Breaking down the finals

First off if you haven't already check out the new site redesign over at Mile High Hockey. The only crappy part about it is I can't comment over there until tonight because I can't authenticate my account until I get to a computer I can check personal e-mail from.

So the Red Wings and Penguins are both in the finals. I want them both to lose. I have decided I like the players on the Red Wings more than the players on the Penguins, but I can't bring myself to cheer for them. I can break down the series rationally though.

Red Wings Offense vs Penguins Defense:
Staal is a nice defensive forward. As far as defense, I see Gonchar (who is a tad overrated in my opinion, but still a nice player) and a bunch of nobodies. The Red wings attack goes three lines deep. Franzen, Cleary, and Filppula have all shown a better scoring touch than most give them credit for. Advantage:

Penguins Offense vs Red Wings Defense: This is the best matchup of the series. Yes the Hossa-Malkin-Crosby line may be the best line in the league (Some would argue that it's Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Zetterberg though). Gonchar is a nice offensive Defenseman too. But the Red Wings have the best Defender in the league (oh and second in the Rod Langway award by Mirtle). They also have 2 Selke candidates in Datsyuk and Zetterberg, plus solid defenders in Kronvall, Lebda and Stuart. They also have that damn checking line with Draper and Maltby. Crosby and Malkin will get theirs, but it's not going to be nearly as much as it was before.

Behind Pittsburgh's Macro line (MaCrHo {© Jibblescribbits}) they have some nice players with Sykora, Malone, DuPuis, and Staal. Still Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and company is the best defense the Penguins have seen all season. Advantage:

Detroit PP vs Pittsburgh PK See above. The one difference maker here could be Fleury, but I think he gives up far too many rebounds and is going to have trouble with guys like Franzen and Holmstrom. Advantage

Pittsburgh PP vs Detroit PK Osgood isn't going to steal anything on the PK. The Pittsburgh PP is deeper than anything the Wings have faced. While I think Detroits defense is as good as anyone, I think the Pens thrive on the PP. Advantage:

Goaltending I am not excited about either of these goaltenders. Osgood gives up less rebounds than Fleury, otherwise they are the same. Advantage:

Intangibles I hate this, but I couldn't figure out anywhere to put this, so it gets thrown in here. Dallas, Colorado and Nashville are better than anyone the Pens have played in the playoffs. I don't think the Pens will be ready for just how good the Wings are, and it will cost them game 1 at the very least (note: if the Pens win game 1 it proves I'm an idiot). Advantage:

Coaching Mike Babcock is one of the best coaches in the league. He should (but won't) win the Jack Adams. Therrien is a fine coach, just not in Babcock's class (IMO). Advantage:

There you have it. I'm not in the habit of saying how many games I think a series could go, because it's useless. I think Detroit is by and large the better team though.

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