Instant (and brief) analysis

  • Naturally, this might stem from my Penguins fanboy status … but I think the Penguins generally outplayed the Red Wings tonight. Especially in the second period.

Obviously, Pittsburgh was pulverized in the faceoff circle (not surprising since the Penguins are below average in that area while Detroit is THE faceoff team), but overall it seemed to me they carried the play during long stretches of the game.

  • During the first half of the game, I braced myself for penalty whining. The Penguins did, indeed, get away with some penalties (particularly on Evgeni Malkin‘s failed breakaway).

Still, the no-call on Henrik Zetterberg (who, when looking through black-and-gold colored glasses, clearly closed his hand on the puck) should more than make up for whatever other discrepancies.

  • Chris Kunitz was a force on the forecheck. Darren Helm is a star in the making. If Niklas Kronwall was an NFL team, he’d be the San Diego Chargers. (Seriously, do officials need to wait until he injures Malkin while leaving his feet before they finally call a charge on him? Pens fans were [rightly] complaining about this last year.)
  • Marc Andre Fleury wasn’t awful but he still needs to be better for the Penguins to win this series. In broken play situations, he seems to go flat to the ice surface far too easily, giving up a ton of net in the process. That, and his penchant for playing the puck poorly, are two potentially fatal flaws in his game.
  • The Penguins will probably find themselves in the same 0-2 hole as last year, but what’s more frustrating is that for at least one game, the Pens seemed like they belonged this year. As a fan, though, that almost makes this loss tougher to swallow.

No, it definitely makes it harder to deal with.

Fuck.

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