After dropping a laughably poor effort followed a tightly fought battle, the Flyers have let the Penguins back into a series they had the opportunity to sweep. The Pens who slumped through the early games are wide awake now, including Marc-Andre Fleury, who went from historically bad to being a major factor in Pittsburgh’s rebound.
Two more chances to close out the series, but I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone in the good half of the state when I say we don’t want to see a game 7. Not that the Flyers can’t win it—they might even be better with elimination on the line—but if they lose today, they may not have much edge left either.
They need to play like today is game 7.
The teams will skate the same lineups today as game 5. No Nick Grossmann. But being without him in game 5 might have contributed to the Flyers slowing the pace down a bit, as they did in some of the March stretch that saw them winning despite being shorthanded on the blue line.
It also meant increased minutes for the Flyers’ top three defensemen, and fatigue could be a factor as today’s game wears on.
Playing conservatively isn’t necessarily an answer to the Penguins’ attack. It’s certainly not how they won games 1-3. It’s gonna take some JAM.
Time to stay out of the penalty box…
Time for Ilya Bryzgalov to show up too. MAF’s made a new mark on the series, and despite being slowed by a pair of injuries, Bryz is still the same goalie who went on a tear in March. He seemed pissed after the game 5 loss, which could be a good thing because he needed some swagger back. Forget March. Bryz was the better goalie the first three games of this series.
Time for HartnellUp and the Wayne Train. Scott Hartnell got off the schneid in game 5, and the Flyers could use some more of that, along with some more JAM from fellow power forward Wayne Simmonds.
Time for the refs keep the whistles quiet on ticky-tack shit and let the boys play today. If it’s egregious, call it. Don’t let it get out of hand. But leave the questionable minors out of a game between two tough but talented teams. No matter what the refs do, it’s gonna be rough out there, and the Flyers can’t let the Pens gain an edge on cheapshots, but they can’t get suckered into retaliating and losing the special teams battle. It really could be the biggest factor in the series.
Time for Marc-Andre Fleury’s luck to run out. No, he isn’t winning purely on luck, but he owes his posts a steak dinner, and one goal on a bad bounce or deflection could be the difference in who wins this series.
Time for the refs to see what Evgeni Malkin is (besides strong on the puck and dangerous if given space).
Time to win the even strength battle.
Time for Riemer to save his lost season with a huge goal.
Time for Jaromir Jagr to brandish the dagger.
Time for Max Talbot to make goal-scoring jokes to Dan Bylsma.
Time for Brayden Schenn to do what Mike Richards couldn’t.
Time for Sean Couturier to lock Malkin in a two-dimensional prism and hurl him through infinite space.
Time for Matt Read to make the Calder vote look even more absurd.
Time to block some shots.
Time to Lappy up.
Time for Claude Giroux to take the series back. Youth has served this team well, but they need a closer right now. They need a captain, and it’s G.
Time to giddy up and fuckin go.
Puck drops at noon on NBC…