The Penguins/Flyers series has been beyond shocking. Many people predicted that the Flyers would win the series. Many predicted the Pens. (In fact, according to today’s NBC broadcast today, the Penguins were favored to win not just the series, but the Cup in Vegas. Looks like many will lose money on those bets.)
The Penguins I’ve seen in the last three games will be lucky to pull off a single win. (Thanks to David Lassen, I’ve corrected this post – David pointed out that THREE NHL teams have come back from being down 3-0 and the Flyers did it in 2010 – how could I have forgotten that one? My apologies!)
Would today’s game have ended differently if Fleury had been pulled earlier and the Penguins had time to step up their defense in front of Johnson? We’ll never know.
Instead, the game degenerated into something like the Flyers of old playing… the Flyers of old. The Penguins stepped right into the Flyers’ way of doing things and in an odd twist of fate the Flyers kept it together and took the high road.
The Flyers and Penguins are both teams capable of scoring a lot of goals, but who would have guessed that both of their number one goalies would take the first round of the playoffs off? 32 goals in 3 games? That’s insane for the Stanley Cup Playoffs – especially for two of the top three teams (ranked by points without preference to winners of other divisions) in the Eastern Conference. You can’t blame all of the goals on the goaltending, since clearly the defenses have been taking a serious break, but it’s been like a comedy of errors (for Flyers fans, anyway – doubt the Pens fans see anything comical in this mess).
At least there have been a lot of other exciting series’ so far this round. The only other series in this year’s playoffs that’s not split after 2 games is the Kings/Canucks series, which started out just like the 2010 Playoffs for both teams. The Devils and Panthers start their 2nd game shortly.
Enjoy the playoffs, everyone – surprises and all…