Gameday – Quarterfinal Round #1 – Flyers

Home game.

Super quick recap because I finally finished my homework and I don’t want to still be thinking about this game come tomorrow, so I’m just going to say my peace now. Also if you didn’t watch tonight, there is something wrong with you.

First Period:

Guaranteed that you couldn’t even dream that things would start so well. Consol was loud. The Flyers looked inexperienced. The Pens were in their game.

Literally before you knew it, it was 3-0. Crosby and Dupuis are scary good.

Of course unfortunately, then we had to learn a hard lesson about the overall length of the game.

Second Period:

The Pens were looking for the knockout blow. Started getting a little careless, especially at neutral ice.

Pens got the first power play. As soon as it ended, Philly nearly scored. The Pens moved the puck well on this PP, but you could just see that Bryzy was starting to see a little better now.

Then it happened. The Danny Briere Offside Goal(c). If the Pens lose this series everything will come back to this play. It really wasn’t that close, but then again, if you really think this was the difference in the game, you’ve got to wake up man.

The rest of the period wasn’t horrible. But the Pens also failed to capitalize on two more PP chances which would still have driven the nail home, at least for this game.

Third Period:

Let’s not make any bones about it. The Pens played one of the worst periods they’ve played all year. You can say, “Don’t get down on them after one game in a best of seven.” But this was bad, all the Pens needed to do was control the puck. Instead they just kept on attempting ill-conceived passes through center that would constantly get intercepted and lead to an odd man chance for the Flyers.

I mean let’s face it. That’s how the Flyers scored both of their third period goals. You can’t do that.

Really tough break for Sid on that second goal. Thought he had it, all he really ended up doing was screening MAF.

I will say this. I’m fine with the penalty being issued to Brooks Orpik for his hit on Briere. What I can’t stand is the way Steigy and Bob handled it. They kept saying that it was a hit “with the intent to hurt.” Just as it was when Vitale smoked him at center a couple games ago, the fact that Briere can’t keep his head up does not mean that people are attempting to hurt him. He had to have known that Orpik was coming, and in Orpik’s defense, the puck was sitting up against the back edge of the cage, coming like he was, with his view blocked by Fleury and the net, it probably looked the puck was still on Briere’s stick, too bad it wasn’t.

Overtime:

The only thing worse than the Penguins third period effort was their overtime effort. I don’t know how it took Philly 7 minutes to score…

Voracek with his 30th of the postseason against the Pens.

GAME.

A couple of thoughts:

Trust me, I believe in this Penguins team. They have every position covered. I’m really disappointed in the way this game ended but that doesn’t mean that the season is over.

The Pens really need to simplify the game. So many time you saw just way too many passes, especially in the defensive zone or between the blue lines. When you have a two goal lead, please just dump and chase, make the Flyers go the full 200 feet.

Again, yes the first Briere goal was a really bad bounce for the Pens, but if you really believe that the Pens could have held off the Flyers, given how they played in the third, just not happening. No use crying over it.

This happened:

Defense is the Key: we know about the big offensive names, for the Flyers it’s Giroux, Double J, Hartnell, for the Pens it’s Crosby, Malkin, Neal. We know about the goalies, we’ve already discussed Bryzgalov and if you don’t know about Fleury, there’s nothing I can do for you. The key is the defense. IF the Pens defense plays the way we’ve seen for a lot of the last two years, great. If they don’t, and they play like they played in the last 10 games of the season this year, it could be a bit of an uphill battle. Pretty much the same can be said for the Flyers. Their actual defensemen aren’t overwhelming, they need to get good defensive zone play from their forwards, if they start to dominate on the forecheck, they’ll be right where they want to be. The Pens need to not let that happen.

We ride again on Friday. Gotta get back to even.

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