(1) Detroit v. (2) Pittsburgh
Red Wings lead series 2-0
Here are a few musings that came out of today's chat over at FanHouse:
On Sydor coming in: He's been sitting nearly two months and there's a reason for that. I think it reeks of desperation. Sydor hasn't played, and he had a terrible season when he did.
Still, Letang was only playing 11 minutes a game — how big of an impact can his replacement have?
Pittsburgh's been great at home, no doubt, but if they don't score first tonight? It could get ugly if it's an eighth straight goal for Detroit.
On how a sweep would affect U.S. interest: That good press would go for two weeks instead of one if this series is a seven-gamer instead of a sweep. Part of the reason the U.S. markets are interested is the talent of the Penguins, which so far hasn't really been on display.
On whether or not the East is really this much weaker than the West: Keep in mind that Pittsburgh faced the 5, 6 and 7 seeds so far in these playoffs in the weaker conference. That 12-2 romp through the first three rounds was a bit of a mirage.
How line matching could help the Penguins: Get a shutdown line against Zetterberg and Datsyuk, get Crosby away from Lidstrom, and keep your weak defenders away from big guns.
Pittsburgh can get Staal out against them, along with their top defensive pairing, and hopefully negate what Zetterberg and Datsyuk do. Then Detroit's top checkers are wasted on a non-offensive line.
Just a few tidbits. There'll be a live chat at FanHouse again tonight run by a few of the crew.