The Game 1 loss almost seemed like a Kimmo Timonen hangover.
The Game 2 loss is a little more vexing, only because I feel like if the Flyers got as many breaks as the Pens got last night, the series could be even. And while they did lose 4 - 2 and are down 2 games to none in this best of 7 series, I certainly do not believe that the Flyers are out of this series by any stretch of the imagination.
Losing Braydon Coburn in the opening minutes of the game last night was just a crushing loss to a team already missing their best defenseman. It really impeded any sort of momentum the team had in terms of how they had planned to come at the Pens. I don't know what the hit totals were, but I did feel that the Flyers were doing a good job at taking a more physical approach to the game. If this were the regular season, I wouldn't bat an eye at how the team played last night, because I thought they played well. They just didn't play well enough and certainly did not get any bounces offensively. I think if they can keep up this level of play, they Pens can almost certainly be had.
As for the particulars of the games from the weekend, what more can be said of Mike Richards? He scored both goals on Friday night and scored on a beautiful shorthanded breakaway that tied the game for the Flyers near the end of the 2nd period and gave them momentum. He's been hitting, winning faceoffs (63% last night) and I wouldn't be surprised if it was Richards that actually sewed up Braydon Coburn in the dressing room after he got hit in the eye.
The one thing that has concerned me in the two playoff games so far is that Danny Briere and Vinny Prospal have almost been non-entities in this series. We cannot have Danny Briere get outplayed by Jordan Staal (the line Briere seems to be matched up against) and have any expectation of success
Did you notice?
- Happy that Steve Downie got in the game last night. Sad that he gave up the turnover on the game winner. This is not the last we'll hear of Steve Downie.
- Huge hit, by the way, from Downie on Kris Letang.
- For all of Tyler Kennedy's wild flailing, I'm not sure he made contact with Scottie Upshall's face once. While Kennedy was the busier fighter, Upshall landed a couple solid ones in their first period fight. What a bunch of fake tough guys on the Pens. The Pens are better off when they shy away from the rough stuff.
- The two penalties that were called on Derian Hatcher were two of the most bogus calls I had seen in all of the playoffs. The alleged hooking call, where Hatcher made was simply a real good defensive play on Malkin, was just the worst call of the playoffs. If they made that call both ways, the Flyers would have had far more power play time than they had.
(Picture: (AFP/Getty Images/Jim Mcisaac))