Penguins must learn on the fly

After last night’s resounding victory, Detroit now leads Pittsburgh 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals, with mainstream media stories beginning to take a different approach to this series overall …

Like the ’83 Oilers, must these Pens lose before they can win?

in comparison to the advance billing for Game 1 …

Pens-Wings matchup something grand for NHL.

Unless Pittsburgh’s coaching staff can unearth a rapid remedy to Detroit’s deadly combination of:

1) Top notch NHL goaltending (Chris Osgood)
2) The three-headed monster of Henrik Zetterberg (C), Pavel Datsyuk (C) & Nicklas Lidstrom (D)
3) Skilled talent up throughout its line-up
3) Vastly superior Stanley Cup experience,

the 2008 version of the Playoffs will culminate in the exact same way as the 1983 edition did, with a dominant 4-game sweep by the favoured team.

Game 3, tomorrow night, is the most important of the Penguins’ season.

If they’ve learned their lessons quickly and can (i) stay out of the Penalty Box, (ii) exert a consistent fore-check against the Red Wings … specifically when Lidstrom is off the ice … (iii) score a Power Play goal, and (iv) get a stand-on-his-head performance from Marc-Andre Fleury (G), the Penguins can win a tight defensive game, on their home ice.

If not, cue the parade in Hockeytown, USA … as the Red Wings organization, from top-to-bottom, remains the best operation in the game today.

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4 Responses to “Penguins must learn on the fly”

  1. FeetinthePaint Says:

    Once again, experience is making a big difference in a playoffs. To have two guys like Zetterberg and Datsyuk crossing the blue line is ridiculous. And The Kid goes pointless? What a recipe for disaster.

  2. khandor Says:

    FITP,

    re: The Kid

    The analogy I like to us is this one (which some find demeaning, since it draws a similarity between animals and human beings, nevertheless) …

    ===================================

    Q1. When you take an outstanding thoroughbred racehorse that is accustomed to dominating $200,000+ claiming events … which are very high calibre races in their own right … and then decide to step him up in CLASS, to challenge the top ponies in a Grade 1 Stakes Race, in all likelihood, what is going to happen to your horse’s chances of winning that first event you have him entered in?

    A1. Your horse is about to get his *ss handed to him in a hand-basket.

    Q1. Yeah, but … if he runs his usual race by making 2 ‘moves’ to get the job done, say, in 1:50 … and he’s in against other horses that can cover the same distance in approximately the same amount of time … how come his first time out he gets shuffled back in the pack, has to struggle mightily to stay up with the leaders and then fades noticably coming down the stretch, crossing the wire at something in excess of 1:52, far and away slower than he has performed in any of his recent races at the $200.000+ claiming level?

    A2. Cause it’s a matter of CLASS … and getting accustomed to what it takes to perform at the highest level imaginable where the other athletes are just as good as you are or better and there can sometimes be a need to make more than 2 moves within the same race in order to come home a winner.

    Q3. Yeah, but … aren’t the horses in the Grade 1 Stakes events still just ‘regular horses’ like the horses in the $200,000 claiming events? (cause they sure look alike … 2 ears, 2 eyes, 2 flaring nostrils, 4 legs, 1 tail and a mane)

    A3. No, they are nothing alike at all … even though they may look similar to the untrained eye … including different musculature, stride length, gait coordination, balance, dexterity, ferocity, and the Will To Win, etc., etc., etc.

    Q4. Does this then mean that a lower level racehorse can never attempt to step up in CLASS successfully?

    A4. No, not exactly. Although some lower level horses will never be able to compete successfully against the very top ponies, those that do adapt the fastest to their new surroundings have the best chance of eventually being able to win and maybe even DOMINATE the race just as he once did at the lower levels. Successful adaptation to the new competitive environment over a relatively short period of time is one of the key markers which separates the very best from the merely very good in the harsh equine world.

    ====================================

    Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom are experienced Grade 1 Stakes Athletes who are well ahead of the Kid, at this stage, when it comes to competing successfully for the Stanley Cup.

    That said, one thing that the Kid has consistently shown at every level he’s competed at is his amazing ability to adapt rapidly to the new environment he finds himself in … no matter whether it be the jump to Major Junior (in Canada), the World Junior Championships or the World Championships, he has always found a way to succeed in a relatively short period of time.

    Last year the Pens were sent packing in the 1st Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year they responded by reaching the Finals.

    While they are down in this series, 0-2, to a very good Detroit team … it would not surprise me one bit if they stage a rally right now … despite their relative inexperience … and, at least, force a Game 5 or 6 in this series … OR, falling short of that, return to the Finals next season to claim their first Stanley Cup in the post-Lemieux era.

    The Kid and the Penguins will show their true CLASS moving forward from here.

  3. FeetinthePaint Says:

    Definitely agree adaption speed being what separates good from the best. Take a look at Ovechkin. Two years ago, him and Crosby were hailed as near equals. I found this odd since AO’s a bit older but the adaptation of Crosby has definitely overtaken Big O’s. Good stuff.

    The next few games will show how much of a fighter Crosby and the Penguins are. I think it’ll be a good indication of how much The Kid improves next season.

  4. Stepping up in class … like a champion « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] https://khandorssportsblog.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/penguins-must-learn-on-the-fly/#comments […]

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