I went to look for articles this morning and I totally squeed when I saw that Giguere had written a long article about Game 5!!!
A long night's work, and play, in NHL's Stanley Cup finals
Those games are fun and they're not fun. It's such a classic that by the end of the game, it almost doesn't matter whether you lose or win. You still have memories of it for the rest of your life. You battle so hard to win, but it's so exhausting.
I thought the Penguins were playing very well at the start. They were putting some pucks at the net. Probably the first period was their best. It seemed like they had more energy there than the rest of the game.
I think Detroit looked a little nervous. I can remember from last season that the fifth game of the Stanley Cup finals was probably the only game all season where I was nervous. Because you know if you win, that's it. And I had a hard time shaking it off.
The Red Wings were playing well. Both of Pittsburgh's goals came off mistakes. Once the Wings started playing their game and got some energy behind them, they just dominated the second and third periods. The only reason Pittsburgh was still in it was because Marc-Andre Fleury was real solid.
Both goalies were good. [Chris] Osgood has been solid. You can't take anything away from him. He's done his job. He doesn't face a whole lot of shots, but in Detroit, it's not about him winning games for them. It's about not losing games.
As far as Fleury goes, I think he's come out of his shell since he came back from his injury. Ty Conklin put a lot of pressure on him during the season by playing pretty well and he sort of saved Pittsburgh's season when it wasn't playing that well. It put pressure on Fleury to get his job back and he's been playing really well.
The Red Wings were down, 2-1, and they just came out with a ton of energy for the third. They were all over Pittsburgh. It was amazing how many turnovers Pittsburgh had in the neutral zone. But that's just the way Detroit plays.
I thought the Wings were in control of the game. But that's why a team like Pittsburgh has gotten this far. The Penguins have the talent and they have the team to do what they did. You don't get to the finals without having to be able to win tough games in tough situations.
In the final minute of the third period, the Penguins just put the puck at the net. It's something they haven't done enough in this series or even in this game. They just shot the puck at the net and guys were there for the rebound. It was a shot from a tough angle, but it still created a rebound.
I'm happy for Syki [Petr Sykora, who scored the winning goal in the third overtime]. He's a great guy and he seems to find a way to score big goals. He's done that with us in the past. When he's got a chance like that in the slot, that's going to be tough for any guy to make a save like that.
I've always been one of those guys who thinks they should just keep calling the game the way it is in overtime. There's a rule book for a reason. I understand there's stuff to let go and you want the players to decide games. But a high stick is a high stick and those need to be called.
Hopefully for [Evgeni] Malkin, this game is going to give him a little confidence and a little boost. It looks like he's tired. He's made a lot of bad decisions on the ice. If Pittsburgh is going to have any chance at winning, they need him. They need the second line. They can't just rely on [Sidney] Crosby and [Marian] Hossa.
It's inexperience. You need to learn how to win in this league before you lift that cup. Malkin's only 21 years old. He's obviously a great player, but he's finding out the hard way that the season is long.
In Game 6, hopefully Pittsburgh will draw a little bit of energy from this win. The Penguins seemed to be a tired team out there. They'll be in front of their fans and hopefully they'll give them some energy.
They can't rely so much on Fleury. They've got to try to play in their zone more. Try to put some pucks on net and don't just keep throwing the puck down the middle. Those little blind passes are what Detroit thrives on. They're going to have to keep their game a little more simple.
As far as Detroit goes, I don't think it has to change much. Maybe play a little bit better defensively. But it went to six periods. I think they played well for the most part. If I'm Detroit, I'm telling myself that Game 6 is a must-win. You don't want to tempt fate. You just want to win it when you have the chance, wherever that is.
The most amazing thing with Detroit is throughout the year, whenever they faced adversity, they didn't show any panic. They stayed calm and played their game. It reminded me a little bit of us last year. We were so confident in our game plan and our ability to win. That's how they are now.
The Red Wings put themselves in position where Pittsburgh has to win three games and they just have to win one. They have some breathing room. There's no reason for them to be nervous. Just go out and play with confidence and play the type of hockey you've been playing.
I pretty much agree completely with what he said! Too bad he can't become an analyst after he retires because he's ESL. And of course, my favourite bit is where he talks about Petr:
I'm happy for Syki [Petr Sykora, who scored the winning goal in the third overtime]. He's a great guy and he seems to find a way to score big goals. He's done that with us in the past. When he's got a chance like that in the slot, that's going to be tough for any guy to make a save like that.Eee, JS still loves him, and Babcock too!
Sykora keeps Penguins alive
June 03, 2008
DETROIT — After an long, agonizing night of hockey in which he and his Pittsburgh Penguin teammates were pushed to the very edge of playoff extinction, Petr Sykora still had the energy for humour.
Sykora, the 31-year-old winger who refused to let the Detroit Red Wings claim the Stanley Cup last night by scoring in the third overtime of a dramatic Game 5, mentioned afterwards he kept his energy up by gnawing on shards of pizza between OT sessions.
"Domino’s," he quipped, drawing a huge chuckle from teammate Sidney Crosby as the two sat on a podium together after the Penguins’ 4-3 triumph.
Both Sykora and Crosby, of course, know full well that Detroit owner Mike Ilitch has made a few bucks over the years through his Little Caesar’s pizza empire, so the dig was appropriate for the moment, as the Pens were reveling in the realization that they, a Pittsburgh team bankrupt not that long ago, may yet have the chance to steal Lord Stanley’s mug away from the talented and wealthy Red Wings.
"It’s the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s not supposed to be easy," said Wings head coach Mike Babcock afterwards.
Nobody thought it would be easy, but an awful lot of people thought the season was over last night.
With less than 40 seconds left in regulation time, it appeared the Pens were finally dead, trailing 3-2 in a game they had led 2-0 early but had seen the Wings power their way back to within seconds of their fourth Cup in 11 years. The visitors had lost defenceman Sergei Gonchar along the way after he’d crashed into the end boards, and Ryan Malone had dripped blood all over the ice surface of The Joe after taking a Hal Gill slapshot in the mush.
"We were about 30 seconds away from not playing anymore this season," said Crosby.
But then Johan Franzen turned the puck over deep in the Detroit zone, and then Marian Hossa slammed the puck desperately at the Wings net from the corner, and then Maxim Talbot jammed it past Chris Osgood to create the first overtime of the series.
It was, given the territorial advantage the Wings had earned, a surprising result, to have the game go to extra time. That surprise became larger as the Wings kept attacking and the Pens kept reeling and defending as one overtime ended, then another.
"My legs didn’t feel very good out there to be honest," said Crosby. "It didn’t feel like 200 feet of ice. It felt like a football field."
Sykora, who had once won a five-OT game for Babcock when both were employed by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim five years ago, giddily suggested to his teammates after the second OT he had plans to play hero.
"I just said, 'Guys, I’m going to get one'," said Sykora, who hadn't scored or been much of a factor during the first four games against Detroit.
His chance came when Detroit’s Jiri Hudler reached out in the offensive zone and clipped Pittsburgh defenceman Rob Scuderi with nine minutes gone in the third overtime, an infraction that cut Scuderi and was born, you have to figure, as much by exhaustion as intent.
Seconds later, with Gonchar gutting out an OT shift, Evgeni Malkin delivered the mail to Sykora, who roofed it to end the game after 109 minutes and 57 seconds of action.
"I hated to see Sykora get the puck on his stick there," said Babcock.
Talbot and Sykora, then, finally delivered the help from the support troops that the Pens had been looking for, and Fleury was utterly spectacular with 55 saves, 24 of them in the overtime periods.
"Obviously, the big answer for us was Marc-Andre Fleury," said Crosby.
While the Pens and Wings now search for ways to summon the energy for another contest of wills Wednesday at the Mellon Arena, the NHL can exult in a classic played out last night and early this morning on CBC in Canada and NBC throughout the U.S., a game that even pre-empted the Jay Leno Show.
Gary Bettman’s administration quietly hoped that this series might produce something special, which didn’t seem likely after two games, but now seems distinctly possible, especially if the Penguins can force Game 7 in Detroit on Saturday.
The Pens are battered and bruised, but still breathing. The Wings went to bed last night wondering how they could spent so much time in an opponent’s zone and not emerge with a victory, how they could have been so close to winning a game that slipped away because they couldn’t clear the puck in the final minute of regulation.
"They’re big boys. They understand this," said Babcock.
Detroit has to get that frustration out of its collective mind, and Pittsburgh has to imagine that if it can win one more game on home ice at the NHL’s oldest rink, two off-days might allow Gonchar and Malone and the other walking wounded to get ready for Game 7.
One suspects it was the Penguins that learned something about themselves, something they couldn’t have possibly known before going through that gruelling experience, leaning on Fleury to stave off elimination and then finding new heroes, Talbot and Sykora and 50-minute man Ryan Whitney, to walk out of The Joe as winners.
Where this series goes now, how it ends, is anyone’s guess.
I read another article where Ruutu said that they got Little Caesars pizza so Petr was making a joke! *gasp* He kind of killed the crowd, though, all the media were cracking up pretty good. :)
I liked that the boys practiced their goal celebrations in the morning skate, hehe. :) And I'm glad that Fleury is getting credit for stealing that game, cos' he totally did.
Both tamiflu and joolzie came online :D :D :D and it was so much fun talking and spazzing with lastcatastrophe and we stayed up too late talking but it was totally worth it!!! ♥ ♥ ♥