Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Round 4

Here we all are again at the Stanley Cup final, but again with the Penguins vs. Red Wings match up. The game is being sold in the Pittsburgh media as a rematch from last years series, but with the still lingering open wounds of Hossa opting for Detroit.

Despite being told to "get over it", the Hossa factor does add an additional storyline for the series. For the Red Wings to win, it would justify Hossa's free agent decision - something that will never sit well with the Penguins fan base.

Pittsburgh has many nicknames and most recently, "Hockey'tahn". The pride they take in their championships is woven into the fabric of the community. If the Penguins win, they will have justified the struggles of a rebuilding team and the struggles of new arena costs.

Detroit vs. Pittsburgh
As mentioned before, Marian Hossa is a player with something to prove - to himself and to the fans. Look for him to take advantage of an under skilled defensive unit and benefit from intimate knowledge of how the Penguins play defense. Detroit will once again take on the veteran attitude of "been there - done that" and need only to point to the rafters and count the 20+ championship banners. But with veteran skills, they aren't getting any younger.

The youth is still on Pittsburgh's side. Sid Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can recover quickly in back-to-back games. If only non-Pittsburgh fans could see the determination and desire behind Sid's eyes, you would understand the competitive drive that Crosby carries with him. Fluery, still trying to shed the "non-ready for prime-time" stigma MUST be at the top of his game.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7
Post a Comment