|After watching the opening two games of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien probably believes that Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood could have a very successful career as an actor once his hockey playing days are over.
But at least this time Penguins coach Michel Therrien gave Detroit goalie Chris Osgood some good marks for his role in Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora getting whistled for goalie interference penalties in the third period.
“He’s good at it,” Therrien said. “You have to leave the player in the front of the net to get the rebounds, but if the goalie is going to challenge the players and fall down then you’re going to have two minutes of penalty because you’re in front of the net.
“Malone’s intention was not to go to hit the goalie. This is not something we’re doing. He went in front of the net, and Osgood challenged him and he fell. Sykora was trying to retrieve the puck, and he played well, Osgood. He moved the puck, and he went on Sykora and fell down.”
Gary Roberts, who appeared to get away with a semi-sucker punch to Johan Franzen’s face with about nine minutes left in Game 2, said after reviewing film of that play he believes Franzen goes to the same diving school as Osgood.
“It’s obvious he decided to skate back into the play and then he decided to go down,” Roberts said. “He obviously embellished it. If my glove got in his face, by no means was it a punch that should knock a guy down like that. He shouldn’t be playing if he falls that easily.”
Franzen had sat out the previous six games with concussion-like symptoms, but was cleared to play Monday morning.
-- Dan Rosen
Each Game Is The Biggest – Despite possessing a 2-0 series lead, Mike Babcock believes tomorrow’s Game 3 will be the team’s biggest game of the year.
“It’s boring and redundant, but the game you’re playing is the most important one of the year,” the Wings coach said when asked which team will be dealing with more pressure in Game 3. “I think when we went to Nashville and we were up 2-0, we figured that out. I think when we went to Colorado and we were up 2-0, we figured it out. And when we were up 3-0 against Dallas and suddenly you’re playing Game 6 in their building … we’re all human, and we all want to do well.
“I think we have a real professional group and I think we’re a pretty consistent hockey club. We’ve had our moments, but I think we’ve been pretty consistent at playoff time.”
-- Brian Compton
Keep it physical – The Penguins turned Game 2 into a physical affair in the third period and they want to keep it that way, minus the penalties, of course.
They were whistled for nine minor penalties, six of which were roughing penalties and another two were goalie interference calls that the Penguins wholeheartedly disagreed with by claiming Osgood was a diver.
Roberts was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty with 1:08 to go after a melee broke out in the corner to Osgood’s left. Sticks, pucks and some blood were left on the ice when the officials and linesmen finally broke it up.
“It’s been chippy and we have to let them know it won’t be easy,” Maxime Talbot said. “It’s a long series. I don’t know if you’re thinking they’re going to sweep us, but I don’t think so. If it’s chippy and our type of hockey that’s good for us.”
-- Dan Rosen
Penguins tidbits – Therrien was asked if there would be any lineup changes for Game 3, specifically if defenseman Darryl Sydor would go in to play his first game of these playoffs, and the Penguins coach left it open for discussion by saying, “We’ll see tomorrow.” … Therrien was also asked if there was a chance Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would skate on the same line in Game 3. The coach was again evasive saying only, “We would do it at times. We do it at times.” The dynamic duo played together in even strength situations a handful of times in Games 1 and 2. Crosby has nine shots on goal in the series, but Malkin has only one. He has only two points in the last six games. … The Penguins scoring drought is now a season high 135:27. The last goal they scored was 4:03 into the third period of Game 5 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
-- Dan Rosen