Friday, June 12, 2009

Five Reasons To One Red Wings Will Win Tonight

Five reasons I think the Red Wings will beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at Joe Louis Arena:
1. Home ice advantage.
The Red Wings have won the previous three games in Detroit by a combined score of 11-2. Pittsburgh is 1-5 at JLA in the last two years in the Final. The last line change is huge.
2. The Red Wings have the better team. If you match the two teams up player-by-player, position-by-position, the Red Wings are superior all-around.
3. Goaltending.
Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleruy is either great or awful. There is no in-between. Chris Osgood is more consistent.
4. Coaching.
A veteran in Mike Babcock with tons of experience vs. a rookie in Dan Bylsma.
5. History
The home team is 12-2 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, including seven straight victories dating back to 1971. The home team has won Game 7 18 straight times in the Stanley Cup Final, the World Series and the NBA Finals.
The one reason I think the Penguins could beat the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at Joe Louis Arena:
1. It’s hockey. Lets face it, anything can happen.

Random Thoughts

- Don’t expect Clete Thomas to be in Toledo long. The main reason the Tigers moved him down is they need another first basemen while Miguel Cabrera is ailing. Dan Kelly can play first base.

- If the Tigers, as expected, put Jeremy Bonderman on the disabled list, it will be the correct move. He clearly isn’t himself. More time off might bring some of the snap back to his arm. I still expect Ryan Perry, who will likely be called up, to be the Tigers’ closer by the end of the season. For some reason, Joel Zumaya is a great setup man, but doesn’t pitch nearly as well with a lead or in tie games in the ninth inning. Saw that again Thursday.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press about Red Wings-Penguins Game 7:

Caputo and His Boss Video:



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, Don Kelly was nice pick up last winter for AAA. He like Raburn that can play all positions but bats left-handed. Zumaya is too energized to pitch one inning. Just wondering if he should be a starter? I like Thomas too, because of his speed and defense.

8:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great point about Zumaya. I don't think he has the mental makeup to be a closer at this point. He is still young, so maybe he could grow into that, but he is probably best-suited to be the high-octane fireman for the 7th and 8th innings.

It would be ideal if he could start just as Barry said. I don't think he has the arsenal or command to be a starter, though. Even though he has dabbled with a changeup, he is a two-pitch pitcher at best, and that is only on the days when his curveball is working for him. Add that to the fact that his command is sketchy and that he is injury-prone, and that is not a good combination for a guy who is going to throw 200 innings.

About Perry: Explain why you think he will be closer by season's end. Will Rodney lose the job with his performance? Will Perry pitch his way into it? Is it a combination? Also, Leyland seems to be gaining confidence in Lyon again. Do you think he could be a factor in the closer race for the second half if Rodney falters?


2:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I don't see them with Zumaya as a starter this season, but could happen in the future as all the relievers they took early in the '08 draft develop.

7:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Zumaya does have a good changeup. It's just he rarely throws it. I do believe Rodney will lose the job because of performance eventually. I think Perry has the poise to handle it, although he obviously needs to cut down on the walks.

8:01 PM 
Anonymous Mike C said...

"2. The Red Wings have the better team. If you match the two teams up player-by-player, position-by-position, the Red Wings are superior all-around."

I agree with your other points, and I love Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but sadly Crosby and Malkin are definitely the best two forwards in the series by a rather large margain. Those two along with Ovechkin are head and shoulders above anyone else in the league in terms of offensive skill and production, somewhat like how Gretzky and Lemieux were over their peers in their day.

They aren't as good defensively obviously, but then again neither were Gretzky or Lemieux.

So having the best two forwards in the series was a pretty large edge in their favor (and a supporting cast of Staal, Guerin, Sykora, Satan, etc. wasn't too bad either). I certainly would've taken our defense and goaltending over theirs, though.

But the Pens D was great in game 7. They hardly allowed the Wings to breathe when they had the puck, and we had very few scoring chances at all, even on powerplays.

Ever since game 2 they seemed to have a great gameplan to breaking up the Wings puck possession style of play, forcing turnovers when the Wings tried to carry it over the blue line and regularly breaking up passes in the offensive zone from one defensemen to the other. Hats off to Pittsburgh for flatout outplaying the Wings in 4 out of 5 of the last games.

Pittsburgh just gave the rest of the league a blueprint as to how to beat the Wings. Now Babcock needs to find a way to counter a team being able to take away their puck possession style like that for next year.

11:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mike C,
Yes. Good point about blueprint. The Red Wings, to counteract, will also need some personnel changes.

2:04 AM 

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