Stanley Cup Game 2 Goalie Recap

Wings 3-0, take 2-0 lead in Cup Finals.

Below is commentary on both goalies with video. I apologize in advance for commercials when links are selected.

Osgood

22 shots, 22 saves. Becomes the 4th goalie in NHL history to shutout the opposition in the first two Stanley Cup Finals games. Typical Osgood game, nothing spectacular – just solid, textbook goaltending. Made it look easy, even on saves like this – http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71213 (made the save but notice he got up on the wrong foot).

Another aspect of his game that I cannot find video on is his play outside the net. With the Detroit defense, the Pens have to dump the puck and chase it. Osgood was tremendous in playing the puck to neutralize the Pens attack and take the pressure off the defense. All goalies need to work on playing the puck outside of the net to help their defense. Primarily a goalie playing the puck on a dump-in does two things-

1. Begins a quick transition to offense.

2. Prevents the puck from staying down low in the goalie’s zone.

3. Prevents wear on the defense from getting constantly hit into the boards by the forecheckers. It is a fact 0 if a goalie prevents his defense from getting hit by playing the puck, the defense will work harder for their goalie.

Interview afterwards as the star of the game –  http://www.versus.com/nhl/?articleID=71222

Fleury

34 shots, 31 saves. Although on the losing end, much stronger game from beginning (actually hit the ice skating this time instead of taking a big digger in Game 1) to end. Looked more comfortable than Game 1 making several great saves to held the game close for his team. Unlike Game 1, no goals got by Fleury that could be considered weak but it still not good enough when competing for the Stanley Cup.

Goal Onehttp://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71209

From the first camera angle, this goal, considering where the shot was released from, looked questionable but looking at the replay, there were two bodies screening Fleuryand it appears he never saw it coming until it was too late. Great patience by Stuart, the goal scorer to wait for the screen to develop, particularly with 6’7″ Pens defenseman Hal Gill. No one can see through Gill.

Fleury was out above the crease exactly where he should have been. He just couldn’t track the puck until it was too late.

Goal Two –  http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71210

This is a goal that makes coaches lay awake at night. Poor defensive play with both defenders below the goal line. Gonchar (off Fleury’sright post) should have stayed in front until his partner came up with the puck and then skated below the goal line to be an outlet pass.

As for Fleury, his mistake is not having his stick between his feet to cover the 5-hole. He brought it over to his glove side thinking the puck was going to his left pad but it bounced between the legs and into the net.

Is getting beat 5-hole as a result of improper stick placement a bad goal? Typically yes but this is a case when the puck was passed from behind the net to a wide-open player (Zetterburg – possibly the best player in the world) in the slot.

With this goal, it looked like the Wings were about to open the game up and begin to blow out the Pens but Fleury held them off the scoresheet with saves like these

http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20072008,3,412&event=DET59

http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8470594&event=DET555

to keep the Pens within reach.

Goal Threehttp://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71214

 “Highlight reel” goal scored on a great individual effort from Filppula. Fleury played in correctly with his depth and looked to get a good push to move across the crease. But… he did not fully extend is right leg and Filppula tucked inside the post. 

Regardless of what happens in Pittsburgh, I believe this win sealed the Cup for Detroit. Hopefully the Pens can win both games in Pittsburgh but even if they do, it is close to impossible to beat the Wings in 4 of 5 games.

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