This guy isn't bad.

Game in a relevant Viral Video:


Observations:

- A total turnaround for both teams as the Penguins were forced to respond to the Flyers early and got top performances from their big names as they avoided being swept in round one.

- Evgeni Malkin made an appearance, presumable meaning that Pennsylvania state troopers found him in Daniel Briere’s basement yesterday, and scored three points two goals en route to a three point night. Part of Malkin’s statistical performance is clearly due to the chances Philly gifted the Penguins as over half of Malkin’s ice time was on the power play. If he has woken up this series could go down to the wire.

- Jordan Staal also exploded offensively with a hat trick to his credit. For a guy who would be a first line center on almost any other team in the league, Staal spends much of his time being relegated to the “two-way” role. That’s not to suggest that he doesn’t excel, but it does pidgeonhole his massive talent. He broke out of that tonight and earned his biggest contribution to the scoresheet so far this series.

- Zac Rinaldo is an idiot, and was only a microcosm in the Philly meltdown tonight. It was just one of many role reversals tonight as the Flyers came apart the way Pittsburgh did in game three. Whatever chance the Flyers had of coming back evaporated with the march they took to the penalty box.

- On that note, the officiating was much more effective tonight in comparison to previous games in this series as they were strict and kept the game under relative control. Any time there is a lopsided score like this you risk a circus and, all things considered, this was an improvement over last game’s whatever you want to call it.

- I’ve defended Ilya Bryzgalov to this point in the series as I’ve felt that the Flyers have been pretty loose in their own end, but I’m going to put a heavier share of this loss on the man in goal. He has to be better than five goals on 18 shots if the Flyers are going to bury the Pens before it gets too close.

- Speaking of five goals on 18 shots, Sergei Bobrovsky wasn’t much better.

- The nice part of the Penguins beating Philadelphia by a touchdown means for the Pens is it shifts the focus away from Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury’s struggles to this point have really snowballed after a couple terrible performances and the Pens having their backs pinned against the wall. If you’re a Pittsburgh fan you have to hope that this eases the weight off of his shoulders and he can play with a bit more comfort.

- Matt Cooke led the Penguins in penalty minutes! That’s more like it! He also had two points and was strong on the penalty kill. So yeah, that.

- Are we ready to put Claude Giroux among the top tier of NHL forwards yet? I don’t know if he’s in the Crosby/Stamkos type of echelon yet but he’s getting real damn close. The guy has been Philadelphia’s best player every game so far in this series as I see it.

- Danny Briere recorded another point today but was on the ice for a whole whack of Pittsburgh goals. I’d be more frustrated and perplexed if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone seemed to be on the ice for a whole whack of goals.

- Seriously a whole whack of goals, the Flyers led this game by a 3-2 score one point. Eight unanswered goals in a game and this isn’t the 80s.

- Heading back to Pittsburgh after all of this I have no idea how the series will all shake down. I thought the extra day off lent itself well to a Penguins win but I had no idea it was going to be like this. Who knows how game five will play out. We’ll all be watching though…

My Three Stars:

1) Jordan Staal
2) Evgeni Malkin
3) Kris Letang

Comments (4)

  1. Scoring three points en route to a three point night? Boy, that Malkin…

  2. Agree with the points on Fleury, and I think that was the thinking behind Bylsma’s 3rd period timeout after the icing. The Flyers might not have liked it, but protecting Fleury’s solid game even with a 10-3 lead seemed like a decent idea.

  3. Remember when Evgeni Malkin elbowed Nick Grossman in the head and gave him a concussion and we all just agreed not to talk about it so that he wouldn’t get suspended?

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