Monday, June 02, 2008

Before Game 5

My apologies to the five readers that show up, but it's been a busy weekend. So, in lieu of such busy-ness, I thought I would wrap up the weekend before Game 5 tonight.

Well, Game 4 was the Penguins chance to really make good use of their home ice, but alas, the Red Wings regrouped after Game 3 and put the Penguins in a do-or-die situation. A 2-1 final for Detroit gave them a 3-1 lead in the series as they go back home to 'the Joe' to close out the Finals.

Gaining the bonus point in Saturday's game was Jiri Hudler (Box 4). It was Hudler's fifth goal of the playoffs and his second game-winner, but this outcome really didn't give any effect to the top of the playoff pool. Hudler was only taken twice in the pool, none of those selections happened in the money teams, which takes away from the mystique of the top. His performance was the best out of his box in the playoffs, but since he's all the way down in Box 4, there is little chance that he'll figure into the best team possible, likely giving way to his teammates in the three boxes ahead of him.

Also making waves in the pool were Nicklas Lidstrom (Box 8), who scored the other Detroit goal and Brian Rafalski (Box 9) and Pavel Datsyuk (Box 2), who added the assists on Lidstrom's goal. The goal was a bonus to Benson, who gained a point on the lead, but we still haven't counted the Pittsburgh goal as of yet either.

The Pittsburgh goal opened up the game, but it wasn't enough for Pittsburgh. Marian Hossa (Box 15) scored his 10th goal of the playoffs and gave Angela that key point that made up for her Detroit short-comings. Hossa's goal was assisted by Sergei Gonchar (Box 20) and Sidney Crosby (Box 13). Neither Angela or Benson had Crosby, but both had Gonchar, so there were no more points gained or lost on the goal.

So, going into Game 5, Angela will hold a 5-point lead on Benson, while he has a 2-point lead on both John P. and Mike E.. It's a tight race for the money heading into the last game (or two), but we're nearly done.

The Wings managed to sneak the win through without one of their top forwards in Tomas Holmstrom (Box 3). Holmstrom sat out the game with a hamstring injury and kept the scoring away from the playoff pool. Holmstrom will return for Game 5, according to team officials, which should play into the hands of the Detroit faithful.

Well, this should pretty much do it now. I'd hate to say it, but there is a little bit of conceding in my tone. I did think the young kids could pull the series out, but the youth was served some experience thus far. The prediction of the Penguins in six was also stomped on dearly, but the Sherpa also thought that the Red Wings would lose in the first round, so his predictions this spring took a pretty good hit. By this time tomorrow, some prize money could be doled out.

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