Team USA – Team Russia: What We Learned


TEAM USA – TEAM RUSSIA: WHAT WE LEARNED The Americans thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Russia was a fantastic game that had just about everything. The game appears to have caught the attention of so many around the United States and it’s all anyone seems to be talking about which is great to see. T.J. Oshie (4-or-6 in shootout) had the heroics, scoring four times in the shootout, and beat Sergei Bobrovsky between legs in the eighth round for the epic win. Oshie who the casual hockey fan probably never heard of, has suddenly become a household name. He got a shout out from the White House to gaining almost 100,000 twitter followers today since scoring the game winning goal. He started the day at 90,000 and now has 190,000 followers as of 8:00 p.m. Oshie was asked by a reporter on how he it feels to be an AmericanRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: Game 7 Showdown


Game 7 Detroit vs Pittsburgh (Friday 8:00 p.m. est) The anticipation for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is sky high as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings will meet one last time in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena, Friday night. There couldn’t be any better storylines as Sidney Crosby (the face of the league) looks for redemption and to claim his first Stanley Cup at the young age of 21. In Crosby’s way are the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings who are looking to claim their 5th championship in 12 years. The home team in the Finals are 6-0 and home team’s are 12-2 in the history of Game 7’s in the Cup Finals. Detroit has showed its dominance at home in the playoffs posting a 11-1 record at home, including 3-0 at home in the Finals. For the first time since theRead More »

Detroit takes control of the series


Detroit leads series, 3-2 The Detroit Red Wings put to rest any talk that momentum was moving towards Pittsburgh as the Detroit Red Wings crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena to take a 3-2 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. The presence of Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup for the first time in the series, changed the mental makeup of the Wings and Datsyuk made his presence felt early and often, finishing the game with 2 assists and was a calming presence on the power play. Three power play goals by the Red Wings in the second period did the Penguins in, who were undisciplined and frustrated throughout the game. Despite playing at 85%, Pavel Datsyuk was among the games top performers at both ends of the ice. “He did very well for being off for as long as he has been,” Detroit RedRead More »

Game 5 Pregame News and Notes


Series Tied, 2-2 Morning notes as both teams prepare for game 5 * Pavel Datsyuk participated in the Red Wings morning skate and as expected he will play wing tonight. Datsyuk has missed 7 consecutive games with a small fracture in his foot. Datsyuk’s lateral movement has looked much better than it did a few days ago. Datsyuk will replace Ville Leino in the lineup. With winger Dan Cleary ( Groin, GTD) missing the morning skate, the lines for tonight are unknown but it is expected that Datsyuk will play with Marian Hossa and Valtteri Filppula. Babcock will also likely use Zetterberg and Datsyuk together at times. Datsyuk is not 100% but he gives the Red Wings a much needed boost and options. The Red Wings remain banged up with a number of injuries. Brian Rafalski remains bothered by a right shoulder injury and did not skate this morning. RafalskiRead More »

The Zetterberg – Crosby matchup returns to Detroit; Datsyuk expected to play in game 5


Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in game 4 and all of a sudden, Pittsburgh has both of star centers playing at the top of their game heading into game 5. Evgeni Malkin has arguably been the M.V.P. of the series, while through the first three games of the series, Sidney Crosby was unable to solve Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood. With the series heading back to Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg will be matched up against Crosby nearly every shift as Zetterberg kept Crosby in check during games 1 and 2. The matchup will be at the forefront and the question for the Penguins will be whether Crosby can build off of his success in game 4? Crosby was the faster more energized player in game 4. Zetterberg looked tired in the waning moments of game 4 but Zetterberg is a world class player and heRead More »

Penguins have right of way in extended series


By Paul Ladewski When Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma talks about the importance of his team to play “The Right Way,” it’s code for an aggressive, up-tempo style designed to accentuate its youth and athleticism and tire opponents late in games. So far, so good. Not only did Penguins get back into the Stanley Cup Finals with back-to-back victories against the Red Wings at home, but they made considerable inroads in the war of attrition as well. In the four games thus far, the Penguins own a 43-25 advantage in shots on goal in the third period, which was fairly indicative of their edge in play. The Red Wings were some tired puppies late in games, a fact that even head coach Mike Babcock alluded to after Game 4 on Thursday evening. “Sometimes we can read too much into energy level, just because when a team gets going, it hasRead More »

Off-Day Report; Datsyuk’s skating ability improving


Wednesday’s Practice Report Despite being down 2-1 in the series, Pittsburgh has benefited from the schedule makers when it comes to the availability of Detroit Red Wings M.V.P. candidate Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk who skated again today has a small fracture in his foot and has missed 6 straight games. Today he looked much improved and he may return to the lineup for game 4. Datsyuk has deemed himself available to play. If the NHL stuck to their guns and the Stanley Cup Finals began on June 5th, the Red Wings would have likely had Datsyuk for game 1. Pittsburgh held an optional practice today. The skaters were goaltenders Mathieau Garon, John Curry, forwards Petr Sykora, Pascal Dupuis, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Minard, Mike Zigomanis, Jeff Taffe, Eric Godard and defensemen Alex Goligoski and Ben Lovejoy. The rest of the players were in the facility getting treatment and doing off-ice activities. There’sRead More »

Game 3 Morning Skate Update: Boucher in, Letang out?; Datsyuk skates


Morning Skate The Penguins just concluded their morning skate and as we mentioned yesterday Kris Letang may be a healthy scratch tonight. My source on the scene tells me the way it looks at the morning skate, it is a possibility. Philippe Boucher worked with the first power play unit, replacing Kris Letang at the left point. All indications are the Penguins will dress 12 forwards. The Lines at the skate were Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin Fedotenko – Malkin – Talbot Cooke – Staal – Kennedy Dupuis – Adams – Satan *updated: 12:00 p.m. The Detroit Red Wings took the ice at 11:30 a.m. and there was no sign of Pavel Datsyuk. Thirty minutes later, Datsyuk has joined his teammates and is currently on the ice. Despite participating in today’s skate, Datsyuk is not healthy enough to play. Penguins News and Notes from Today’s skate *Dan Bylsma spoke to theRead More »

The Formula to beating the Red Wings


By Paul Ladewski The Stanley Cup is the most difficult prize to capture in professional team sports, many people will tell you, and the Penguins will realize as much in the next few days. Certainly, the Penguins could have hand-picked a lesser opponent then the Detroit Red Wings, the most complete package of talent, experience and cohesiveness in the league. But if the two teams had to meet for the second time in as many years, then the Penguins couldn’t have hoped for a better time to do it. The Red Wings enter the series with health issues, as defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper have been at less than full strength in recent weeks. What’s more, the schedule that calls for the series to open with back-to-back games this weekend favors the Penguins, the younger and more rested of the two teams. This is aRead More »