Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. As a player with the Vancouver Canucks, Crawford advanced to the Stanley Cup in 1982 before his Canucks lost to the Islanders. As a coach, he won the Stanley Cup, leading the Colorado Avalanche to the 1996 crown, defeating Florida in four games.
Now the coach of the Los Angeles Kings, Crawford has agreed to share his expertise with NHL.com in breaking down the 2008 Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins from a coach's viewpoint.
In his NHL.com exclusive analysis of Pittsburgh's 3-2 victory Wednesday against Detroit in Game 3 at Mellon Arena, Crawford breaks down the game from both sides and gives his own insight into the ebb and flow of the series' most-entertaining game to date.
The change in scenery brought about a corresponding shift in the dynamic of the series, as the Pittsburgh Penguins got their first goal, and first win of the series, on their home ice at Mellon Arena. Now, they have begun to claw their way back into the series, a fight that will be continued Saturday night in Game 4.
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The Penguins captain put his team on his shoulders and potted two goals to lead Pittsburgh to a 3-2 Game 3 win over Detroit in the Stanley Cup Final ...more
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"I do believe that Pittsburgh was nervous in that first period and I do believe that (goalie Marc-Andre) Fleury had to be at his best because let's face it Detroit was playing with so much confidence, absolute top of their game heading into that game last night that they played like it for the first 10 or 15 minutes of the first period," he said. "And I thought the second part of the game that was really the telling part of the game was when Pittsburgh took over."
Crawford, in addition to watching the game tactically and analytically, also watched as a fan and was thoroughly entertained by a marquee matchup on hockey's brightest stage.
"It was an entertaining game; I don't think it's the best of the series. I think the best game is going to be Game 4 and I hope we'll be able to say that about Game 5 when it comes around," he said.
Before that, however, listen to Crawford's exclusive commentary on Game 3, including:
- In a matchup of two teams full of superstars, it was indeed the superstars who stood out -- a fact good for the fans, the teams, and the League as a whole.
- Mike Babcock's post-game comments about mistakes he made on playing his top guys "too much."
- The effectiveness of Pittsburgh's game plan of taking every opportunity to hit the Red Wing forwards, and seeing if that will play a role deeper in the series.
- The possibility of Tomas Holmstrom missing Game 4, and how that will affect the Detroit attack.
- Michel Therrien's uniting of his "big 3" line of Marian Hossa, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and the affect it had on the game as a whole.
- The way the game itself seemed to have been played out as three separate games within a game, and how a coach can utilize his players and lines to either combat or bolster the shifts of momentum within a game.
You can hear Crawford's interview here: Roarke interviews Crawford
Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor