“I want to congratulate the Flyers organization on the series win but I really can’t wish them good luck, though, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said in his opening remarks, as Pittsburgh has failed to advance past the first round for the second straight year.
From the drop of the puck, the Philadelphia Flyers wanted Game 6 more and Claude Giroux set the tone, delivering a hard hit on Sidney Crosby near the Penguins bench just seconds into game, then moments later, backing in the Penguins defense and scoring 32 seconds in to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
With Giroux setting the tone, Philadelphia would never look back as the Penguins didn’t put up much of a fight.
“His game was monstrous, ” head coach Peter Laviolette said of Giroux. Laviolette indicated Giroux asked for the first shift of the game. “That says all you need to know {about him}, ” Laviolette said calling Giroux the “best player in the world”, as did Giroux’s teammates afterwards.
“He is the best player in the league right now, veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. “He’s our motor, engine, and as he goes, we go, “Timonen added.
Giroux’s three point night wrapped up a dominating series where he collected 14 points in 6 games as Pittsburgh had few answers for him.
” He was the best player on the ice, ” Penguins defensemen Brooks Orpik said. “We have tremendous respect for him.”
For the Flyers today it wasn’t just all about Giroux. They put together their most complete game of the series and two areas of concern for Pittsburgh this afternoon was having their [Penguins} defensemen back in way too much when the Flyers were attacking offensively and for Pittsburgh in the offensive zone, the Penguins struggled mightily to get pucks to the net.
“One of the best team efforts, we’ve had all season, ” winger Scott Hartnell said.
Philadelphia blocked 40 shots as defensemen Eric Gustafsson (7 blocked shots), Matt Carle (6 blocked shots), Braydon Coburn (6 blocked shots) Andreas Lilja (6 blocked shots), Kimmo Timonen (4 blocked shots) and Pavel Kubina (1 blocked shot) combined for 30 blocked shots, compared to Pittsburgh where their seven defensemen combined for just 6 blocked shots in the loss. Philadelphia’s ability to block shots was a huge difference from how their blueline is built compared to Pittsburgh’s.
Whether it was 5-on-5 or on the power play where the Penguins were 1-for-5, Pittsburgh always seemed to be looking for the perfect play.
“I feel we didn’t shoot enough today, ” winger Pascal Dupuis said, as the Flyers did an excellent job at keeping the Penguins to the outside.
“Both 5-on-5 and on the power play, we wanted to be more aggressive shooters and don’t think we did that the way we needed, to get pucks to the net and blue paint area for our team to have success, ” Bylsma said.

“I think score played a part in that a little bit, and as game wore on we were trying to make a play to get a goal and they were very good today in blocking shots and we made one or two extra passes to try to get by that and get a goal and we saw that 5-on-5 and on the power play.”
More Bylsma:
“For a lot of the game, we were on the shortend of scoreboard and behind significantly, so Flyers weren’t concerned with giving up too much and I don’t there was much out there. We were going to have to manufactor a goal by getting puck to the net and I don’t think we did enough of that. Flyers played their best defensive game of the series today, in addition to getting first goal and power play goal, ” Bylsma said.
There’s a reason only three teams have ever come back from an 0-3 hole. Against a team that matched up so well against Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s was lucky to push the series to six games, after falling down 0-3.
“Right now it’s a shock, ” Pascal Dupuis said. “We didn’t play the right way to win, so we didn’t win.”
“Obviously we put ourselves in a hole going down 0-3. Against a team like them, tough hole to get out of, ” Orpik said.
“I think we were ready heading into the playoffs, and then we got a tough start like that {down 0-3}, and it put us in a pretty big hole, ” Sidney Crosby said.
Where the series was lost, many will look at Ben Lovejoy’s turnover in the third period of Game 2 when the Penguins were up 5-4 early in the third as a huge turning point but the coaching staff will be looking back at the blown leads in both games 1 and 2.
Philadelphia proved they knew how to protect a lead and Pittsburgh rarely did, which isn’t going to win you playoff games.
“Game 1 in particular and in Game 2 as well, be thinking a long time about that, ” Bylsma said on the blown leads.
Following Giroux’s opening goal 32 seconds in, the Penguins seemed to never get into the game, but Bylsma didn’t see it that way. “I didn’t sense that at all, ” Bylsma said on his team being down mentally after Flyers scored first. “To this point, scoring first goal hasn’t been an indicator in first five games. Didn’t sense bend or break. In this series, didn’t sense that from our team at all. Down 0-3, we battled in {Game}four and {Game} five, and I still think we battled after that goal and even after getting their power play a goal, sensed our team was fighting and resiliiency to come back in that game.”
Sidney Crosby was a hot topic after the game, being held pointless for the second straight game. After taking a hard hit from Claude Giroux to open the game, Crosby never seemed right and didn’t have much hop in his step.
Crosby though finished the series with 8 points in 6 games and Bylsma felt Crosby’s play in the playoffs was the best he played all season. “These six games were probably Crosby’s best, ” Bylsma said.
If the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals close out their respecitve series’, the Flyers will enter the second round as heavy favorites in the East and things are so wide open in the West, that the Flyers might be considered the top Cup contender going into the second round, before it’s all said and done.
Sidney Crosby though wasn’t ready to proclaim them favorites.
“Well I think there’s a lot of good teams, ” Crosby said on the current playoff field. “They’re {Flyers} a really good team, for sure. They capitalized on all of their chances and they’ve got a lot of depth. “I don’t know, there’s a lot of really good teams there, but they’re {Flyers} right in there with the next.”