By: Nigel Cammack June 2, 2009
Something is not clicking right now for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Something is actually falling apart. The amazing team we saw that was firing on all cylinders in the third round has become the same team we saw in the fourth round last season. There are many things that could be contributing to this and I am sure everyone in the Pens world is trying to figure it out. Is it really Fluery letting in bad goals? Is it his defense that is allowing the big strong Wings through the neutral zone and not giving him a chance? Is Osgood just clicking like he's never clicked before? Is the Pens offense not creating any actual chances? Is Detroit a lot more prepared for the Pens and their game play? Are the boards at the Joe just really that live? You all get the point. My number one question is... Is Bylsma making the wrong decisions and over thinking the Wings?
I believe he is. I believe that Bylsma has changed his game plan completely from the way they played against Carolina (Pens won the series 4-0). The Pens are not passing nearly as much. Crosby and Malkin's ice time has dropped. He is back to the six defensemen and twleve offensemen. Crosby and Malkin are not being double shifted. The line changes are slow and I think someone forgot to talk to Fluery about making saves. Now I personally do not blame Fluery for all of those goals. Two bounces off the boards and off the back of his legs, game two the fluke goal over his glove from Abdelkader who was allowed to just walk into the offensive zone without any questions from the Pens defensemen. That puck should have been poked out and he should have been moved to the outside. In game one of the series Bylsma changed the second line from Malkin, Talbot and Fedetanko and moved the last two back to the third line. Explination please Mr. Bylsma! He put the two lines back together in game two but the damage was already done. I have to say that I am a fan of Dupuis, but if he wasn't perfoming before we took him out of the lineup why put him back in and take out a defensemen. Satan is not doing his job and might need to move back to Wilks-Barre for a little. Jordan is not scoaring, but he is doing a great job against Detroit.
In short, the Pens have no choice but to put their game faces on and go as hard as they can in game 3 to be sure to force a game 5 and 6 and hopefully 7. I believe they can do it, they just need to believe themselves. Being back at home at the igloo I think will do wonderous things for them and help to build ther confidence. Marc-Andre will need to be nothing short of amazing tonight. He does not have to worry about the live boards. He knows these pipes better then any in the NHL and has a very good record at home.
I am not going to talk about what the Wings are doing right because it is obvious that they are doing most things correctly. They are not really the hard team that they are made out to be. This has shown in the scoaring. They only have three actual Red Wing scoared goals out of the six they have on the board. The playoffs aren't about putting in pretty goals though. They are about lucky bounces and bad goals and Detroit is definitely proving that these are all they need. Getting those bad goals is what works on a goalie's confidence. They know that and that is what they are doing. The are taking away Fluery's confidence and in reality that is all they need to do.
Two games are in the books. Maybe two left, BUT there may be another five. Let's hope there is because I am not ready for summer vacation!!!