In part two of the opening season review we will examine the forwards and their contributions thus far to the season. While some players are keeping to the status quo, a few forwards have started to make their mark on the early season.
Start with the Obvious – The Pittsburgh Penguins top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Pascal Dupuis is arguably the strongest line in all of hockey. They have a combined nine goals through six games, seven of which have come while playing five on five hockey.
Here are a few other stats to show how good this line has been. *All statistics are a combined total.
+ 10, 56 shots on net, 24 total points, 8 Takeawas, 28 Hits, 87 Fac...
As the seconds ticked off the clock in the second period, the Flyers trailed 3-1 to the Penguins in Game 1.
It was a seemingly insurmountable deficit with the way Pittsburgh controlled the play through the first two periods with their physical bullying style of play.
The Flyers needed someone to step up and stand up to the bull and Brayden Schenn did just that, both metaphorically and literally.
Schenn was charged by Penguins forward Craig Adams with only seconds remaining on the clock. Schenn turned around and absorbed all of the hit, knocking Adams on his rear-end as Schenn stood over him and smiled.
Schenn then got in the face of Adams, goading a shove to the face that wasn’t called and skated away with a smirk on his face after the referees separated the two.
That could have been the turning point for the Flyers, who came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.
Hard hitting, desperation saves and a little bit of extra-curricular activities sprinkled in.
Perhaps, it was a look at what the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals has in store for the Flyers and Penguins. 60 minutes of full throttle hockey with the addition of the playoffs, and the hockey world will be in store for another classic Flyers/Penguins series.
Sunday afternoon's battle - as well as one more game next Saturday afternoon to finish the season - was a preview of the almost inevitable 4/5-seed match up between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.