Friday, May 23, 2008

Beyond Lindstrom versus Crosby

The Stanley Cup Final is looking more and more to be a test of the Penguin's offense (lead by Crosby (and Malkin and Hossa)) against the Red Wings' defense (lead by Lindstrom). While their is also a difference in age in that comparison as well, the fact that this offensive and defensive match up will be happening again and again in this series makes it an entertaining dynamic.

However the just as much of the game will be played on the other end of the ice, and it's just as important how things go there. Will Crosby and Malkin be able to play solid two way hockey? Can they keep Lindstrom from not only playing good defense, but from playing good offense as well? And what about Pittsburgh's blueline? Are they capable of shutting down Detroit's forwards? Is Detroit even any good up front?

This secondary match up of Detroit's offense versus the Pen's defense is just as critical to the outcome of this series, and why I have picked the Penguins to win this year. The Red Wings no longer have Shanahan and while they greatly outshot the Stars, they will actually be forced to spend some time in their own end of the rink in this series giving them less opportunities. Furthermore, while Marc-Andre Fleury is not as good as Turco, he is solid enough to worry Detroit, and even steal a game for his team. Unlike Turco he will not have to do so alone, so he will have a real chance at getting his needed four wins. The Pen's blog has indicated that Pittsburgh is better defensively then anyone else thinks. If that is indeed the case, then the Cup is Pittsburgh's to lose.

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