Big Lead Sports Bar

4/19/2009

FLYERS SHOW SIGNS OF LIFE

FLYERS 6
PENGUINS 3



It goes without saying that Pittsburgh was disappointed with the outcome of Sunday's Penguins-Flyers playoff tilt in Philadelphia. That's a given. But while the 6-3 Flyers victory shouldn't exactly be celebrated in the Steel City, it shouldn't be thought of as the first nail in the coffin of the 2008-09 Penguins, either.

In any loss, fans will look for someone to point the finger at, and anyone from the invisible Petr Sykora to the five-goal-allowing Marc-Andre Fleury to the unpopular suits at NBC will take their share of the blame in some way, shape, or form. But sometimes, you must give credit to the opponent, and much as I hate to say it, this is one of those instances. The Flyers were simply the better team on an emotional day that started with a Kate Smith video rendition of "God Bless America" and ended with the final 0.9 seconds being ticked off the clock to prevent any more Carcillo-esque incidents from occuring.

The game played out exactly how the Penguins didn't want it to play out, with the Flyers jumping out to a 2-0 lead before you could even settle into your seat. So much for jumping on Philly and silencing the capacity crowd. The first period also featured 20 minutes in fighting penalties dished out as a result of Chris Kunitz-Scott Hartnall and Kris Letang-Darroll Powe:

The resilient Pens would battle back from that early hole to tie the game 2-2, thanks to a late first-period goal from the red-hot Evgeni Malkin and a quickie to start the second period from Rob Scuderi. But they simply didn't have success keeping up with the Flyers, who would score three times before Malkin found the back of the net on a third-period power play. The Penguins played from behind for all but seven minutes of the game on Sunday. That makes winning a difficult proposition.

The Flyers benefitted not only from their usual goal-scoring suspects, like Simon Gagner, Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards, but also from guys like Jared Ross and Claude Giroux, who combined for nine goals in the regular season, all by Giroux. And whenever players of that ilk can contibute to the cause, the road to victory becomes a whole less congested.

On the other hand, the Penguins, although not playing their best game, clearly had their chances, as a tie score early in the second period would indicate. But the Pens had a hard time getting things going on Sunday, with a 1-for-7 effort from the power play, three trips to the penalty box for Kunitz, and a mediocre combination of defense and goaltending.

All is certainly not lost, with the exception of the opportunity to sweep an utterly unlikable franchise like the Flyers. The Penguins will regroup, re-focus, and recharge their batteries, and if all goes as planned, they'll return to Pittsburgh with a chance to close out the series on Thursday night.

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7 comments:

jmarinara said...

*shrug*

D. Dreyer said...

hopefully a few of those rebounds get held or cleared next game, and also, i hope aaron asham stays classy... prick

Steve said...

If Bylsma plays Sykora in Tuedays game, I don't want him back next season. Even a bad coach knows when to sit a player and I don't want a retard behind the bench no matter how smart a retard people think he is.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

The Flyers just seemed to have 10 guys on the ice, they were everywhere around the puck all of the time.

The only thing worse than playing a desperate hockey team is playing a deseperate bunch of thugs. We Need to capitalize on PPs and move on when the whistle is blown.

I wonder if Pierre McGuire is planning to propose to Mike Richards if NBC gets another game.

Let's Go Pens!

Steve said...

I'd like to see Cooke or some other Pens player launch a puck off of Pierre's ugly bald skull.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Somebody tell me they read the article Phil Sheridan from the Philly Inquirer wrote?

It is on the PG website. Absolutely makes me wonder if we are watching the same game as they are.

Seriously, that guy is a joke.

Paul said...

I hate announcers who seem to always be against the Penguins. Malkin could have parted the Mon river, and Pierre and Mike would never have seen it. We are always seen as the bland team when we finally make national games. If FSN had that game, I'll bet my last dollar every one of the Penguins fans would not have had to mute their TVs.

We ran into desperate thugs, the thought process now should be did we do enough to drain them physically???

The next fight needs to happen in Pierre's living room, so he can finally shut up.