Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rd. 1 of Battle of Pennsylvania goes to Pens, 5-4...Hartnell bit Letang's finger?

-The Flyers thought they got tougher when they added Chris Pronger, Ray Emery, and Ian Laperriere. Well yeah I mean those guys can fight, but were they at all visible in this game? No. Emery was awful and the key to beating him is moving him from side to side and getting him to bite. This happened on the Staal goal, Geno almost had one like that, Guerin went 5 hole, and so on. Pronger wasn't physical at all and the only time you heard his name was when he slashed Geno (a non-penalty) and then he was holding Kunitz by the neck at the end of the game.

-The Pens needed to bounce back from yesterday's sleepy and unspirited performance against the Yotes. They did an excellent job of doing just that in Orange Country. Every line was flying and tenaciously pounding the Philly D-men. The 5th goal (by TK) was caused by a Craig Adams hit on Coburn. Cooke was hitting everything in sight, and how good did Staal look alongside Geno? It was only a couple years ago when Staal had 29 goals playing with Geno/Oullet/Sykora. Staal made a spectacular move on the 2nd goal (18 secs after Philly goal) to really give the Pens an extra boost when you thought the Flyers were gonna storm right back.

-Too many penalties were taken by Pens players once again in this contest. Geno had 3 minor's, Crosby had one, as did Staal and Orpik. Giving the Flyers 6 PP opportunity isn't gonna lead to many victories, fortunately in this game it did and the Pens won the special teams battle. Little Danny Briere had a good game for Philly tonight. He found himself in the right place on several occassions and made use of it in scoring 2 goals. Coburn also had a good goal for the Pens LOL. God knows how that puck snuck in through Emery, but it wasn't their night.

-The Flyers got Pronger over the summer to help solidify 2 defensive pairings to shut down Geno's line and Sid's line. What about the 3rd/4th lines for the Pens? Ok Godard doesn't count but the Philly 3rd/4th lines were terrible in this game. The 3rd goal by Guerin was scored because the 4th line for Philly was on the ice and they couldn't change in time so Guerin had a breakaway from the blue line in, easy game. The grinders: Rupp/Adams/Dupuis/TK/Cooke all had terrific games. Cote/Powe/Carcillo/Laperriere, not so much.

-Did Scotty Hartnell bite Letang's finger? Perhaps. Something weird did happen while Letang and Hartnell were rolling around. Letang accussed Hartnell of biting his finger after the game. Mike Richards is a leader yes, but he is also a cheap little scrub. He went at Fleury full throttle with no intention of slowing down and thankfully hit the goal post instead of Fleury. Then he sprawled across the ice as if he was injured, typical Flyers hockey. Richards could get a suspension for charging the goalie because it was during the last minute of the game, and Hartnell should get a suspension otherwise I'm sending Mark Wahlberg (Shooter) to track down Gary Bettman.

-I haven't even mentioned how well Geno played tonight. After a sluggish game last night, he was flying around like a wild horse tonight. He beat Ryan Parent on a sick move through the legs but then the missed the goal and he had a rifling slapper to give the Pens a 1-0 lead in the 1st period. On D, I thought Goligoski had his best all-around game as Pen. He had a goal and an assist, and made several nice plays when the Flyers forwards were applying pressure. Not gonna lie, Jay Mckee can block shots but he might lose to Hal Gill in a skating competition, he's that slow. Same old Emery from his last year in Ottawa.

-Toronto is coming up Saturday night, more fisticuffs? Hellz Yes.


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