Game 4 Analysis: Penguins have reached a level where Flyers have mentally checked out

 

Penguins 5 – Flyers 0 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 3-1) PIT LEADERS Matt Murray | 26 Saves, 1.000 SV% Sidney Crosby | Goal, Assist Phil Kessel | Goal, Assist Evgeni Malkin | Goal, Assist Kris Letang | Goal Riley Sheahan | Goal GAME 4 ANALYSIS Game 3 felt like the Pittsburgh Penguins ended the Flyers season, most notably the momentum changing plays Matt Murray and Sidney Crosby provided in period one of Game 3. Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win in Game 4 vs the Flyers further cemented the Flyers have reached the point where they know they can’t beat the Penguins. Matt Murray with a 26 save-shutout was dominant again in the first period, stopping all 10 shots in the period including a breakaway save. Murray with 4 shutouts in his last six playoff games, has boasted a .972 save percentage in the first period of this series. For the underdog Flyers, Murray’sRead More »

Game 4 Storyline: Impact on series of injuries to Hornqvist, Couturier

 

Game 4 Storyline The Pittsburgh Penguins look to go up 3-1 in the series against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and one of the storylines entering tonight is a key injury on both sides. For Philadelphia, it’s the uncertainty surrounding a lower body injury to top-line center Sean Couturier who taken was out in a wicked collision with goon defenseman Radko Gudas in Tuesday’s practice. If Couturier can suit up, there’s still questions of how effective he will be. For as great as Sidney Crosby has been in the series, 4 goals and 3 assists in 7 games, Couturier at full strength is the Flyers only hope of slowing down Crosby who is at 48% in possession head-to-head vs Couturier in the series and at 66% when away from Couturier. For Pittsburgh, it’s the loss of Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins won a playoff game last postseason against a much better WashingtonRead More »

Game 3 Analysis: Matt Murray, Sidney Crosby & Championship Prowess of weathering the storm

 

Penguins 5 – Flyers 1 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 2-1) Brian Elliott turned back into Brian Elliott and the Pittsburgh Penguins are now up 2-1 in the series. Matt Murray stopped 26 of 27 shots, while Sidney Crosby was doing Sidney Crosby things again with a goal, 3 assists in a 5-1 Penguins win. The brilliance of Sidney Crosby and Matt Murray might have won the series in the first period. Philadelphia came out of the gates with a major surge, dominating play but Murray shut the door on every opportunity highlighted by a breakaway save on Nolan Patrick. After one period the Flyers had a 29-12 edge in shot attempts, 19-3 edge in scoring chances and 10-1 advantage in high danger chances, yet Murray and Crosby were the story after 20 minutes as Murray turned aside all 11 shots and Sidney Crosby scored a wrap-around goal at 10:25 of theRead More »

Game 2 Analysis: Brian Elliott, Special Teams & Momentum Swings

 

Flyers 5 – Penguins 1 (Series Tied, 1-1) Penguins – Flyers is all tied up as the series shifts to Philadelphia Sunday afternoon. Brian Elliott stopped 34 of 35 shots and the Flyers turned the tables on Pittsburgh with a 5-1 win in Game 2 to tie the series at 1-1. “Said it coming in, nobody really is giving us a serious chance in this series,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I don’t Know if anybody still will. But I know this, we just it down to a five game series and we introduced ourselves into this series tonight.” The Penguins 7-0 win in Game 1 was so impressive and spelled so much trouble for the Flyers because of how Pittsburgh excelled in  possessing of a number of matchup problems, that in reality Philadelphia’s only answer to some of them is getting great goaltending. Well the Flyers got exceptionalRead More »

Game 1 Analysis: Penguins Looked like a club not just making a statement to the Flyers but to the rest of the NHL

 

Penguins 7 – Flyers 0 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 1-0) GAME LEADERS Matt Murray | 24 Saves, 1.000 SV% Sidney Crosby | 3 Goals, +5 Jake Guentzel | Goal, 3 Assists, +4 Evgeni Malkin | Goal, +2 Carl Hagelin | Goal, Assist Bryan Rust | Goal, +5 The Pittsburgh Penguins put on a show in Game 1 of playoffs with a 7-0 victory at the PPG Paints Arena to take a 1-0 series lead. Tonight sure looked like a statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference from the Defending Champions that the road still goes through Pittsburgh. Superior Depth…..Superior Goaltender……Superior 1-3 Punch at Center Position……. All of those key areas the Penguins flexed their muscles in putting on the type of performance they did. The Penguins and Flyers were just separated by two points this season but it was clear coming into this series the gap was much bigger thanRead More »

Scouts Buzz on Penguins – Flyers, Series Prediction & More

 

Game 1 Flyers @ Penguins | 7:08 P.M. Taking the Pittsburgh Penguins or the ‘Field’ to come out of the Eastern Conference in the 2018 playoffs? The Penguins begin their quest for a three-peat tonight at the PPG Paints Arena where they boasted a 30-9-2 home record. If the Penguins, as expected, get by the Flyers, Pittsburgh would likely be a slight favorite next round vs Washington or a heavier favorite were the Blue Jackets advance. A Three-Peat is looking a bit dicey based on the Penguins body of work this season, but the expectation game should be pinning the Penguins as a favorite against any team in the Metro Bracket. One clear edge the Penguins have over the Flyers in Round 1 is the Penguins speed game in transition, while talk among scouts, coaches is Pittsburgh’s forward depth will likely be the difference in this series. “The Flyers bigRead More »

Round 1 Lookahead: On X-Factor Matt Murray, Penguins ability to counter Flyers Strength’s by 2 & More Buzz

 

Penguins – Flyers to Meet in Round 1 The Pittsburgh Penguins accomplished their primary goal over the final two games of the regular season in claiming home-ice in round 1 with a 5-4 OT win vs the Columbus Blue Jackets and then following up the win vs CBJ with a 4-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the season finale. Now the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers meet in round 1. As vulnerable as the Penguins have looked defensively and at the goaltender position since Matt Murray returned from a concussion, the Penguins having home-ice in round 1 is a major hurdle the Flyers will have to overcome. Pittsburgh is just the 4th team to win 30 or more home games in consecutive seasons and they’re just a different team on home-ice. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia meet for the first time since the 2012 playoffs, a series that Penguin fans willRead More »

Pens – Caps Fallout: Capitals win the momentum swings, clinch Metropolitan Division

 

Capitals 3 – Penguins 1 The Washington Capitals are Metropolitan Division Champions for the third straight season in defeating the Penguins 3-1 on Sunday night at the PPG Paints Arena. As the Capitals are locked into the playing the first wildcard in Round 1, Pittsburgh with two games remaining can mathematically still finish anywhere from 2nd-3rd place in the Metropolitan Division to the top wildcard spot or the second wildcard spot. Off great goaltending from Philipp Grubauer, the Capitals won the momentum swings tonight as they were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and very opportunistic offensively. Tom Wilson scored a beautiful goal off a deflection 23 seconds into the third that iced this one to put the Capitals ahead 3-0. For the Capitals, this was just one of those complete game type performances where they rose to the occasion in a number of areas to come out of Pittsburgh withRead More »

A Greater Appreciation of how Making the Playoffs has become automatic during the Sidney Crosby Era

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night, officially clinched a playoff berth for the 12th straight season. The last several years whenever the Penguins clinch a playoff spot, it has rarely been seen as a major celebration during the Sidney Crosby era because it’s just always assumed the Penguins get in and expectations since about year three of the Crosby era has been Stanley Cup or bust. However, in looking at other situations around the league, maybe there should be more appreciation for what the Penguins have done in the Cap era in now going to 12 straight postseasons. Mike Sullivan for one saw clinching a playoff berth last night as special, especially with how this group looked in early January when the Penguins were 20-19-3 at one point. “It’s special because I think it’s hard to make the playoffs in this league,” saidRead More »

Crosby’s Walk-Off & PIT-NJD Key Takaways

 

On MLB Opening Day, Sidney Crosby did it again in delivering a walk-off winner for the Penguins in a 4-3 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Crosby with goals in 5 straight games is now up to 28 goals and 85 points on the season. With 7 goals in March, this is the first month since November Crosby has scored at least 5 goals in a month. As Evgeni Malkin’s game has taken a step back of late, over the last week Crosby has found that special level again where he’s dominating games in all facets. It’s been a weird season for him in putting pucks in the net but he’s in one of those stretches right now where you’re not surprised at the type of goals he’s scoring. PIT – NJD TAKEAWAYS — Patric Hornqvist declared before the game the Penguins would rise to occasionRead More »