|Marc Crawford believes the Penguins must change their ways if they are to make this a competitive Stanley Cup Final. LISTEN |
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 Detroit's 3-0 victory against Pittsburgh in Game 2 on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena, Crawford breaks down the game from both sides.
Little has changed since Crawford broke down Game 1
, as the Penguins have yet to score a goal in the series while the Red Wings have increased their series lead to 2-0 and are looking as if their team is clicking at just the right time.
| |Numbers show Red Wings are in control
The only number that matters in the Stanley Cup Final is 2 – the number of Detroit wins. But there was more, as NHL.com’s John Kreiser shows with an inside look at the Red Wings’ second straight win. ...more Stuart hopes to stick in Hockeytown
After bouncing all around the NHL in the last two seasons, defenseman Brad Stuart
has found himself in the right place at the right time with Detroit – and he would like to stick around. ...more
"Detroit is playing absolutely at the top of their game," Crawford said.
However, he believes that the benefits of a home crowd full of energy will be good for the Penguins and believes the most important period of the Stanley Cup Final for either team will be Period 1 in Wednesday night’s Game 3.
He also cautions the players on each team to focus on the game, not on what is being said in the media.
"All the stuff that happens in the media, that's for the fans," Crawford said.
Crawford has a variety of other insights after watching the first two games of the 2008 Final, including:
* The themes that Crawford believes will be discussed at the Penguins' off-day skate today, in Mellon Arena back home in Pittsburgh.
* Whether or not a coach, or even his team, are able to make wholesale adjustments so late into the season, especially under the microscope of the Stanley Cup Final.
* The effectiveness of sending messages through physical play, like the Penguins tried to establish in the third period of Game 2.
* How the coaches on both teams are using the media to get their points across.
* What the Red Wings are doing well, and how the Penguins will need to do to respond to the Wings' play, in order to battle back and regain some control of the series.
You can hear Crawford's interview here: Part I | Part II
Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor