In the spirit of all this hockey mayhem, I felt the need to write about the comparisons of Pittsburgh and Detroit. Even though the two have never faced each other with their current squads, it should be fun to see what kind of details we can find. Let's try to have some fun with facts and some not exactly fact, but truth. Lets talk and think about come the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let's get it on!
-The Red Wings own 10 players of 35 years or older on their current roster, including 46 year old defensemen Chris Chelios. The Penguins have 2, Gary Roberts, who has seen limited but effective action these playoffs and Daryl Sydor, who owns his name twice to the cup, but has yet to see a single minute of action. Apparently age isn't much of a concern for the 'Wings, because their goalies (Dominik Hasek & Chris Osgood) combined age alone is 78, as opposed to the combined age of 56 between Ty Conklin and Marc-Andre Fluery. Does age come wisdom? We'll see.
-The Red Wings have a stacked team of names and talent, but how far does it go? There top line has been their scoring touch these playoffs with the likes of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Samuelsson. Besides that top line, the only other name to make headlines in scoring is Johan Franzen, who finds himself on the 2nd line and leading the NHL playoffs in goals.
-Of the 55 goals scored this post season by Detroit, their top line of Zetterberg (9G), Datsyuk (11G), and Samuelsson (2G) own 40% (22G) of those goals scored. Franzen owns 12 goals of his own and 2 hat tricks coming in consecutive games against Colorado, he has scored 1 goal in the 6 games versus Dallas. During the regular season the top line for Detroit accounted for 1/3 of the goals scored.
-The Red Wings have managed 550+ shots on net, scoring 9.2% of the time. Pittsburgh has shot the puck 452 time yet is shooting at 11.3%. Penguins were 10.6% during the regular season while Detroit was 8.9%. See a trend?
-Marc-Andre Fluery has saved 93.3% of the 364 shots on net he's faced while Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood have saved 91.4% of the 319 they have faced. Fluery owns 3 shut outs, while Detroit owns only 1(Game 6 against Nashville). Fluery has allowed an average of 1.84 goals a game and Detroits tandem averages 2.00 goals a game.
-Pittsburgh has given up 26 goals in 14 games while Detroit has surrendered 31 in 16 games.
-The Atlantic Division's combined record was 212-150-48. Detroit's own Central Division was behind 202-159-49. A cool 19 points better than the West's Central. And 4 of the 5 teams out of Pittsburgh's Atlantic Division made the Eastern Conference playoffs. Detroit had themselves and Nashville finding post season success. Detroit, however, had themselves beating the teams in there own conference as I would find out. I can also remember the Atlanta Thrashers rolling into Joe Louis Arena in January and walking out with a "W". What are we supposed to make of this?
-Does anyone else remember the last time a Pittsburgh sports team had to go to Detroit for a championship game? Hint: February 2005.
-Can someone let Mr. Hasek and Mr. Osgood know there have been some great R&D technologies in the goalie helmet division lately?
-Chris Chelios had a stirring series against the Pens in 92 with the Blackhawks. We didn't like him then, why change?
-Pittsburgh's been to the Cup finals twice. Record 2-0. Perfection is a must.
-It's easy to get a nomination for coach of the year, when your team racks up 112 points in a division that owns the likes of Columbus, St. Louis, Chicago, and an underrated Nashville. What about clinching the Atlantic with your star player out for 28 games and having to go to option 3 on a goaltender that was signed to a minor league contract at the beginning of 2007.
-Star Power: Detroit-Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Mikael Samuelsson, Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Lindstrom, Brad Stuart, Chris Chelios, Chris Osgood, and Domink Hasek.
Pittsburgh-Sidney Crosby, Marian Hossa, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Ryan Malone, Sergei Gonchar, Hal Gill, Ryan Whitney, Peter Sykora, Jarko Ruutu, and Marc-Andre Fluery.
That's one talented covered sheet of ice come Saturday.
-Someone look up the average age of both teams and get back with me. I just don't feel like looking up dinosaurs all night.
-Speaking of, here's a clip of the Red Wings practice today.
-You gotta hand it to Detroit, they have talent and still run themselves 5 million bucks under the cap.
-The Nicklas Lindstrom award, oh excuse me, the Norris Trophy handed out each year for best defensemen just snubbed maybe one of the best candidates this year. That being Sergei Gonchar. I'm sure he'd rather have the bigger trophy anyways.
-Detroit = A Puck handling team. Pittsburgh = A steal, poke check, back check, and fore check possession team.
-How many Buicks and Cadillacs will be in the players parking lot come Saturday?
-Do they even make Buicks anymore?
-Detroit's head athletic trainer has been quoted, saying his team should be ready for 7 game against Pittsburgh now that Vick's vapor rub has jumped on to sponsor the Red Wings.
-Deroit's players prefer milk over Gatorade. When asked why, they simply replied "Osteoporosis."
-God knows how many cups or Stanley Cup Finals experience the Red Wings own. Every one keeps spitting out that the Pens are running 100% on talent against a well oiled experienced team. Truth is, the Penguins have some Cup finals experience with a few of their players. The shame is, none of them are named Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
Pittsburgh in 6