Gameday #33: v. Philadelphia Flyers

penguinsvsflyers

 

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. Philadelphia Flyers

Consol Energy Center, 7:30 PM (note, this a change from the originally scheduled 7:00 PM time), Root Sports, NBC Sports (local blackout).

Before we get down to business let’s all take a moment to laugh at the Flyers:

  • They traded  away their captain and best goal scorer (the cornerstones of their franchise) for an overrated goalie in a vain attempt to overlook their defensive woes. Both players won the Stanley Cup last year.

woo.

woo.

 

  • They traded away an incredibly promising young goalie for a bag of chips. That young goalie is now playing at a near Vezina-level for the league’s most maligned franchise, leading them to the cusp of the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.

  • They let Jaromir Jagr walk away despite the fact that he “INSISTS” that he never had more fun playing than he did in Philly.

  • The Flyers traded James van Riemsdyk, who is just outside the top 10 in goal scoring this year, for a human pylon, Luke Schenn. That hasn’t exactly worked out the way the Flyers thought it would
  • They got embarrassed by the Nashville Predators when they tried to bring in Shea Weber on a pansy ass offer sheet.

  • They’re the first and only team in the NHL to max out the value of the salary cap and it only gets worse for the team next year where, before cap compliance buyouts, the Flyers will have $3 million to sign 5 players.

For as bad as the Flyers have been they’re only 5 points out of the last playoff slot (although they are only 3 points up on the worst record in the Eastern Conference). As such the Pens can’t lay off the throttle in this one. The Flyers should have no trouble finding the will to play this game and the Pens are quite familiar with what one big win can do for a team (see the Pens’ come from behind victory against the Flyers on March 7th, the third of their current 11 game streak, for evidence).

There was much talk that Evgeni Malkin and/or Kris Letang could be back in the lineup tonight for the Penguins but according to Rob Rossi, neither will go today. We said it in the Islanders pre-game too, this isn’t a game where we want guys who are still on the mend to play, the Flyers don’t have a lot to play for and they’re not above headhunting from time to time. The Pens will get Tyler Kennedy back tonight but that’s actually good because he’s scored in all three of these two teams’ prior matchups. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in the cage.

The Pens can move 4 points closer to locking up a playoff spot and push the Flyers 2 points further away tonight. The last time the Pens were going for a 12 game win streak it was ended by the Flyers, don’t let it happen tonight.

Somebody at The Hockey Writers thinks the Pens should try to bring back Max Talbot. Guess what, that isn’t going to happen. For our money “Talbo” was nothing more than a media spectacle, he could never back up his play on the ice, especially not from one season to the other.

Max Talbot was once one of Pittsburgh’s favorite sons.

Just a quick look at his most memorable moments can tell you why.

–          A black-eyed, post-fight Talbot putting a finger to his lips to shush the Flyers crowd and inspire his team to a comeback win in the 2009 playoffs.

–          Scoring two goals to lift the Penguins over the Red Wings in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

–          Calling Alex Ovechkin an expletive on a Pittsburgh morning radio show.

–          Not to mention the often imitated “Superstar” car commercial, featuring an impression of McLovin from the movie Superbad.

The first two are the ONLY things he ever did in a Penguins jersey, the last two confirm exactly what I’ve been saying all along. Presumably the only reason why the Flyers would trade Talbot is because he’s had a bad year this year, so why would the Penguins pay $1.75 million for three more years of a guy who has never played well in back to back seasons? Isn’t that why they let him leave in the first place? That is truly a worse idea than the Pens targeting Jaromir Jagr for the stretch run.

Finish this. Go Pens.

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