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The Confluence

Forget the bounces, Penguins must make adjustments

If the Penguins’ coaching staff is smart, they’ve already instructed their players to forget about the unlucky bounces that didn’t go their way in Game One.  The only thing you can do, Mr. Fleury, is acknowledge those trampoline-ish boards and defend against them.

If they’re smart, they’re instructing their players to start focusing in on some glaring problems that, if they continue, will surely be a catalyst towards the Wings repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

- For the most part, I think the Penguins did a decent job defending against the Wings’ transition game.  But it’s the Pens’ transition game that will need some tweaks.  That’s because you have two-way beasts in Zetterberg, Hossa and, when he returns, Datsyuk, that specialize in backchecking in the neutral zone just as the Penguins’ forwards are making their push.

- Speaking of the transition game, it can’t be overlooked that while the Wings first two goals came as a result of lucky bounces, they also came as a result of the inability to clear the puck out of the their zone.

- Chris Osgood was solid in net for the Wings, as I expected he would, but I don’t think the Penguins tested him too much.  He made a great glove save on Malkin’s breakaway, and the Pens had 32 shots on goal credited to them, but there weren’t a lot of those 32 that forced Osgood to make other than normal saves.

- I’m wondering if Coach Bylsma is pondering going back to six defensemen tonight.

- The Penguins’ success rate on faceoffs must improve, it’s that simple.  16 for 55 is just not going to cut it.

- The Wings’ penalty kill might have been having problems, but if the Pens’ powerplay doesn’t adjust to the clothesline approach of the Wings’ PK at their blueline, they may not score on the PP at all this series.

- If you look at the stats sheet from Game One, the Pens spread around their shots throughout the lineup.  That included two from Crosby and four from Malkin.  I’m sure the Pens will want both of those numbers to increase, but they of course have to contend with the aforementioned beastiness of Zetterberg and Hossa.

- Is it just me, or is Chris Kunitz passing up opportunities to play the puck in order to make a hit ??  I’ve noticed that for a few games now.

- A quick glance around the Internets this morning gives some varying adjectives in describing the goals Fleury gave up in Game One, such as snake-bitten and unlucky.  But they’re also being described as soft, as well as the statement that the Penguins will never win the Cup with Fleury in goal.

Can the Penguins win the Cup if they don’t win Game Two ??  Sure.  But it would sure be nice to escape Detroit with a split there.  Of course, there is no way you can assume the Pens will sweep at the Igloo.  The Wings did win two games there last Finals, if you recall.

Just like yesterday, another doubleheader today for my son to kill more time until the drop of the puck.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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