Penguins vs Flyers Game 2 Preview

The Penguins didn’t get off on the best foot they were hoping for Wednesday night in Game 1 vs the Flyers.

They punched out three immediate goals in the first 20 minutes and then sat back and watched the rest of the game, and after proceeding into overtime, Jakub Voracek notched the game winner.

Tonight, the Penguins look to even the score against the Flyers on home ice. Keeping the momentum, the power play, and creating more scoring chances should all be on the team’s checklist–as the last game was devoid of all those aspects following the first period.

According to Dan Bylsma in a report for the Penguins official website: “We went with a couple different looks and people in different spots on our power play for that type of situation,”  Bylsma said. “We’ll continue to look for that as we go forward.”

Hopefully shaking up the power play will garner a positive outcome instead of going 0-3 [only 4 penalties were given out in game 1, three of which were served by the Flyers.]

This morning the Penguins held an optional skate with: Jeffrey; Engelland; Strait; Park; Tangradi; Vitale; Kennedy; Johnson; Lovejoy; Fleury; and Adams all on the ice.

Lines for tonight have yet to be announced.

On the opposing side, the Flyers have been empowered and energized by the Game 1 win.

Flyers have won the series 22 times following a Game 1 win and are  22-8 going in the playoffs and boast 36-30 record all-time in Game Two’s according to the Flyers official website. And those stats are in the forefront of the Flyer’s mind.

Briere will be pushing to notch his 100th playoff point, Schenn had three points in the last game, and Giroux has yet to make any real big moves. It’s only a matter of time before he strikes.

Flyers have yet to announce their lines.

Puck drops at 7:30 at the CONSOL Energy Center.

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Shea Weber’s head slam

Shea Weber head slammed Henrik Zetterberg during Game One Wednesday night. His blatant intent to injure caused an uproar among hockey fans. It was a harsh head slam John Cena was taking notes on.

The biggest question following the WWE move was: What was Shanahan going to do?

Ultimately, the former Red Wing and current head disciplinarian and Vice President of Hockey and Business Development fined Weber $2,500. The number is low, yes, in comparison to someone cursing and expressing their $20,000 opinion (I’m looking at you, John Tortorella). However, it is the highest amount a player can be fined under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, and Weber isn’t going to see a suspension.

The most similar situation this ordeal can be compared to is when Zdeno Chara of the Bruins hit Max Pacioretty of the Canadiens into the boards last March, and didn’t see a suspension, either. Not only did Chara garner backlash, but a criminal investigation was launched by the Montreal police force.

Shanahan didn’t handle Chara’s situation, Campbell was still in charge and he didn’t make the final decision because his son Gregory Campbell was on the Bruins’ roster. Senior Vice President Mike Murphy handled it.

“I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet, or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous,” he released in a statement.

Ok, benefit of the doubt, maybe Chara was just finishing his check and the positioning and the boards were bad timing for everyone and that’s how the league saw it. I’ll let the NHL front office logic take the wheel in this situation.

Fast forward to now and $2,500 later. How much have we heard about how head shots and targeted head shots will be taken care of under Shanahan? I was expecting at the very least a game suspension. Or a game and a fine. Would Weber be suspended if Zetterberg were injured? Why wasn’t Weber punished to the fullest possible extent? He used his hands to slam someone’s head into the boards, it’s not like he got caught weirdly boarding someone, or lifted from the ice. This seemed premeditated.

In other news, Byron Bitz Vancouver Canucks forward was suspended for two games for boarding Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford who is expected to miss at least one game from the hit.

The GMs need to be taking notes for the meetings next year, so while they’re all sitting on the beach discussing how they need to add a trapezoid in the back of the net, they can look to remedy the head shot epidemic in the NHL.

Penguins vs Flyers Game 1

Momentum was in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the beginning of the night, as they opened up a 3-0 lead before the end of the first period. By the end of the game, that momentum couldn’t have seemed further away.

Jakub Voracek scored the game-winner as the Philadelphia Flyers topped the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-3 overtime win in game one of their first round Stanley Cup playoff matchup on Wednesday night.

The Penguins came out hot early, scoring three goals in the first period. Sidney Crosby back-handed a goal over Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove side about four minutes into the game. Nine minutes later, Tyler Kennedy netted the Penguins second goal on a feed from Jordan Staal. The final goal from the Penguins came from Pascal Dupuis, with just 37 seconds remaining in the period. The Penguins were dominating the shot total by the end of the first 20 minutes, leading by a total of 13-6.

Coming out into the second period, the Penguins white-hot momentum was doused.

Bryzgalov returned in the second period looking more comfortable and more poised than the previous period, tallying 10 saves during the second 20 minutes of play.

Following a Flyers penalty kill early in the second period, Danny Briere netted the Flyers’ first goal of the game on a breakaway that was made possible by a missed offsides call just seconds before.

Regardless of the referee’s decision–it was the change in momentum the Flyers needed.

Briere put the pressure on the Penguins midway through the third period, scoring his second goal of the game at 9:17 of the period, shrinking Pittsburgh’s lead to just one.

After Brooks Orpik was called for interference, Brayden Schenn tied it up off a feed from linemate Scott Hartnell with just 7:37 remaining in regulation.

There’s nothing more frustrating than gaining a lead, and completely blowing it. The Penguins simply got too comfortable, sat back and watched the rest of the game happen. Luckily for the Penguins, and the entire hockey world, six potential games are ahead, leaving room for improvement.

The power[less]-play continually needs work. It baffles me how there are two of the most talented players in the NHL on the same power-play without any positive outcome. More pressing, where did the momentum go? Or the passion? It completely dissipated somewhere between Bryzgalov getting comfortable and Briere’s goal.

Whatever the issue, Dan Bylsma needs to rally the team for game two, and the intensity of the rest of the series.

The Penguins faceoff against the Flyers at the CONSOL Energy Center again for game two Friday at 7:30 p.m.


Welcome to the Hockey Life

My name is Shannon Caulfield, and welcome to my hockey blog!

I’ve been meaning to start it for a long time. My only other worthwhile blog is a wine one, and my recent hockey thoughts cannot simply fit with my vino passions–which by the way is way out of the box for me. Hockey is my real home.

So, I’ve created this monster. Well thought out hockey stories, random musings around the league and the inevitable withdraw which comes with the end of playoffs will all be featured.

Join me, comment and follow the never-ending conversation on Twitter. @Shanny99