cup next year.

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WOW, best, and first COMPLETE game I have ever seen the Pens play.

If they can maintain this level of play they will win the cup.  What a display of hockey...Amazing Coaching as well the way he has adapted and mixed things up....

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With every shift, every period and every game, the Pens are learning that the Wings are mere mortals, great team to be sure, but so are the Pens. And John, they are THAT good.
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The Pens played a great game of hockey tonight. If they play like that the rest of the series they deserve to drink from the cup. I wont cry about the calls the wings had there chances but the pens looked great. credit given where credit is do.
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gselkhunter
The Pens have not won at the "JOE" yet and they must do that to win the cup. Detroit is very good at home. This isn't over yet.
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