As far as losses go, that kinda sucked. It was definitely worse due to the fact we have only lost two games this postseason. Winning all the time makes the feeling all the more acute when the inevitable loss actually occurs.
The final score is misleading. No doubt the Penguins were outplayed, but it was still a game where you felt like the Penguins could have stolen it. Had they scored on their furious power play in the first with Helm in the box, this might have been a different game.
Overall, the Penguins seemed like they didn't expect the Wings to be that fast, that quick to the puck. Maybe it was due to slower and subpar competition in the first three rounds, or simply a lack of focus, but they did not consider each battle for a loose puck to be a life or death situation. They need to.
Crosby's line looked capable the entire game, and generated the few decent chances. Malkin's, not so much. I Want to Fight Tom Brady pointed out Sykora pretty much wasted our final power play opportunity. Malkin looked the most ill-prepared for the jump in level of competition. But knowing him, he'll respond.
I was pissed off initially at the fourth goal, that vitriol that was lacking toward Detroit had finally surfaced, but it probably helped the Pens more than anything. They were going to lose anyway, but now that taste in their mouths got a bit more bitter, and the Red Wings got a bit more overconfident. We'll come back on Monday more prepared, more ready to capitalize on Osgood challenging slap shots 10 feet out of the net.
We've been in the playoffs for the past 6 weeks, but we haven't yet experienced exactly what it means to be in the playoffs. Bad losses, heart breakers, a small sense of doubt. No trip to drinking with Lord Stanley is complete without hardship. All we can do is wash our lucky jerseys, trim the beard and focus on one thing. Monday.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Posted by Doubt About It at 11:02 PM