PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
THE PAINT CAN. PITTSBURGH, PA
7:00 PM EST NHL-NETWORK
Last night I ordered a decaf coffee because I was freezing on my train ride home, I realized at approximately 2 am that the employee didn’t give me decaf and that I had to wake up in 2 hours before going to work and that still didn’t suck as much as the Flyers. We know, we know… “at least we don’t live in a city where you get black lung,” “at least our team didn’t almost move to Houston ‘was it Houston?’ Kansas City! I meant Kansas City,” and our favorite “imagine living in a city who’s only redeeming factor is a bunch of bridges.” We’ve heard it all before Philadelphia, do you know why? Because much like your hockey teams success your insults are based in the past. Imagine living in a city that thinks Claude Giroux is better than Phil Kessel, that’s what you should be asking yourselves. The good thing is nobody will ever doubt your heart in terms of team spirit, but they will forever question your brains.
The Flyers have scraped together an 8-9-6 record, which even with the gimmie overtime loss points puts them last in the Metro. The addition of Elliot in goal has helped solidify the theory that
The Flyers did make one smart decision by moving Giroux from center back to wing, where he hasn’t been bad. The team is currently lead by Jakub Voracek’s 29 points (7 goals, 22 assists), Couturier’s 25 points, and Giroux’s 25 points. The next closest forward is Simmonds with 14. Obviously the production falls dramatically after their top line which is rather shocking since they are using probably not ready for the NHL yet but we’re Philadelphia so why not Nolan Patrick as their number 2 center despite his 2 goals and 3 assists. If the top pairing of Letang and Dumoulin can contain the Flyers top line the Penguins should have no problem leaving this team in the trash. I’m not going into their defense because who the fuck are these people other than the guy whose name doesn’t sound like Ghost-Bear and Provorov who might be the best nonfictional figure in Philly.
As for the Penguins, they are coming off a huge win against the best team in the league, and if that got the ball rolling then an opportunity to beat an old rival could get the whole season back on track. Make no mistakes though, Philadelphia, though both teams are near .500 records ours came with two Stanley Cups in a row, so yes it is different. Evgeni Malkin could potentially be ready to go after having a week off to heal a bruised something. Ian Cole has been scratched for two games as well for what that is worth. One thing to look out for is Riley Sheahan, who has put up points in 5 of 6 games and has looked good with Guentzel and Kessel flanking him.
WHO TO WATCH
For Pittsburgh: Matt Murray
Murray was rather critical of himself and disappointed in his play following the teams 4-3 loss in Boston. The 2012 3rd round pick is 11-7-1 on the season and has had two full days to digest an effort he wasn’t pleased with. The last time Murray was so openly critical about himself he turned in back to back shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals.
For Philadelphia: Wayne Simmonds
Simmonds is the perfect villain. He gets under your skin, drives you crazy, and scores. In fact Ryan Reaves is like the Walmart version of Simmonds, he can do everything Simmonds does with 10% efficiency and you can’t return him because you don’t have a receipt. Simmonds is one of those players that I would take from the Flyers 8 days a week, he also has a knack for scoring against the Penguins.
The Penguins looked like the Penguins for the first time in awhile on Saturday, and tonight they have a golden opportunity to continue rolling against a weaker Philadelphia team. It’s the first time facing the Flyers this year and you can already feel the hate that is associated with the first sight of that awful orange. As a millennial I am all about recycling for a greener planet, as a fan of hockey I am all about putting Philadelphia in the trash.