Sunday, May 11, 2008

No goal....No Problem

Best playoff beard in the world > Broken foot

Pens win and mostly control the puck in Game 2. Our thoughts:
  • The Flyers are going to have to win four out of the next five games to win this series....Do you think that's possible?
  • Keeping up with our theme of guys who played well but don't get recognized, how about Sergei Gonchar tonight? A team leading 27:11 in ice time, 3 assists, 3 shots on goal (with 5 more either blocked or off target) and 2 hits. The Sarge had his impact all over this game.
  • Our boy Tyler Kennedy had quite a night. In 9:15 of icetime he got 4 shots on goal, 2 hits and a takeaway. Not to mention a great showing in a rare playoff fight sticking up for a teammate against Scottie Upshall.
  • Sidney Crosby scored the first goal in the game short-side when Martin "French Toast" Biron over-played what could have been a pass attempt. Just another example how Sid's playmaking abilities open up so much room for others (and himself).
  • Crosby apparently had a second goal when he whacked in a puck, but it wasn't as obvious to the officials after taking an extra long look. We don't pretend to be unbiased here, but we know when the whole puck crosses the line and clearly our HD view left no doubt that should have been a goal. The officials needed irrefutable evidence to call it a goal (as no signal was called on the ice) but, to us, upon replay it looked like a pretty conclusive goal.
  • Marian Hossa keeps chugging along, 1 goal to go along with 3 shots on net (and 4 more either blocked or missed) as well as some great backchecking efforts. The chatter about Hossa not being a prime-time playoff player is done. He's sensational and whatever team pays him $7-8 million a year this summer will get the great player they're looking for.
  • To make matters even worse, the Flyers bad injury luck continued as Braydon Coburn caught a deflected puck straight to the face early in the first period. As a former collegiate hockey player we can tell you, for the most part, that a puck to the face (as long as it doesn't hit the eyeball) isn't that bad. Sure it stings and tends to bleed a lot, but the trainers can stitch you up and you're not much worse for wear. But that Coburn--in the Stanley Cup playoffs no less, couldn't come back is a testament to how badly that hurt him....Hopefully he'll be okay, that's a scary part of the game.
  • In the end though, it's fitting that the Pens 4th line scores the game-winner. Georges Laraque and Gary Roberts muck around...Eventually Roberts gets the puck behind the net and he instantly throws a terrific pass out front for Maxime Talbot. Credit Roberts on that pass but just as much for Mad Max charging to the net. We like Adam Hall, but he probably doesn't make that play. Talbot chips it in and you've got your leading picture for this blog.
  • Finally no one will make much about Marc-Andre Fleury's effort, but he was still very solid in stopping 30 of 32 shots and managing his rebounds pretty well. Fleury's been awesome since returning from his high ankle sprain in early March and it's showed. A team doesn't go 10-1 in the playoffs without a netminder stopping most everything he should. So far, so good for MAF. The fact that he's playing well and the story isn't about him just goes to show how the team is firing on all cylinders right now. Sure they need their goalie to be big (any playoff team does) but they haven't really had to have him stand on his head for 60 minutes.

See you in Philly on Tuesday for Game 3. As we mentioned, the Flyers are going to have to take four out of five from the Penguins to win this series. And, well, we just can't see that happening. Too much skill, too much speed and too much determination on the part of Pittsburgh. Not only guys like Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are playing hard but also the Talbot's and Pascal Dupuis' of the team are laying it all out there. Philly can't answer, because frankly, they have no answer to this display of speed and talent.

10 wins down, six more to go.....

1 comment:


1) We don't see this series going beyond 5 games. even if Coburn returns you can see that the pens are playing as good as they have to to win.
2) NO way can the Flyers win a series if Hatcher plays 28 minutes/night. He can still hit but a skilled/good skating forward shouldn't have any difficulties with his foot speed
3) Start getting ready for the Redwings as they look like a lock to advance out west!