Thursday, December 22, 2005

Game #34 - vs Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

Philadelphia - 20-8-5 - 45 pts - 2nd in Atlantic
Pittsburgh - 8-18-7 - 23 pts - Last in Atlantic

The Flyers beat Ottawa on Thursday night at home. They'll travel to Pittsburgh and play the Pens on Friday night. Simon Gagne returned and scored a power play goal for the Flyers. The team had lost their previous two home games prior to Thursday night.

The power play for the Flyers has been slumping a little bit of late. Before Thursday, they hadn't scored twice in one game on the power play since the day after Thanksgiving (they netted two last night).

The Flyers are led by Gagne with 23 goals in just 27 games. Knuble (17) and Forsberg (10) are their next leading scorers. Joni Pitkanen has eight goals from the blue line in 25 games.

For the Pens, it really doesn't matter who the opponent is at this point. There have been articles in the local paper all week talking about the rough practices that Michel Therrien has been putting them through. Nothing punitive, but very demanding. I think he's trying the nice guy approach before he has to really get nasty.

Ric Jackman will play in this one, and he has vowed to keep his game simple. He is still our leading point-getter from the defensive position, but that's not saying much at this point.

Obviously, Lemieux will be out of the lineup for a little while. Everyone else is expected to play (or, at least, I haven't heard that anyone is out for sure yet).

I'll be at the game, and I'll try to get some pictures. Check back over the weekend for some images.

Oh - one other thing - Fleury really should be starting in goal. No reason for anyone else at this point. The team is at the point where they MUST start winning consistently or the season is lost. We're less than 10 games away from the halfway point of the season. Time to get the show on the road.

Let's go Pens!

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