Flyers-Penguins Game 2: The Intermission Blog
End of 3rd period. Flyers 2 – Penguins 4. Talbot and Stall (Empty net)
The Flyers played a strong game until the midpoint of the third, when fatigue caused errors that resulted in Penguins goals.
What should be noted – the Flyers are not being blown out, despite missing their two best defensemen. Perhaps Pittsburgh is not quite so skillful as the terminology in the papers and on TV might lead us to believe.
End of 2nd period. Flyers 2 – Penguins 2. Carter (PP) and Richards (SH). Hossa (PP).
– Coburn is done for the night.
– The Flyers need to stay out of the penalty box. Desperately. They can’t count on a short hander from Richards every time.
– Carter goal gave the entire team energy. But the Flyers at times continued to lose races and battles for the puck. Who knows what the third period will bring.
End of 1st period. Flyers 0 – Penguins 1. Crosby goal on the power play
– Braydon Coburn left the game around the two minute mark after taking a puck somewhere in the facial region. We don’t know yet whether he’ll return tonight.
– The Flyers are playing without any energy. They have not established a forecheck or a backcheck, allowing the Penguins to run rampant in circles around Martin Biron. Scottie Upshal fought – and lost – to Tyler Kennedy. Crosby’s second goal was not allowed because no footage definitively showed the puck crossing the goal line.
– One could say the Flyers simply are experiencing rotten luck. But in hockey, teams often create their own bounces by playing hard and throwing everything they have at their opponent. The Flyers are not doing that tonight. They’re luck to only be down by one goal.
– Lasse Kukkonen is having a monster game. During the last minute, with the Penguins on the power play, Kukkonen blocked a shot with his hand and was clearly in pain. He stayed with the puck, made a valiant clearing attempt (that unfortunatley failed), and managed to squirt the puck out of a major scrum in the crease. Biron had left the net to play the puck. The puck bounced out to a Penguin at the point, who shot towards the open net. Without Kukkonen, it would be a 2-0 game now.
Thoresen’s out; Downie is in. I’m concerned about this switch given Downie’s tendency to take poor, undisciplined penalties at the worst possible times. Thoresen may not score as often as the young Canadian, but he’s also far more responsible. I’m trusting that Stevens knows what he’s doing.
It’s going to take more than a lineup adjustment for the Flyers to win this game. It’s going to take more than Mike Richards on fire to win this game. And it’s definitely going to take more than a haphazard effort in goal, a sloppy defense, and uninspired offense from the stars of this team to win this game.
The Flyers need Martin Biron, Danny Briere and Braydon Coburn to shine. And they need Richards, Umberger, Lupul, Upshall, and Kukkonen to continue elevating their games.
For the Flyers, this game is the series.