Everyone was a little concerned about the "two games in two days" thing, especially the Detroit Red Wings who are old and don't walk so good anymore, but after the way they've handled the Penguins this weekend, they would probably like to wrap things up with a day-night doubleheader today.
We're not saying the Penguins are in trouble. After losing the first two in Detroit last season they did push the Stanley Cup Finals to six games. But teams currently in Pittsburgh's situation—down 0-2 heading home for Game 3—are 1-for-32 in the Finals. So yeah, they're in trouble.
It doesn't help that Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have been stonewalled so far. One goal and one assist between them, and the goal was actually poked in by a Detroit defenseman. Chris Osgood has been phenomenal and Detroit's veterans have barely had to lift a finger. (Justin Abdelkader!) The one bit of good news for Pittsburgh is that the NHL's enforcement division can't even follow its own rules and will not suspend Malkin for his stick-swinging, jersey-ripping fight in the closing seconds last night. Instigators always get suspended, except when they don't!
But there's more bad news: No one is watching. NBC's ratings for Game 1 were down from NBC's first game last year, which was actually Game 3, which might be part of the problem but that's another story. This is a point that the NHL would prefer not to crow about, which is probably why the story was scrubbed from their website. If the series ends with a whimper on Versus this week, the league will have a lot more to think about this offseason.
Oh, and here's something for you to think about. Two Mitch Albom columns! It's a GM Bankruptcy Day miracle!
Penguins lose again in Detroit to fall behind, 2-0, in final [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
No suspension for Malkin; Inside Detroit's 2-0 lead on Penguins [Puck Daddy]
The NHL Does Not Care for Bad TV Ratings News [Orland Kurtenblog]
Bettman: State of the game positive, upbeat [NHL.com]
With a pair of 3-1 thrillers, Wings halfway to 12th Cup [Mitch Albom]
Wings have had luck on their side in Games 1 and 2 [More Mitch Albom!]