Saturday, May 10, 2008

Malkin’s making the difference

The Philadelphia Flyers have many things to ponder in the wake of their 4-2 game one loss to their cross-state rivals in Pittsburgh.

There’s the need to reverse their sloppy ways in the transition game, far too often in game one the Penguins were taking pucks deep into the Flyers end, thanks to a mistimed turnover or sloppy pass that was intercepted.

When they’re not thinking about the transition game, they’ll want to try and find a way to slow down if not stop the scoring spree that Evgeni Malkin seems destined to be on in this series, Friday night Malkin accounted for two of Pittsburgh’s four goals and was instrumental in much of the play that took place in the Philadelphia end.

So in his groove was Malkin on Friday, that he even made good on a penalty shot opportunity, normally the only Achilles heel that he has exhibited this year. Not so in game one as he sailed into the Flyers end and blasted a shot behind Martin Biron for his second goal of the night.

While the Flyers struggled at times with their misguided plays, the Penguins on the other hand were anything but sloppy in their play, crisp pinpoint passing and a creative game plan, provided many scoring opportunities on 21 shots, while the Flyers never seemed to get untracked all game long.

The Pens command of the game provided much for the capacity and generally white clad crowd to cheer about, a force that seems to propel the Penguins as the games go on.

The ability of the Flyers to slow the Penguins down and keep that crowd out of the game may be the best defence that they can offer up when in Pittsburgh, while Philadelphia’s devoted will match the Penguin faithful in volume and exuberance, the simple fact is that the Pens have one more home game than the Flyers.

Though at the moment that should be the least of the Flyer’s concerns, they need to try and at least make sure that they’re still a vital part of the series by game three, if they don’t change their habits on Sunday night, there may not be much for the game three hometown crowd to cheer about!

Globe and Mail-- Penguins draw first blood
Globe and Mail-- Heat on Flyers defence
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Malkin's inner fire raging
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Steelers, Pirates supporting Penguins
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Pens' 6-0 start a franchise record
Philadelphia Daily News--Timonen wasn’t the problem
. Stats Pack

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