Actually there are WAY more than 3 reasons but this should be enough to convince Pens fans to wager early and heavily and Flyer fans to wish they liked soccer.
Conditioning: Consider the physical and mental fatigue that is endured during a best of 7 series especially when the opponent is a heated and hated rival (true hockey fans can totally relate to this). It only makes sense to bring up the argument that a game and perhaps the series might be won by the last man standing. Considering the Penguins scored a league leading 106 tallies in the 3rd period (40% their total goals scored) I believe the Pens will wear down the flyers after the first two periods and put them away or climb back from a deficit in the final frame (possibly OT). Also, the Pens lead the league with a .457 winning percentage after trailing opponents. Should the Flyers pull a 4 leaf clover out of their hockey pants and somehow take a lead against these Penguins they must know that NO lead is safe against a team with as much tenacity and talent as the Penguins.
Discipline: The Flyers almost double Pens in total PIMS with a league leading 1318 versus a respectable 880 for the Pens. The Flyers averaged a league leading 16.1 PIM per game while the Pens cashed in at 10.7 PIM per game. Considering both teams are hovering around a 20% conversion rate on the PP I’m calling the well coached and disciplined Pens to outscore the Flyers at a 2-1 pace on the PP. Add to the equation that the Pens lead the league in PK at home (89.1%) giving up only 13 PPG all season, I’m inclined to say the Pens special teams could score as many as 5 goals for every 2 they surrender. Get ready to poop your pants…the Pens averaged surrendering an amazing 1 PP goal for every 3 home games during the regular season!
Scoring: The Pens out shot all regular season opponents at a league leading 5-4 clip. During the course of 60 minutes of play statistics suggest that the Pens could post SOG numbers around 40-32 against the Flyers. Considering the spectacular performance Mark Andre Fleury has offered almost all season while posting a league leading 42 wins, the Flyers are going to need more in net than what they have. Everyone in Philly and within range of a radio knows that lack of solid goaltending will be the Achilles heal for the Flyers. When an NHL team shoves 20% more pucks at your net than your guys can muster, you have a problem! Did I mention that some of those pucks will be coming from the sticks of Art Ross trophy winner Geno Malkin , Captain Sid, James (the sniper) Neal, et al? If I were in net against the almighty Penguins I would make sure to have SPF 120 slathered on the back on my neck to protect me from the UV rays from the constant beaming of the goal light! Also, I would suggest cotton to protect your ears from the never ending goal horn not to mention the “boos” and moronic utterings of the less than classy Flyer fans!