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2 Minutes For: Penguins Pick, Hossa & Saltimbanco

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
     
  So for the first time in 25 years we have a rematch of the previous year's Stanley Cup finalists. The Red Wings, trying to become the first team to repeat as champs since they pulled off the trick in 1997-98, against the Penguins, who return a year older and a year wiser.


Two solid teams with strong goaltending and tons of skill. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Nicklas Lidstrom, Marian Hossa, Jordan Staal, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and on and on and on and on…

The Penguins had to have learned a ton in last year’s finals when losing to these Wings. Crosby and Malkin and Fleury are more mature, and the acquisitions of Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz during the season has been a huge help. It also doesn’t hurt that the Penguins are 30-8-4 since Dan Bylsma took over behind the bench.

The Wings? They’re a little beat up, and the schedule has them playing three games in four nights right out of the box.

Penguins in six.

COMPLETE STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE

Saturday, May 30 - at Detroit, 8:00 pm - NBC, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 31 - at Detroit, TBD-Night - NBC, CBC, RDS
Tuesday, June 2 - at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm - VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Thursday, June 4 - at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm - VERSUS, CBC, RDS
* Saturday, June 6 - at Detroit, 8:00 pm - NBC, CBC, RDS
* Tuesday, June 9 - at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm - NBC, CBC, RDS
* Friday, June 12 - at Detroit, 8:00 pm - NBC, CBC, RDS
*-If necessary.

TIME WILL TELL FOR HOSSA

Remember last summer, when Hossa decided to leave the Penguins and sign with the Red Wings? Well, Hossa will soon learn whether he made the right decision.

“It was a really tough decision for me to make,” he said. “When I compared the two teams, I felt like I would have a little better chance to win the Cup in Detroit.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We learned a lot…I think we took a lot away from it. We didn’t know what to expect. But this year is much more of a relaxed feel. This year we’re a lot better prepared for everything.” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on the difference between going to the Finals this year and last.

PASSING THOUGHTS

Seemed poetic justice that Darren Helm scored the series-winner Wednesday for the Red Wings. His penalty kill earlier in the evening was a thing of beauty.

 
 
  Rob Scuderi is the most underrated defenseman of the playoffs.

Dennis Rodman has gone from Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice to Celebrity Rehab. Just saying.

The Red Wings Dan Cleary leads the playoffs with a plus-16. Darren Helm has 78 hits for the Wings, Brooks Orpik 77.

Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco at BankAtlantic Center through June 7. Nineteen shows. Check it out.

Alex Delvecchio

Song of the day: Got to Go Back, by Van Morrison.
 
 
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