Monday, May 19, 2008

Pens Eliminate Flyers

This could be an article that contains perspective on how the Flyers went from a last place team to the Eastern Conference Finals. This could be an article with analysis on what the team needs in the future in order to compete for the Stanley Cup. It could be an article that ends on an optimistic note.

Not today. Not this post.

The Flyers lost an embarassing 6 - 0 game against a Penguin team that simply willed itself to the Stanley Cup finals. The win gave the Penguins the series and the opportunity to meet the winner of the Western Conference (which might be decided this evening if Detroit can finish the job).

The game started off well enough, until the Penguins went up on the power play. The Pens immediately capitalized when they scored on (wait for it.....), a deflection goal off of the skate of Ryan Malone.

Malone had a part in the second goal as well, when he interfered with Martin Biron, when Biron came out of crease behind the net to play the puck. Malone held up Biron briefly to the point where Biron lost his stick, but the move was subtle enough to go uncalled. As a result, Biron went back into the net, and was out of sorts when Evegeni Malkin (who became the invisible man as this series went along) stuffed home the Pens' second goal.

Even after being down 2 - 0, the Flyers could have climbed back into the game, as they were awarded a power play as the 1st period wound down. The were even given a power play to start the second period. The Flyers could not capitalize on any of these Penguin mistakes. They simply could not match the Penguins' intensity.

The Pens, meanwhile, capitalized on everything the Flyers did wrong, with the Pens' forwards practically willing them to victory. The rest of the game went predictably; the Flyers fumbled the puck around, with the Pens eventually putting the puck past Martin Biron repeatedly.

Did You Notice?

- Kimmo Timonen returned to action and was a -2 on the game. I didn't think Timonen was skating fluidly until the 3rd period, when things were far out of hand.

- Jeff Carter was a -3 and won only 35% of his faceoffs. Jeff Carter was not the reason they lost, but he's got to be a more consistent player if he's going to live up to the contract he will almost certainly get this summer.

- This will not be a game that Martin Biron will put in his career highlight reel. To pull off the win, they needed the Martin Biron from the Montreal series. He didn't show up yesterday.

- Despite being a -2, Ryan Parent acquitted himself well for the most part with the playing time he received. Expect Parent to start with the big club next year.

I'll do a Flyers 2007-2008 post-mortem on Wednesday.

Picture: (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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