Sunday, March 22, 2009

Game #71 Review: Flyers 3 @ Penguins 1 3/22/09



That was strange. I had absolutely zero hope for this game. Clearly, I was rendered hopeless by the fact that only one Sweet Sixteen team is ranked below #5, and deluded by recent Penguins successes. And for that I apologize. It will never happen again.
  • The stats guy says that Crosby and Malkin combined for zero shots. Ryan Parent is getting a lot of the credit for this, but it was really a huge team effort. And if they really got zero shots, how to explain this huge Biron save on Crosby?
  • Goalie controversies are an omnipresent cliche for the Flyers, but Martin Biron looked really good. Really good. I'm still nervous when he gives up one that another quick one is going in, but that didn't happen today.
  • Daniel Carcillo = still terrible. His dive was largely called on reputation alone, but having his reputation regularly cost the Flyers penalties is just as bad as having him regularly called for legit penalties. He needs to be on the fourth line (or just scratched), moving Asham or Powe up.
  • Speaking of Darroll Powe, he has become a bizarrely huge part of this team's defensive core for a fourth liner. He's getting regular time on the PK, and scored the empty net goal with less than a minute left in the game because Stevens put him on the ice in a one-goal game with less than a minute left. Bold move.
  • The main lesson we learned in this game is that I'm a genius. I said in the preview that all the Penguins success has been because Fleury has been playing better. And today, he was bad. And the Penguins lost. Simon Gagne's goal was pretty soft, and he probably could have had Hartnell's. The Flyers were sticking to the formula that worked so well for them against Montreal in the playoffs last year--demoralizing a team by getting a lead despite being horribly outshot (Penguins led in shots 21-10 after two despite being down 2-0).

Despite not getting on the scoresheet until an assist on Powe's empty netter, Ryan Parent gets The Hat for the first time. Not a bad pick.

Big stuff against New Jersey tonight on Versus at 7. The back-to-back is a built in excuse to lose, but winning is much preferable.

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