Thursday, May 22, 2008

Penguins-Red Wings Preview / Prediction / Funky Stats

It is a very tough call predicting which team is going to take Lord Stanley this year. On one side, you have a more experienced team in the Wings who have shown so much composure throughout the regular season and playoffs. On the other side you have a younger team that is showing composure beyond its years.

I am going to break this down into several statistics from this year's playoffs so far in order to make a decision, because I haven't picked a winner yet.


Wings: 12 wins 4 losses
Penguins: 12 wins and 2 losses


Wings: 55 (they played 2 more games)
Penguins: 51


Wings: 31 (played more games)
Penguins: 27


Wings: 1.94
Penguins: 1.93


Wings: 16
Penguins: 16


Wings: (Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen): 31 goals, 23 assists and 54 points
Penguins: (Crosby, Hossa and Malkin): 22 goals, 37 assists and 59 points


Wings: 23 goals, 68 assists and 91 points
Penguins: 29 goals, 54 assists and 83 points


Wings: 37
Penguins: 25


Wings: 163
Penguins: 225


Wings: 581 (36.31 shots per game) (The Wings have outshot their opponents 14 times out of 16 games in these playoffs.)
Penguins: 452 (32.3 shots per game)


Wings: Chris Osgood: 13 games played, 10 wins, 1.60 goals against average, .931 save percentage, 1 shutout.
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury: 14 games played, 12 wins, 1.70 goals against average, .938 save percentage, 3 shutouts

Both goalies are going to see a lot of shots in this series.


Wings: 17-plus
Penguins: 1 I believe (Sykora), 2 if Roberts plays.


Red Wings.

So geez, most of these stats are pretty close.
Can the Wings contain the Penguins' speed? Probably. Can they shut down Crosby and Malkin? I think so. They have proven to be disciplined in the playoffs so far, even against fast teams. They have a rigid defensive system and a wicked pressure game that forces turnovers and then their puck possession is so accurate. Then again, so do the Penguins.
Even though the Penguins are deeper at center, like Darren Pang said today, I don't think that's enough.

Who would you rather have in goal, Fleury or Osgood? Tough call. I see that most polls on the matter are about split 50/50. I'd go with Osgood, because he has the experience factor. But I'm not underestimating the potential ability of Fleury in the Finals either.

The fact that Detroit has more secondary scoring so far didn't suprise me. Pittsburgh has Laracque and Ruutu as grinders and they score about as much as Ugly Betty.

I guess that hardly settles it. With the Wings having home ice advantage and the extra experience, I'll go with them in 7 games.
This series should be great.

Anyone else care to wager?


-Johan Franzen has been cleared to practice with the Wings today. We'll see if he plays tomorrow. Even if he does, will his hot streak still be there? Even so, he is a great presence in front of the net.
-Gary Roberts, who has been suffering from pneumonia, may play in Game 1.
-Look for the first team scoring to be a pivotal factor, as points out. 10 times in this year's Playoffs that both Pittsburgh and Detroit have scored the game's first goal. Pittsburgh is 10-0; Detroit is 10-1. No other team scored first more than seven times. That article has some great stats there, including lifetime stats between the 2 teams. Check it out.

Predictions from Gurus everywhere. Borrowed from Thanks guys!

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At May 23, 2008 at 5:49 p.m. , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

My heart tells me Pittsburgh, my head tells me Detroit. Pittsburgh are the young guns - giving us old guys some glimpses into the fond memories of the 80's Oilers. Detroit...well, they are the Canucks-east...loaded with Swede's.

I just want a long, hard fought series. I just recently obtained all 7 games from the 94 series...and yeah, the good guys lost...but that was the last great Cup finals series. Two talent laden teams that both played wide open styles. Those games were a blast to watch.

At May 23, 2008 at 9:03 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

I give up doubting the Euro Wings. They've been so good.
1994 was the best Final that I have ever seen. But my favorite Finals games were Pittsburgh-Hawks game 4 in 1992 and Avalanche-Panthers Game 4 of 1996.
Hasek emerged out of the 92 final game and was sick. He stopped Lemieux 3 times on a breakaway. The chances for Colorado and saves by Vanbiesbrouck in all those periods of Game 4 in 96 was a treat to watch.

At May 23, 2008 at 9:06 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

By the way, that 94 Canucks game 7 was Canuck defensive breakdown after breakdown. The first 2 Rangers goals were of the "what the fuck?" variety!

At May 23, 2008 at 9:52 p.m. , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

But that is what made hockey fun to watch back of your pants, balls out skating, passing and shooting.

At May 24, 2008 at 6:34 p.m. , Blogger Rogene Talento said...

Ok, so my prediction is coming after the game started.

So, I'll go out on a limb and say Penguins in 5. Ya, can hear the laughter all the way from northern BC....

At May 25, 2008 at 10:25 a.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

If the Pens are going to win in 5, they are going to have to solve an experienced and smart Wings team really quickly!


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.