Monday, May 19, 2008

Penguins leave no doubts

It was as dominating a performance as you might see and it only portends for better things to come for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sunday afternoon the Penguins pushed on the gas and ran over the Philadelphia Flyers, leaving no one to wonder which team was on its way to a Stanley Cup final berth and which team was heading for the golf courses. By the time they had collected their fourth win of the best of seven series by the convincing margin of 6-0, you had to know that they are more than a serious contender for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

From the opening period to the final whistle it was all Pittsburgh, as they controlled the flow of the play, the boards, the neutral zone and most importantly much of the space between the Philadelphia blue line and goaltender Martin Biron.

Whatever Michel Therrien is telling is young Pens is sinking in, the Pens provided as complete a game as you might watch, back checking their way out of trouble and turning the puck around for key scoring chances that made for a very long afternoon for flyer fans.

There was no better example of their dedication to the game plan than Sidney Crosby’s remarkable play in the second period, not only did he take away a scoring chance from the Flyers with his back check, but upon taking the puck back down the ice he assisted on the Marian Hossa goal, the third one of the game and the point at which the Flyers must have realized that their season was about to end. If it were possible to pick up two assists on the same goal, that would have been Crosby’s fate, so dominant was he on that sequence of events.

The Pens are looking more and more like an elite NHL squad these days, despite their relatively young age and lack of experience, a group that has meshed nicely and are being tutored in just the right manner by Therrien.

Most importantly this is a team that is having fun on the ice, a job made easier when you have the offensive power, solid defensive ingredients and astounding goaltending to accomplish much of the goals that the organization outlined for itself at training camp.

Now some nine months later, they’re but four wins away from the ultimate success in the NHL. More and more they are looking like Destiny’s choice this year, all that’s left it seems is to pull on the skates and hit the ice and let fate unfold on whatever path it seems to want to.

Globe and Mail-- Penguins soar into finals
Philadelphia Daily News-- Flyers have foundation to build on
Philadelphia Daily News-- Beneath Flyers' bruising, seeds of hope
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Flyers eliminated by Penguins
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Briere once again falls short
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- The Penguins were just that much better
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Penguins fly into finals
. Stats Pack

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