Many fans, media, and analysts alike have wondered out loud and or even questioned if the Penguins would be able to raise their game from their regular season play. At times, they looked disinterested and showed signs of struggle. And after two Championship runs, it would be easy to think that it could be hard to make yet another deep run this season. After game 1, it was apparent that what we saw in the regular season was just that… the regular season. This Penguins team is healthy and they kicked the door in on this years Playoffs.
The Pens would have their goalie show the form he did in previous Cup runs to go along with an explosive offensive display with everyone chipping in. And for icing on the cake, they would have their Captain score a Natural Hat trick to finish off the Flyers in incredible fashion.
The Famous Hockey Talking head Don Cherry (hockey night in Canada) went as far as to say that the Pens were out of line for having Crosby on the ice for the final couple of goals. He said, all that does is fire up the other team. I would agree that the Flyers will be burning over the loss, but I recall the 2012 series was full of blow outs on both sides of the ice. I am not sure that was a reason 1 team won or lost. I am also not sure that the anger will be enough for the Flyers to win the series or even make it a series.
It was domination from start to finish, although a Huge save by Murray probably propelled them in this game.
Tonight they will be looking for more of the same as it sounds like the Flyers will likely go with Elliot in goal again. Many of the goals given up in the game on Wednesday were not his fault. His defense played poorly in front of him and then he had Sid playing wiffle ball with the puck for two goals.
What Will need to happen for the Flyers to get back into the series:
Elliot will need to be at his very best if Philly plans to get back into the game with a win on the road tonight. The Flyers will need to get in on Murray, maybe even run him a couple of times. They need to take advantage of the opportunities that Murray does give up. As for the Flyers defense, they were lacking and I have a feeling they will play a much tighter game. Whether or not its enough, we will see tonight.
Another player that needs to step would be Wayne Simmonds. In the past, he has been a galvanizing force to get behind. If the Flyers are going to compete, he will need to be a factor in this series.
The best player in the game:
Sidney Crosby showed why he was the best player in the world yet again on Wednesday with those final three goals. Two of those three were incredible to watch. Mike Sullivan on Sidney Crosby, “I think he is the best two way hockey player in the league.”
Sidney Crosby, ladies & gents. pic.twitter.com/5UjKDFUmJh
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 12, 2018
Here is the audio from this mornings skate.