Thursday, May 29, 2008


It's not Sidney Crosby's new number. It is the number of shots the Red Wings attempted in last night's 3-2 loss at the hands of the Penguins. But it's how they break down that tells the tale...

34 shots on goal
26 shots blocked
21 missed shots

The defensemen for Pittsburgh had a combined 22 blocked shots. It was a tremendous effort on their part to give Marc-Andre Fleury help in repelling the Red Wings.

But therein lies the problem, too...81 attempts in 60 minutes. That's an attempt every 45 seconds. By way of comparison, the Red Wings had 68 and 64 attempts in games one and two, respectively. Part of that was late pressure (12 attempts in the last 6:23 after the Samuelsson goal to bring the Wings within one), but it is still almost Gatling gun production.

Looking at the shot charts for the two teams (as compiled by ESPN), Pittsburgh did a better job in Game 3 of getting chances in the middle of the ice, but even the shots Detroit put on net were largely in quality areas.

With that effort on the part of the Penguin defense, they can compete, but can they continue getting in the way of Detroit shots often enough to give their offense a chance?

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