I felt that going into the third game of the series, the Flyers first on home ice, there will be several things to look for on both teams.
- Brooks Orpik. The most physical defenseman in the league will be a major factor against one of the most physical teams in the league. Orpik as well as teammates Rob Scuderi and Chris Kunits have set an extremely physical tone for the game. One so physical that it has in fact become a distraction for the Flyers. This agitating, physical style of play is absolutely necessary to maintain if the Penguins plan to march to the promised land.
- Now that they have the advantage in line-changes, will it be used to their advantage. The Pens have done a very good job of changing on the rush and ahead of the play, reducing whatever matchup advantages the opposing team may have. Still, on face-offs, this should bode well for the Flyers.
- Will the Flyers improve in the circle? They have been awful. Only converting to around a third of their draws so far. This is unacceptable for strong centers like Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Thoughts During the Game:
- Are Flyers fans not yet aware that Crosby responds to their chants by scoring points against their favorite team? It is as obvious as day and night to those of us on the other side of the state. If you want to contain Crosby you check him closely and ignore his attempts to draw penalties. Sid the Kid is a yapper and he absolutely frustrates certain players, Mike Richards and Alex Ovechkin chief among them.
- Jeff Carter scoring the opening goal was huge for the Flyers confidence and fans. Still, the Flyers initiated the scoring in game two and it ended with them losing in overtime.
- The second goal was even bigger.
- The hit from Kunitz on Timonen was phenomenal and did exactly what was needed for the Penguins.
- Winning or not, the Flyers had four players in the box mid-way through the first period. That is embarrassing – even more because they are winning.
- The goal by Evgeni Malkin late in the first period was huge. It also assures that the Penguins will come into the second period firing on all cylinders, as a one goal deficit is far easier to meet than a two goal.
- The goal in the opening seconds of the second by Rob Scuderi was even bigger as the Flyers are once again forced to play a more aggressive style of game.
Thoughts for the Next Game:
- The Flyers need continue doing what they have been doing but not take so many penalties. Likewise the Penguins except they need to start punishing the Flyers for taking so many (stupid) penalties.
- Matt Cooke, Petr Sykora, Pascal Dupuis, and Jordan Staal all need to start contributing more offensively if the Penguins expect to pull out of this series.
- Marc-Andre Fleury needs to bounce back and set up the wall early in the game. The Flower has a history of bouncing back after poor outings so this bodes well for the Penguins.
- The Penguins, who were obviously in the head of Marty Biron in the first game of the series, need to get back to what they were doing before. Biron has proved to get knocked off his game after allowing a soft goal. The Penguins need to do what is necessary to assure a soft goal is scored.
- The Pens need to continue to hit the Flyers defense and crash Marty Biron. It has worked well so far, why quit now?
- Jordan Staal’s checking line needs to be depended on less than it was in the third game. They were clearly out-matched at times.
About the Author
Written by Ian Altenbaugh