You won't see many Penguins fans saying that a 2-0 Detroit lead puts the Red Wings "right where the Pens want them." Hard to make any logical statement out of the deficit. This is not exactly the ideal setting for a return to Mellon but it's what the team has to deal with. Taking both at The Joe wasn't necessarily a given but splitting the series was optimistic at best.
I don't need to tell you they didn't.
You can blame a number of things for the position Pitt now finds themselves in heading into Game 3. Many fans, present company included, felt penalties played a huge factor in Game 2. But whatever you and I complain or cry about isn't going to change where the Pens are sitting right now. Let's put G2 behind us and gear up for G3.
Focus on the positive.
Detroit fans will be among the first to tell you that Pittsburgh have mustered up only two goals in the series. True. They also unofficially lead the series in post shots, but even that's as much a matter of Chris Osgood cutting the angles down as it is Pitt trying to find a hole and just barely missing.
The Penguins are outshooting Detroit. In Game One the difference came down to only two shots, 32-30 in favor of Pitt. In Game Two Pittsburgh picked up 32 again while Detroit netted 26. From a defensive standpoint, Detroit didn't have to shoot in the third (hence only three shots). Coach Babcock seemed content with trying to hold the one goal lead. The positive to take from this is that despite Detroit's effort to shut down Pitt in the third the Pens still managed 12 shots on goal. Did any go in? No. But in hockey you hear about good bounces and bad bounces all the time. A few good bounces in Pitt's favor can send this back to Detroit tied at two a piece.
There's a general sense of negativity on Pittsburgh message boards and blogs today, and with good reason. No one wants ot see themselves in a 2-0 hole in the Finals, let alone to Detroit. Yet the players seem to have a positive aura around them and won't let temselves call it a series just yet despite what many a "expert" may have to say.
No one summed it up better than Sergei Gonchar:
"We have a good chance (of winning the series). We have to continue playing well and creating a lot of chances. We have to continue playing the same way. If we do that we’ll have a chance."