Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Interstate Rivalry Part II: Pens vs. Flyers

To put it simply, the Pens and Flyers don't like each other very much. If they
were given the option of using guns/knives over sticks they would. This will only be the second meeting of the season between the two rivals but the first of back-to-backs (the second game is this Thursday in Philly).

The Flyers (15-15-1) currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conf. and many people are saying a major trade could be made in the next couple weeks if the slump they're in continues. Coach John Stevens was already fired on Dec. 4th and since then Peter Laviolette has had an all but impressive 2-4 record as the leading man. Their have also been problems in the lockerroom with leadership. Pronger and others are making their voices heard about the teams problems while Richards and Carter have kept it quiet.

But coming off a comeback win last night against the Bruins, the Flyers will have some confidence and they'll be seeking some revenge. Not only are they desperate for wins but they'll be facing the Pens, their biggest rival for the past couple seasons. Gagne, Coburn, and key role players Betts and Powe are injured and will not play tonight. The Flyers bottom six is very weak. And their top guns aren't being the leaders or clutch performers they are accustomed to being.

Bylsma played around with the Pens PP yesterday in practice with Cooke, Kunitz, and Guerin getting some playing time in front of the net. Cooke is a gritty guy who's scored a couple deflection goals already this year, interesting choice. Guerin has been the guy screening the goalie as far back as October but that hasn't resulted in much success.

The Pens beat the Flyers 5-4 in an exciting game in the first week of the season. Hartnell
supposedly bit Letang's finger at the end of that game. There will be more obnoxious behavior by some likely victims such as Carcillo, Laperriere, Pronger, and so on. If they wanna play rough we got the guys to match them. Talbot was the "game-breaker" during last season's playoff victory against the Flyers, will he play tonight? I think Godard will get the nod.

Fleury vs. Boucher will start.


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