The Penguins had seen the exact same scenario as what happened Wednesday before. Tell me if this sounds familiar. Exactly 10 days earlier on a Sunday afternoon the Penguins were playing the Flyers at the Consol. The Penguins got up two goals in the first five minutes, the crowd was bouncing of the walls. At the 4:58 mark the Flyers coach called a timeout. Over the next twenty minutes the crowd volume dwindled to a murmur and the Flyers scored the next five goals in a row and won the game.
Fool Bylsma once, shame on you, fool Bylsma twice and I sure hope he comes up with an answer for this fast. Was the problem that the team started out too fast then tired out? Was the problem Bylsma put the team into a defensive shell when they should have kept fore checking? I couldn’t tell you.
What I do know is that the fourth line of Arron Asham, Joe Vitale and Craig Adams looked fantastic in the first period. Unfortunately they were on the ice early in the second period when Daniel Briere had his off sides goal against the Penguins. Dan Bylsma started to shorten their ice time then all the sudden part way through the second period Arron Asham was benched for the rest of the game.
Vitale and Adams only saw two shifts in the third, not one after the 10 minute mark. One shift they had Pascal Dupuis on their line and the other time Tyler Kennedy. I originally thought Asham was hurt, but then he showed up at practice yesterday morning.
If Bylsma is going to push the Penguins to run and gun as hard as he did in the first period he will need to have faith in his players. The Penguins looked tired and worn after the first and were not getting relief from the forth line. There are plenty of healthy options sitting on the sidelines if he feels Asham isn’t up to the task. Richard Park would be the most likely candidate, but in practice yesterday he ran the same line Vitale, Asham & Adams.
The Flyers let the Penguins wear themselves down once again and took advantage of a tired team & yes, Bylsma was out coached. In the overtime period when the Flyers scored at the 2:23 mark a funny thing had happened. In that short 2 minutes and 23 seconds the Flyers had already played all four lines. At the same time Letang and Martin played a shift, sat for 23 seconds were already at the end of their second shift.
Letang decided to not chase a puck into the corner he easily would have had if he wasn’t dead tired. At the same time Malkin had decided not to go to the bench and was double shifting. The Flyers who had already rolled through all four lines and 5 of their 6 defensemen out hustled the Penguins and scored the game winner.
The moral or the story? Bylsma must have faith in the guys that fill the roll that he himself once filled.
It’s Friday the 13th can you name the four Penguins that wore #13? If you get more than two you get bonus points. The answer is at the bottom.
The NHL apologized for the mistaken off sides call and many of the Penguins players were affected by it. At the end of the day they still shouldn’t have lost because of it.
Dan Bylsma – “That’s not why we lost the game”
James Neal – “Yeah, it’s an unfortunate call. That gave them a lot of momentum and got them going in the right direction. It’s going to happen. They’re not perfect. They are going to make calls like that. We just have to deal with it and keep going forward.”
Sidney Crosby – “It affected the game, but at the end of the day there is nothing that (we can do). Worrying about it and thinking about it is not going to change anything. It’s over and there are a lot of other things that went on that are in our control that we could have been better at. Our focus is on that.”
I’ve heard the coaches and management sugar coat it. In my opinion there is a very good chance if they don’t get a goal by mistake it’s a whole different game.
Crosby on what allowed the comeback: “We just got away from our game. Unfortunately we had that 3-0 lead and we really just stopped doing those little things that you need to do- getting pucks deep, managing the puck. They had a lot of time at that point to get opportunities to get back in the game. There were different things, but it’s over. There is nothing we can do now. We’ve got to make sure we play a full hockey game here on Friday.”
Benstonium’s awesome Best City in PA: Pittsburgh vs. Philly
Jim Hamilton, Charlie Simmer, Bill Guerin & Alex Goligoski all wore number 13 for the Penguins.
PenguinPoop Radio: Penguins Playoff talk with Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey
Game time is 7:30pm est. The game can be seen in 3D at the Consol Energy Center and in HD on the church parking lot outside the Consol. It can also be seen in HD on Root Sports in the ’Burgh and on the NBC Sports Network.