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01-22-2013, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Not sure I ever saw Datsyuk take over a game or a series the way Crosby did, but oh well. That being said this is what happens when you get into a series of "what ifs" in a scenario. A truly great team still wins. On the flip side what if Malkin doesn't wait until Game 5 of the 2008 final to get a point? Do the Penguins win then? Possibly. But the Wings were better in 2008 which is what a 7 game series is all about. Pittsburgh was a hungry, hungry team in 2009. Fleury was better, Staal was better, Malkin and Crosby were both better and the addition of Kunitz and Guerin helped out a lot. Gonchar was still there and Letang was just breaking out. Let's not forget, this was a stellar Pens team. We can "what if" until the cows come home and it all leads to the same conclusion - "what if" means "didn't"
Pittsburgh's depth guys had to step forward because the Wings completely smothered Crosby; and Malkin was less than Malkin against them. You see, Datsyuk being out helped Malkin. Crosby was shadowed by Zetterberg and Lidstrom was always the defenseman they wanted out on the ice when he was on the ice. Datsyuk was matched against Malkin's line. Well, if Datsyuk was injured, the Wings side of things wasn't nearly as effective.

The two Pens centers (and noting their very young age to boot) did far less against the Wings than in any other series in those two years. Of course everyone tries to shut them down, but in 2008 and 2009, the Wings had the defense and elite two-way players who actually could do it.

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