Posted on May 28, 2008 12:48 PM | Permalink
That is the news coming out of Wednesday morning's pre-game skate at Mellon Arena, where the Pittsburgh Penguins will host their first Stanley Cup Finals game in 15 years tonight.
Down 2-0 to the Detroit Red Wings, Penguins coach Michel Therrien said there could be some line changes tonight - and one of them could see the pairing of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Both players, of course, are scoreless in the series. Everybody wearing a Penguins sweater is. Therrien is hoping the pairing of his two highest-skilled forwards will kick-start the other, especially Malkin.
Defensively, Therrien said the veteran Sydor, 36, will replace Letang in the lineup. Therrien is not expecting the world from Sydor, just a competent, veteran-type effort.
"You have to make simple plays," said Therrien, when discussing how a player who hasn't played in a while has to be.
Sydor hasn't played to this point in the playoffs, so this is clearly a risk for Therrien. But he's obviously hoping Sydor's championship pedigree will be a nice addition to a team desperate for more leadership.
Therrien took some umbrage this morning at suggestions he might want to avoid having Crosby matched up against Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
"Why would I mind? Therrien snapped. "Sidney Crosby is one of the best players in the world. We don't mind that."
CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE?
Therrien again harped on the officiating, saying he hoped his team would "get some calls" tonight.
The Red Wings have an understandably indifferent attitude toward Therrien's complaints. Some Wings players said he hadn't even heard of his comments about "obstruction" and "diving."
But Detroit coach Mike Babcock has heard it, and he's getting a little tired of it.
"Obstruction is something when you get your stick on someone and you don't move your feet. Obstruction is with your stick. There's been zero of that. None," Babcock said.
The teams met with NHL representatives this morning about the officiating standards, but Babcock said most of the meeting had to do with blows to the head - an obvious inference toward the sucker punch from Gary Roberts toward Johan Franzen in Game 2.
"Something happens in a game, and a flag goes up, and we have smart guys," Babcock said of the meeting.
Red Wings veteran Kirk Maltby said of Therrien's complaints: "If that's the case, then maybe he should take it up with the league. He's obviously venting through the media. We're playing the way we're playing. If they make calls on obstruction or diving, then it's up to us to make adjustments.
"But we're playing the way we've played not only in the playoffs, but the way we did all season long. We feel we're playing within the rules."
DATSYUK: ROAD SWEET ROAD
Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk has scored all of his goals in the playoffs on the road. A reporter asked Babcock about it, drawing a
"That's good for us, isn't it?" response.
But seriously, coach, why the disparity.
"Here's my theory: we match 'em up at home, and turn 'em loose on the road," Babcock said.