Two rounds. One loss. This round won't be so easy.
The hatred has been flowing like a river pretty much everywhere. Even a step down from the pure hatred are the amazingly one-sided columns that have been showing up in mainstream outlets (for example, this one).
I may have riled a few Flyers fans with my Partisan Preview for the Times blog, but I don't consider that to be a bad thing. It shows that people are engaged.
But enough about the superfluous stuff. The real action starts on the ice Friday night, and then none of this nonsense will matter.
It should be an excellent series, and the Pens need to get off to a good start at home. One of the things that has helped them develop a stranglehold on each of the first two series was winning the first two games at home. That will be important to continue, because you don't want to let the Flyers have any momentum going back to Philadelphia.
So the keys to Game 1, in my mind, are:
- Get traffic early and often in front of Biron to throw him off his game. His numbers aren't nearly as good as Fleury's stats, which means his rep may be overblown a bit.
- Take advantage of the power play chances, because you'll get several.
- Stay disciplined - don't get called for retaliating
- Neutralize Briere, especially on the power play, and Umberger
Can't forget this!!
Let's Go Pens!