Sunday, May 18, 2008

Penguins 6, Flyers 0

The Penguins are going to the Stanley Cup Finals. Just let that sink in.

What can you really say about this game? It was complete domination. There was balance in every facet of their game:
  • Two power play goals
  • Two penalty kills when the game was still up for grabs
  • Balanced scoring from five different players.
  • Everyone was a plus player except for Ruutu and Kennedy (another indication of balanced scoring)
  • Timely goaltending, with a shutout for Fleury
  • Perhaps the most important, putting the Flyers away and not letting them off the mat.
The Flyers picked a bad game to struggle, especially Biron, who wasn't very good at all.

You have to give the Flyers credit in that they could have started some shenanigans in the third period, but they really didn't do anything. They're still cheap thugs when things count, but they acted with some class when things were decided. That was refreshing to see. Maybe Mike Richards is wearing off on some of the other guys.

First period:

The Pens got the scoring started early after Talbot drew a penalty on Knuble, which is the first time I remember mentioning Knuble's name during this series. Anyway, Malone directed in a shot from the right point by Crosby. 1-0 Pens.

Later in the period, Malkin took advantage of Biron, who was without his stick, coming out from behind the net and stuffing the puck between the pads of the goalie. Biron didn't seem to know where the puck was until it was behind him. 2-0 Pens.

After the second goal, Scott Hartnell took an absolutely STUPID penalty, tripping Fleury behind the net. You have to wonder what he's thinking sometimes.

The Pens couldn't score on the ensuing power play, but they did kill off a penalty taken by Whitney to close out the period.

As time was expiring, Ryan Malone was assessed a high-sticking call, which would put the Flyers on the power play to start the second.

Second period:

The Flyers had been handed a gift with a power play on clean ice and a chance to get back into the game. Sadly, this wasn't their day, and they only managed a single shot from the point.

Later in the second, Crosby did his best Hossa impression and swiped the puck with a great back-check on Mike Richards. He took the puck the other way, and eventually it wound up on the stick of Hossa, who blasted it past Biron. Another bad goal for Biron to allow. 3-0 Pens.

If I'm Philly, I think about pulling Biron right then and there. They didn't, and it only got worse.

After a tripping call on Carter, Gonchar flung a puck towards the net that Malone was able to deflect. It went behind Biron. 4-0 Pens.

That goal was probably the back-breaker. The Flyers didn't seem to have much left in the tank after that.

Staal made sure to kick them when they're down by flipping a rebound / loose puck behind Biron with just 58 seconds remaining in the second period. 5-0 Pens.

Any life the Flyers may have had was stripped when an apparent goal was waved off. Thoresen had barreled his way to the net, but the Zebras ruled he had interfered with Fleury's opportunity to play the puck. The NHL is getting more sensitive about protected the goalies. This was probably a good call.

Third period:

The formality: Dupuis has a Hossa shot deflect off of his leg behind Biron. 6-0 Pens.

The fun stuff included listening to chants of "Go Home Flyers!" and "Flyers Suck!" Add that to singing the Goodbye song, and it was a pretty fun time to watch, which is good, because the hockey actually became kind of boring. I'll take that boring anytime if it means the Pens are moving on.

Next up: The Cup Finals will start a few days after the conclusion of the Detroit / Dallas series.


Will said...

I can't believe they are going to the Finals. Gotta give credit to Shero. How huge is the Hossa pick up? Games 5 vs. NY and PHI he just turned it up. This team is on fire and I can't wait for the finals to begin.


oh, yeah... Great to see Staal get another goal tonight. He's been great all playoffs long.

Pat said...

I'm with you, Will. I think it will be amazing to see them in the Finals. Doesn't seem real at this point.