As we touched on at the end of our last game recap, it’s an under-statement to call the next game crucial. Any game in the Stanley Cup Finals, after all, is a pretty important one. However this next game will once again either gear the series up or wind it down. Should the Penguins tie this baby up 2 games to 2 it’d plant some real seeds of doubt in the Red Wings heads for what would become a best of three series. Detroit wins and they’re up 3 games to 1 and have the chance to breakout Lord Stanley on home ice in Game 5.
A huge swing, indeed. The Penguins need to win a game in Detroit to win the Cup, but at this point if they don’t protect home ice they won’t have a chance at all. The Pens found room to skate and controlled the puck better in Game 3, but they still have much room for improvement. Staying out of the box for needless penalties and continuing to limit Detroit’s time and space for starters. If the Pens can limit their own turnovers--which often result in transition scoring chances or goals that would help too. Pittsburgh established themselves physically with many plastering hits and that must continue too. Guys like Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis must outwork their counter-parts on the Detroit defense, especially if the puck is dumped into the zone.
These two days off should be a good thing. Many fans like it when the games are every other night, and we do too. But Game 3 featured a lot of high intensity end-to-end play that was very physical. Giving everyone an extra day to recover should make Game 4 a lot better to watch. Quite frankly we're kinda drained and we didn't even physically have to do anything!