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A Troubled Red Head

Posted By Ian Altenbaugh On Apr 16 2009 @ 2:58 pm In Pittsburgh Penguins | No Comments

In this installment of Around the Atlantic we look at game one from the Flyers/Penguins first round match. We also look at what the Flyers will have to do if they want this to go beyond four games.


Here is a real-time blog I kept while watching the game:

- All this cross-ice passing the Flyers are doing five minutes into the first will come back to bite them.

- 5:04 into the first period before Scott Hartnell made a dirty play. I know it is Hartnell’s style to get under the skin of opposing players but he cost his team a penalty.

- Ryan Parent got absolutely destroyed by Chris Kunitz. The birth of Kunitz’ son this morning has obviously energized the winger. The way Parent took the hit couldn’t bode well for his already sore groin either.

- It’s obvious Malkin wants to score a goal now that Crosby has one. Whenever Crosby plays at a high level, Geno seems to elevate his game and become more aggressive.

- Hartnell took another idiotic penalty with 2:33 left in the first. The Flyers are lucky the Pens failed to convert on their opportunity.

- Brooks Orpik and Chris Kunitz have been physically dominant. Kunitz laid out Richards right before the whistle at the end of the first.

- Tyler Kennedy’s first NHL playoff goal was a true Tyler Kennedy goal – the product of hard work around the net. Scored at 1:39 of the second period.

- Jordan Staal has thrown his body with reckless abandon. A man his size can do some serious damage to opponents in the offensive zone. His strength and ability to protect the puck has to wear them down.

- Fleury has yet to be spectacular mid-way through the game but he has not yet had to be. He has however been sharp in rebound recovering and in playing the puck.

- With young teams like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus, and Boston in the playoffs, it seems like the talent is spread out more than any other time in recent history.

- I love how Kris Letang trailers the play like a late winger. He goes in behind the net to retrieve passes too. This demonstrates immense confidence in the player and in the coaching staff for allowing him to play such a free-wheeling style.

- Brooks Orpik was a monster in his shift that led to his penalty. Lupul, Hartnell, and Richards were all hit within twenty seconds. Some of them were crunchers too.

- Am I the only hockey writer who doesn’t understand the hate for Gary Bettman?

- Scott Hartnell’s idiotic penalty in the beginning of the third was the worst yet. Is that not a slew foot? He purposefully attempted a knee-to-knee collision. Hartnell is Sean Avery without the chauvinism.

- Malkin’s goal was unbelievable. What he did was much, much more difficult than it looked. He dangled the puck while pivoting backwards and still managed to get a shot off into the empty net. Just one of the many things that Evgeni Malkin makes look easy.

- Has Marty Biron officially flaked out for the series?

- Maybe, Mark Eaton just did score a goal after all.

- Despite the Gagne goal, the Penguins have never really loosened their command over the Flyers. I don’t know what approach or changes the Flyers will have to improve things.

- Alberts’ two-hand chop on Tablot is a good example of what they should not do.

- With 13 seconds left Parent deems it necessary to cross-check Jordan Staal. The box is close to standing room only.

- Hartnell just walked off the ice early.

- Nice to see Bill Guerin dishing out some justice against the Flyers players. The Philadelphia Flyers have no respect for the game of hockey. Nice slash Braydon.

- Again from Carcillo to Talbot. Nice butt-end to the head. These are not sneaky penalties. People can see them from the stands and the press box.

- Final Score: Penguins 4, Flyers 1


Thoughts for next game:

The Penguins need to do exactly what they did this last game – initiate the physical play, finish every check, don’t respond to the Flyers antics, and put the puck on net. They played Flyers' style hockey- physical, high-scoring, agitating, tough, hard-skating, and aggressive.  

The Flyers need to do everything different. There was not one thing the Flyers could take from Game 1 to build from. The final period of the game? Forget it, Scott Hartnell stormed off with less than thirty seconds left to play. That demonstrates a level of frustration and discipline that has already boiled over and caused a fire. 

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