Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1 (5/24/08)

Well, here we go folks, it’s finally game on! I’ve been really looking forward to this matchup and expect it to be a great series. It’s hard to judge what to expect since Detroit and Pittsburgh haven’t played at all this season until now.

The first period of game 1 was very spirited by both sides. They all seemed to have a lot of adrenalin. Detroit spent most of the period killing penalties. Some of them were real and some were imaginary. The worst example of the latter being the goaltender interference call against Holmstrom. It wasn’t quite as bad of a phantom call as the disallowed goal in game 4 against Dallas, but it was still a pretty weak call. Even worse, it negated a beautiful goal. During the penalty kills Detroit had a few breakdowns where Penguins players were able to get to the net. They recovered nicely however and were able to clear the puck pretty quickly. It was a nice team effort. Osgood did his part as well making some great saves. Kronwall had a few big hits in open ice which really ramped up the excitement.

All in all the first period was probably a bit of a feeling out process for both teams. That being said, I think Detroit’s offense was more effective that Pittsburgh’s even though Detroit had so many penalties to kill. The Red Wings were still able to keep the shots about even and their chances seemed more controlled and of higher quality.

In the second period the Red Wings were even more dominant. They badly outshot the Penguins aided in part by getting their fair share of the power plays. The Red Wings got on the board and this time it counted. Samuelsson had the puck and he picked a wonderful time to start scoring goals again. He went around the net and scored on a wrap-around shot that went in off of Fleury’s skate as he tried to come across to block it. That was the only goal of the period so at that point it was 1 to 0 Red Wings.

Detroit continued to dominate in the third period. Fleury turned the puck over to Samuelsson who scored again. Both of his goals were unassisted. He really cranked things up in this game. Then Cleary scored shorthanded, and with just a few seconds left in the game Zetterberg scored on a power play making it 4 to 0.

The Red Wings defense looked far superior to Pittsburgh’s. I wouldn’t read too much into this win however. Let’s give the Penguins time to address their problems and see how they do in the next game. If game two is similar to game one then I’m afraid it’s going to be a short series. I’d like to see it become a long series just so I can see more great hockey games, as long as the Red Wings still win in the end, I’d love for it to go seven games! :-)

Way to go Red Wings…..just three more wins!

This 4-0 win brings this Stanley Cup final series to 1-0 Detroit.

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