Blog Entry

Centers stage

Posted on: June 5, 2009 1:44 am
The game within the game throughout this Stanley Cup Final has been between Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg and his Penguins counterpart Sidney Crosby. Zetterberg's primary task has been to shut down Crosby and he spent the first three games of the series so close to the Pittsburgh captain that people began to talk. But Zetterberg did manage to limit Crosby to just one assist in that time, so the gossip was worth it.

Problem was in Game 3, Zetterberg had more than 24 minutes in ice time and was gassed by the middle of the third period, which was apparent during a crucial power play the Penguins converted to win. So in Game 4, Detroit coach Mike Babcock decided to forgo the match game because it wasn't working well with the home team getting the last line change.

"We didn't try to get it one time," he said.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma was actually disappointed by the strategy change, because it meant Zetterberg had more opportunity to use his high end offensive skills if he wasn't using his defensive talents so much against Crosby at even strength and on penalty kills. In theory anyway. In practice it didn't matter because as Babcock noted, Zetterberg didn't have much jump in Game 4.

Bylsma understood.

"In order to put him out in situations where Sidney's going to play in an offensive situation and also on the power play, you know, tat's a lot of time for a guy to handle," Bylsma said. "I don't know how many minutes it was tonight, but 25 in the last game. It's a challenge chasing Sidney Crosby around the ice.

"(Zetterberg) is a talented player for sure, but it's a challenge to do both of those tasks. But that's one we're going to keep trying to make him do."

For his part, Crosby said he didn't notice any drop off in energy from his opponent, who gave away the puck on one Penguins goal and was caught up the ice when Crosby scored for the first time in the series.

"Doesn't feel like that, no," said Crosby, who had two points. "I'm just trying to battle, that's what it comes down to. It's tough to get any space out there for both teams. He's a great player and he's battling too."

But lately, Crosby seems to be winning.
Category: NHL

Since: Dec 6, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2009 1:56 pm

Centers stage

I hate to break it to ya but Ovechkin and Malkin are better than crosby. Talking about sweep your getting that from just some fans true Wings fans knew it would go at least six.

Since: Feb 22, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2009 7:02 pm

Centers stage

Dang! I missed two Stanley Cup finals games this week. I coulda swore I read  monday morning that the series was over.

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2009 4:29 pm

Centers stage

To all those Detroit fans, where and when is the parade to celebrate that Stanley Cup that you were going to sweep to. It amazes me to listen to the idiots on this site who must be watching different hockey games than I'm watching. It sure seemed to me that the Pens outplayed the Wings in both games in Detroit, only to have Osgood stand on his head or to hit the pipes ( I counted about 5 or 6 in Detroit alone). Welcome to a good series. It's a best of three now. Pens have momentum and young legs. Wings have experience and home ice. It promises to be compelling and high quality hockey.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2009 3:24 pm

Centers stage

uhhhhh...who even said that?

Best pure

Best all around (active) player....I think so. 

You can name plenty of honorable mentions, but Crosby does it all, and I don't think I ever seem anyone spin as fast as he has a few times in this series.  He back-checks, plays defense (which a lot of that list don't!), can pass (which Ovechkin DON'T), stick-handle with the best of them.  There is no weak part of his game, and if anyone in the league would be able to take that title from's probably his teammate!!!


Since: Oct 4, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2009 2:58 pm

Centers stage

I don't know how you can say with any certainty that Sid is the bes player in the NHL.  I can think of about a dozen guys who qualify for consideration.  Sid is obviously more worth considering than some of the others, and he is still learning.  So, of course, is Maklin, and it's hard to tell how much of the difference in production between Malkin and Crosby in this year's playoffs (and regular season) is due to other teams game-planning to take Sid away first.  Still, it's a good idea to flash back to last year in the regular season when Sid was hurt and Malkin carried the offense for a couple of months.  And then there's Ovechkin, who is one of the best snipers in recent memory and seems to be developing a mean streak a la Mark Messier.

Goalies - Luongo, Lundqvist (goaltending is such a big part of the game, and both those guys can be unbeatable for long stretches of time)
Defense - Lidstrom (he gets my vote, and I'm from Pittsburgh and a big Pens' fan), Phaneuf, Mike Green
Forwards - Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Zetterburg, Datsyuk, Zach Parise, Jeff Carter, Hossa (OK, it's a baker's dozen).

All those skaters can play both ends of the ice, some better on one end than the other.  Personally, if I were building a team I'd rather do it around a two-way defenseman; they get more ice time and are a big leg up on having a killer power play.
I agree that the Kunitz-Crosby-Kennedy goal was a thing of beauty.  One of the best efforts by an entire line in this year's playoffs.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2009 1:48 pm

Centers stage

Where ya at now Goldstein!??!?  I recall waking up Monday morning and reading an article about how much of a joke this Stanley cup finals was going to be, and that Detroit was up 2-0 and this series was over!!!  Trashing the Penguins and saying that Detroit was untouchable!??  Well, open up that mouth wide and shove both of your feet in there because not only is the series tied, but Pittsburgh has tons of momentum! 

Which goalie is playing better now Wes?  I also recall a spot that said that Fluery is not up to Osgood's performance level and that he is in a different league of play!?!?  37 great saves last night, and he is playing possessed.  In fact Scuderi got the giveaway/assist on that first goal and he STILL almost made the save.  One of the Dead wings couldn't have made a better pass to him.  Osgood couldn't save a beach ball for that 6 minute period when the Penguins lit him up like he was Marty Biron!!   HAHA 

And how bout that big X-factor Marion Hossa....BUM!!!   After the Pens win this series, he will be the biggest donkey in the NHL for leaving them.

And now that the Penguins tied the series, you look like a donkey for even posting that article!!  The CBSSportsline Pete Prisco of hockey...haha 

Since: Nov 2, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2009 12:28 pm

Centers stage

Crosby is the best player in the NHL. He and the Pens are going to take this series at home in game 6. I don't want to hear any Detroit Dead wings fan tell me any different because all I saw on here after game 2 was that the Red wings were sweeping then I saw oh Red wings in 5. Well the pens have done it again. BOOM BOOM POW. What a TIC TAC TOE pass play last night all the pens goals last night were amazing not like Detroit in both games they won. I LOVE IT

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