Friday, April 06, 2012

Final playoff seeding and what about Saturday?

With the win over the Rangers last night, the Pens will have the #4 seed, giving them home ice in the first round.

The Flyers, by virtue of their win over the Sabres, will be the #5 seed.

What does that mean for the game tomorrow?  I have some questions:

Do you play Crosby and Letang?  Both players have had multiple incidents with concussions.  It wouldn't be worth it to lose one of them over something stupid.  If there ever were a team that would try something stupid, it would be the Flyers.

Does Malkin play?  I think this is more likely.  He's going for 50 goals, and he usually takes care of himself pretty well.  I'd put him out there in limited minutes, and in offensive situations like the power play, offensive zone draws or after the Flyers ice the puck.

Is this a Brent Johnson game?  I think that's much more of a no-brainer.  Fleury has played a ton of games this year, and he's your horse in the playoffs.  I think you give Johnson another game.  The only problem I see with this is that Fleury will have played just once in 10 days leading up to Game 1 (assuming it is Wednesday or Thursday).

Does the outcome matter?  If the Pens play their horses and win, does it change the feeling of the Flyers heading into Round 1?  Worse yet, if they play everyone and lose, does it deflate the Pens at all?  I'd be much more worried about the latter.

Will the Flyers use the meaningless game to respond?  Given how upset they supposedly were over Vitale's hit the other night, will they try a bunch of dumb stuff when the outcome doesn't matter?  He's a clue to watch out - Jody Shelley and Zac Rinaldo line up for the opening faceoff.

No comments: