A few off-day thoughts after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, won by the Red Wings, 5-0, over the Penguins at Joe Luis Arena on Saturday:
My top three players from Game 5:
1-D Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings. He looked a lot like the best defenseman of his generation with an assist, expert puck-management and rock-solid defensive positioning.
2-C Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings. If defense counts, and it does, he is the finest forward in his sport. (Something scary: Imagine if he were healthy!)
3-C Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings. He has limited Penguins C Sidney Crosby to only two points in six Cup Final games at Detroit over the past two postseasons.
STAT THAT SHOULD INTEREST YOU
The Penguins are 9-3 over the past two seasons after losing a Stanley Cup playoff game, including 3-2 against the Red Wings.
Penguins LW Ruslan Fedotenko played on the last team to lose Game 5 of a Cup Final tied, 2-2, and win the title. His Tampa Bay Lightning lost at home to Calgary in Game 5 in 2004, but rallied to win the next two games. Fedotenko scored the Lightning’s only two goals in that Game 7 victory.
While you read the hockey world count out the Penguins in this Final, especially after G Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled Saturday after allowing five goals on 21 shots in 36 minutes, keep this stat in mind: In 12 games following a loss over the past two postseasons Fleury has recorded a 2.17 GAA and .927 SV%.
SID AND GENO
Crosby scored two goals and recorded six points in the 2008 Cup Final, compared to Malkin’s goal and three points in six games. In this Final, Malkin has scored two goals and recorded seven points compared to Crosby’s goal and three points in five games.
Translation: The “Mega Powers” have yet to unite for a Cup Final.