Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Paging The Flyers

Apparently, the Flyers forgot to set their alarm clocks for 7 against Sid The Kid, Geno and those fancy Penguins at Mellon Arena. What an awful performance and on Versus no less. The Cheesesteaks got trounced 6-1 with Crosby notching a goal and two helpers while both Malkin and Jordan Staal scored shorthanded, including Geno's exclamation point with 1:21 left. On the play, three Flyers backed up and watched Malkin victimize poor netminder Brian Boucher.

This ain't the hockey we're used to from Broad Street. Of course, we missed a wild first that featured four goals (3-1 Pit) and three scraps. Oh darn. But we did painfully watch a lifeless Philly team allow the talented Pens to do whatever they wanted. Sadly, Boucher held them in most of the second until a brutal sequence that saw Scott Hartnell pass on a shot from the slot, turning it over which allowed Pitt to comeback the other way. Staal rebounded home a Kris Letang shot, making it 4-1 with 15 seconds remaining. Against a team with shaky confidence, it was over. Hartnell also later took a very unnecessary minor penalty which Darren Eliot chewed him out for. That's when you know it's bad cause he doesn't go out of his way too often.

The Pens added two more in an uncompetitive third. That both were highlight variety had something to do with the pedestrian Flyer D which kept backing up, allowing for Malkin to make a perfect drop to Ruslan Fedotenko, who rifled one home. And then there was the electrifying Conn Smythe winner abusing a trio of Flyers before firing a perfect laser past Boucher shortside. It could easily have been 9 or 10. What happened to the big bad Philly D led by Chris Pronger? And why was there so much operating room with way too much of a gap between the defense and forwards? Yikes.

Okay. So maybe they miss Simon Gagne, who's expected back later this week. However, the blueline is pretty healthy with Pronger, last night's hero in Beantown Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and emerging Ryan Parent. What's the problem? They already canned John Stevens and hired championship caliber Peter Laviolette, who thus far is two up and five down. Not exactly reassuring. We've heard there's a divide in the room. Whether it's between captain Mike Richards and Pronger, who knows? A rumor even circulated earlier today that a player was having an affair. Who knows? What they can at least take solace in is how mediocre the bottom of the conference is with so many teams piled up for those final couple of spots. If this underperforming talented club rights itself, they should be fine.

The good news is they play the Rangers at Wachovia Saturday afternoon. The bad is they host the Pens in a rematch Thursday. Maybe they just need Rocky to inspire them.

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