Sunday, June 07, 2009

Home Ice Wins Again

How are you going to look at Game 5 going forward? Was it the return of Pavel Datsyuk that lifted the Red Wings to such a convincing 5-0 win? How about being back at home in Joe Louis Arena? Does this game make it a lock for the Red Wings to have their Cup and repeat it too? Of course, most of these questions are so dependent on how well Game 6 goes for Detroit as well. Right now, you can say just about any of those lines and seem pretty smart. Nevertheless, the Red Wings put on a dominant performance in Game 5, showing the Penguins that they are not about to roll over just yet. Now, the series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 6 and we'll see how well home-ice advantage plays out there.

Thanks to a goal-fest from Detroit and a goose egg on the other side, there was a pretty good shift in the pool on Saturday night, as Mike E. stormed back from 3 points behind 3rd place to take 3rd place, as he was certainly the Mover & Shaker of the evening. Mike now sits in a tie for 3rd with Chris M. and leads him by 2 goals in the first tie-breaker. What a night for Mike!

Trevor B. also had a pretty good night, now picking up a 1-point lead on Steve W., which they were tied in points going into Game 5. Falling out of the top four was Brad W., who didn't quite have the right combination of Red Wings to keep his spot in the money.

Leading the way for the Red Wings in pool points on Saturday night was none other than Chris Osgood, who rewarded his pool owners, all eight of them, with 5 points. Osgood recorded the win, a shutout and picked up an assist for his huge night. With that big night, Osgood now leads the series in pool points with 9 and is now in second place for all of the playoffs with 36 points. It's been a great campaign for him. Osgood was definitely the main reason as to why Mike E. made the huge jump in the pool last night, as he's the only one in the top five with the Red Wings keeper.

In the 5-0 win, here are the Red Wings in the pool who picked up some points: Henrik Zetterberg & Brian Rafalski (goal & assist), Pavel Datsyuk (2 assists) and six others with a single point.

Game-Winning Goals
PhotobucketUnfortunately, it was a non-pool player who scored the first Red Wings goal on Saturday night. Dan Cleary opened up the scoring for Detroit and with the shutout, it turned out to be the winning goal going forward. This now keeps the lead between Johan Franzen and Evgeni Malkin alive for the GWG bonus points title, but we still have a pair of games and hopefully we can get ourselves a clear winner, eh?

I would be awfully surprised if this series doesn't go seven games in the end. I really don't think that a blowout of this magnitude really has much of a bearing on how the series will necessarily play out, especially since the games have been so one-sided to the home side all series. When the series shifts back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, we should be seeing a much different Penguins team. I suppose, I can't really count out the killer instinct that the Red Wings have, but they have also been taking their foot off the gas in some of the series previous to this one, letting the other team back in. It's almost too close to call, even with the Wings needing only one game to win it all. Stay tuned!

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