Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Bold Prediction: Wings in Six

Yes, I planned to have a prediction post done last Friday, but real life and laziness got in the way. Besides, everyone and their dogs have posted a prediction for the series, so it's not like the hockey world is missing the content.

My original prediction was the Wings in 6, but even that might be a bit generous to the Penguins given how thoroughly they've been pwned in Games 1 and 2.

Instead of doing a detailed analysis, I can say that the primary asset that the Wings have in spades is EXPERIENCE. Look at any past cup winner, and you see loads and loads of playoff experience.

The Wings have Lidstrom, Holmstrom, McCarty, Rafalski, Hasek, Osgood, Chelios, Draper, Maltby who have Cup rings, plus other crusty veterans like Dallas Drake and Brad Stuart. These guys have been there, done that, and have the T-shirts to prove it.

The Penguins? They have Gary Roberts, whose idea of leadership is to go after the concussed head of Johan Franzen, and Petr Sykora as cup winners. Gonchar is really the only other big-time old guy they got goin.

Oh, I guess Ty Conklin has cup experience, although he's likely tried very hard to forget that. Hossa? He hasn't done THAT much in the playoffs until this season.

So, the Wings know what the deep playoffs are like, and know how to handle all of the pressure. They are calm, cool, collected, and playing like the well-oiled machine we know them to be. The Wings were way better than anyone else at preventing shots against, and have held the Penguins to just 41 shots and 0 goals in 2 games. Kinda hard to score with 20.5 shots per game.

The Penguins are clearly frustrated.

Sidney Crosby? He's visibly frustrated at the Wings ability to choke the neutral zone and hem the Penguins in their own zone. Seeing him swear his head off is rather disconcerting.

Evgeni Malkin? Is he even playing? It's hard to notice. Did he suddenly remember that Russians aren't supposed to play hard when the calendar nears June?

It's pretty much a golden rule in the Stanley Cup playoffs that the most experienced team will win, especially when the gap is wider than Tara Reid's genitals.

I just hope the Penguins can take Game Three and turn this into a respectable series. The fact that the Pens are down 2-0 wouldn't be so bad if they were actually putting up a fight, but we know that hasn't been the case.


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