Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Game #77 - vs Philadelphia Flyers

Game 77
Flyers (45-20-10, 100 points) at Penguins (45-23-8, 98 points)

Why does it matter?
Game of the year so far. This will have a large impact on which team finishes first in the Atlantic division.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Seven wins in nine games has the Pens streaking towards the top of the Atlantic, and maybe the East.
  • Flyers - The good news? They have points in nine of their past ten. The bad news? Five of those ten games were losses, and the wins were over Edmonton, Florida, Toronto, Dallas and the Islanders. It has been over a month since they beat a playoff team (the Rangers back on February 20th).
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens take the pressure? Now that first place is within reach, will they tighten up?
  • Will the Flyers be interested in playing hockey, or will we see a repeat of the previous meeting where the intensity wasn't there? I hope they bring it, because it would be a good measuring stick for the Pens.
  • Can Flower continue to carry this team given some of the offensive challenges (especially on the power play)?
Keys to the game
  • Smooth it out. Coming out like gangbusters and falling off is playing right into the Flyers hands. Make a consistent, concerted effort for 60 minutes.
  • Be diligent on the backcheck. The Flyers are really deep offensively and can score quickly. Defense needs to be a team effort.
  • Get pucks to the net and crash. I think the Flyers goaltending is shaky at best. Give either goalie something to think about.

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