When the Devils made it 3-0 early in the third, it was game-over. The trap was executed to a T all game long. It's how teams like the Coyotes, Devils, and Panthers can frustrate a run-and-gun, highly talented team.
Those three teams have something in common.
They currently aren't Stanley Cup contenders.
And they won't be contenders when April rolls around.
Pens can be thankful that they get to see the Devils six times a year. Later on this season, when the Pens are playing games that matter against teams that decide to trap the Pens' high-flying forwards, they will have six games worth of experience against the best trap coach in the game.
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- Chris Bourque is a stain.
- Great call by the refs on the hand-pass no-goal.
- Felt bad for Vokoun. What a performance.
- Pens had a couple of baaaaad defensive lapses.
- Brent Johnson was solid yet again.
- Thank God Staal came back.
- All game, the Pens were whacking at Vokoun's glove as he was freezing the puck, and the Panthers players didn't even care.
- Kunitz was feisty.
- First shortie of Crosby's career. How bizarre is that.
- Nice comeback.
PUCK DADDY, who is still number-one in the business, dug up all of the responses from Red Wang Nation in regards to a recent Buccigross column that says Zetterberg and Datsyuk, gasp, are past their primes.
Go here to check out the actually Bucci column.
Red Wings fans, aside from a couple of level-headed people, can't believe that an analyst thinks the Wings "dynasty" is done. Bucci gave truckloads of corroborating proof that the NHL is a young man's game; that players will put up their seasonal career highs before they reach at least 30 years of age. The two most dynamic players on the Wings roster, Zett and Dats, are 29 and 31, respectively.
Couple that with Nick Lidstrom reaching the end of his road, the ever-shaky situation in the Detroit net, a serious injury and subsequent surgery to the ever-fragile Johan Franzen, and the revitalized Central Division, the case is there that the Red Wings aren't the "powerhouse" anymore that their fans have gotten so used to. But most Wings fans and Malik-esque fanboys refuse to acknowledge this.
Let's face it: going into the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, the Red Wings were an intimidating force. The Pens hadn't seen anything like it during the season, and it was the Red Wings' year, anyway. In the 2009 Finals, the Pens were ready, and the rest is history. The Pens were one year older yet still so much younger than the Red Wings. The microcosm of the entire series came on Jordan Staal's shortie, when Brian Rafalski pretty much gave up on life.
Last year's Cup win was the changing of the guard, the passing of the torch, although the Red Wings fans themselves couldn't find a way to pass their AIDS to Pens fans. It wasn't so much a passing of the torch to the Penguns as it was a passing of the torch to a younger NHL.
If you think the Red Wings' fans' denial is sad, wait till you see the game-winning goal Chris Osgood gave up in Phoenix...
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