For the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans, much of the 2011-12 season will be focused on the New York Rangers. Because of this year’s Winter Classic matchup, players and fans should expect to be inundated with questions, information and banter about the hatred between the Broad Street Bullies and the Broadway Blueshirts.
However, there is still one rivalry that has been overshadowed thus far. That rivalry includes the team on the other side of the Keystone State, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It is a very frustrating time here in the Steel City. The Penguins have played the top three teams in the East within the past week and a half, yet have dropped all three. The Pens are not in a great position right now as they have yet to show they can take down the elite teams in the East. They fell behind to the Rangers, Bruins, and Flyers by a multi-goal margin and failed in their attempt at a comeback. Teams in the East are not easy to play against. Most of the top eight have a great blend of talent and grinders paired up with top ten goaltenders, so to even think a comeback is the answer is just plain stupid. There are a few glaring ho...
Wayne Simmonds came to Philadelphia in the offseason with a fresh start and an expanded role. He looked like he could be the answer to the team’s problems in front of the net. His size and speed was raved about by every coach, fan, and pundit.
Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers showed something in their small west coast swing last week. Yes, they came back against the lowly Anaheim Ducks and won. Yes, they started strong and cruised to a win in Phoenix over the Coyotes. Yes, the team took care of business and did what they were supposed to do.
Was it a litmus test? In terms of the ability to win on the road after a long layoff and a plane trip longer than one in-flight movie, it was.
In many ways the Pittsburgh Penguins can be considered a star studded cast. Teams such as Chicago, Philly, Washington, and Detroit boast a lineup of great talent. These teams are winners for one reason though, depth. Depth is what wins championships, depth is what every team needs, and this season the Pens so called depth players are rising into stardom.
For many years they have been lucky to have a third line center that was offensively respected and defensively feared in Jordan Staal. His play over the years has earned him a selke nomination, league wide respect for one of the best penalty killers, and mostly a Stanley Cup, but now ...
59 seconds of icetime was all it took before the hockey world knew that “Sid the Kid” was not merely healthy – he was officially back.
Taking a pass from Pascal Dupuis at centre ice at the start of his second shift, Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby flew into the offensive zone like a man possessed once the puck arrived on his blade. After blowing the doors off of helpless defenceman Andrew MacDonald, he fired a backhander with a level of speed and accuracy that outweighed many players’ best shots on their forehand, making no mistake in rifling the puck into the upper portion of rookie Anders Nilsson’s net.
It has been over 300 days. It has been over 60 regular season contests. It has been a long freaking time, but it is finally over. Arguably the best player in the game of hockey made his return to the game tonight. Crosby has waited a long time and with every passing interview one could see the ever growing impatience on his face. While tonight will mean a lot for the fans and for the NHL, this night was really about Crosby. A player that lives and breathes the game is finally allowed to take the ice. Crosby’s return was sure to be great, but this one was downright special.
In the first period of play, Crosby scored on his third shift. ...