Puck Off! A Rivals Rematch Begins Tonight . . .

Posted on April 15, 2009. Filed under: NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

READY FOR A CAGE MATCH?  I don’t pretend to know a lot about hockey.  But I do know a few things.  One of them is that the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers abhor each other.  That’s right, they hate each other so much that the word “hate” can’t describe it.  I had to dig into the vocab closet and pull out something even more nasty.  Abhor . . .

Young Penguins Fans Tell The Flyers How It Is

Young Penguins Fans Tell The Flyers How It Is

And that’s exactly how the NHL’s second season opens up in the Eastern Conference playoffs tonight.  With the disdain heavy rematch of last year’s conference finals that is sure to provoke a fight or two between fans.  Because they abhor each other too.  Here are some thoughts on what I like to call, the PUCK OFF:

The Flyers are slumping into this series having blown a third period lead during the last game of the season – played at home – against the New York Rangers, that would have given them home ice in this series.  Doh! 

The Pens are 18-3-4 since the firing of Michel Therrien and rookie head coach, Dan Bylsma, has taken the blinders off this young, offensive minded team and they are “flying” into the playoffs.  Philadelphia should be jealous . . . 

Philadelphia is healthier this year than last with their top two defensemen, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn in the lineup this time around.  That is a huge help, but is it enough to handle the talented trio of Crosby, Malkin and Staal down the middle?  

With NO apologies to Alexander Ovechkin, the Penguins have the best player in the league as evidenced by the NHL scoring title, Evgeni Malkin.  Geno is the record 13th Art Ross winner for the Penguins and not only did he lead the league in points, he also led the NHL in takeaways, creating more opportunities for his skilled offense to score. 

By the way, Sidney Crosby was third in scoring behind Ovechkin . . .

Players to watch:  Mike Richards and if he can ruffle Crosby’s feathers enough to knock him off his game.  Billy Guerin and if his veteran presence keeps the Pens even keeled and confident.  And of course, as it usually does, the play of the two netminders, Fleury and Biron, will probably decide the winner of this series.   

One of the other things I know about hockey is that the flashy Capitals’ Left Wing is a show off.  I’m waiting for someone to spear him with a stick when he skates by the Rangers bench tonight celebrating  excessively.  Jerk . . .

Oh I almost forgot a few more things: Sean Avery of the Rangers is a prick and the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell is a dirty player.  However seeing them get into it on Sunday in the waning seconds of the game as Philadelphia let home ice slip through their fingers was great and just proves Hartnell is dirty.  Avery probably deserved it for something he did previously though, because he is a prick.

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