There is a noteworthy trend that seems to be developing this postseason when the Penguins topple the Flyers:
Matt Murray turns in an elite performance….while Sidney Crosby overshadows it because he sucks and is a bad leader and only cares about himself.
People like Caroline that actually believe this line of thinking are danger to themselves (and others). This is the kind of on line taek that should be punished with tarring and feathering and yes, I *totally* mean that. The rest of the population deserves to know that slimeballs like her walk among us. This is officially my platform for my presidential run.
With Crosby’s total selfishness on display, there were exactly 3 stark differences between these two teams in this game: goaltending, special teams, and The Crosby.
Simply put- Matt Murray was that much better than Brian Elliott, stopping 26 of 27 shots to improve to 9-1 in the playoffs after a loss. It will be mentioned below, but the show Murr put on in the first 20 minutes was indisputably the reason the Penguins are not down 2-1 in this series. If he was even the slightest bit off, the Flyers beat the wheels off the Penguins and run them straight the fuck out of the Wells Fargo Center, cruising to a 6-1 win. This, the same Flyers team that, at even strength in the 1st, had a 20-9 shot attempt share, 12-3 in scoring chances, and 7-1 in high danger attempts.
So yeah, Big Murr was far and away the difference.
You just knew, too, that as soon as the Penguins got themselves to the first intermission, they were going to sort their shit out. And shit sorting they did at both even strength and in the special teams game for the entirety of the final 40 minutes of ice hockey.
At evens, the Pens took a 25-13 shot attempt share, 11-4 in scoring chances, and 5-1 in high danger attempts as well as 22-16 in all shots on goal over the final two frames. They call that dominance.
Also dominance: going 3/7 on the powerplay while killing off 6 of 6 shorthanded chances against after being nothing short of a prolapsed asshole with the man-advantage in Game 2.
Bring on Wednesday.
Once again, no changes to the bodies in the lineups from Game 1 or Game 2, though Rust saw his spell on Crosby’s right flank come to an end in favor of Playoff Patric, all the while Phil! got bumped up to play alongside 71. Letang was fine to play after getting drilled by Giroux, who did not (rightfully) get any supplemental discipline for what should’ve been at most a 2 minute minor for interference. Murr v. Elliott in the crease battle.
PIT – 1st Pd./10:25 – Crosby; A: Hornqvist – 1-0
Coming into Philadelphia for the first game of this series, you just knew the Flyera were going to come out strong and heavy and looking like the dickheads we know they are. For large stretches of the opening 20 minutes, the Pens really and truly had no answer for them and their impressive forecheck. Credit where credit is due.
And, while the Pens had no answer, Matt Murray did.
But despite the Flyers owning the entirety of the play, it was the Penguanos opening the scoring and taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on basically just their second chance of the game. After Letang and Couturier got into it for about the 823478th time in the period, Letang would win the neutral zone battle to force a turnover and allow the Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist line to get the puck in deep to start the greasy work. While the Flyers looked like they were going to exit with easy on this exchange, Michael Rofl found himself overwhelmed on the half-wall by a pinching Brian Dumoulin, turning the puck over once again to a lurking Sid Crosby for the second time on this stretch. With Hornqvist driving the net, 87 and 72 combined for Sid to show some Leo Messi footwork to take the pass with his skate and stun Brian Elliott with a wraparound all in one motion.
We. Are. Not. Worthy.
PIT – 2nd Pd./2:48 – PPG – Brassard; A: Phil!, Letang – 2-0
The rest of the first period played out with Murr continuing his brilliance, Rust taking a penalty, Manning taking a penalty, and Hagelin taking a penalty that carried over into the 2nd period.
After the Pens successfully kill that shit off, Crosby drew a Giroux slashing penalty to put the Pens disjointed (to that point) PP back out on the ice. Despite the disjointedness, they were finally able to get set up with a little bit of help from a broken Flyera stick on a blocked shot. The Malkin-Letang-Phil! trio on the perimeter keyed in on that, forcing the lone Flyera forward with a twig to chase the puck more to compensate. Letang was afforded a lane to get the shot in through traffic on Elliott, which came to Phil! to keep alive around a sprawling $30M Man Andrew MacDonald and put on a tee for Brassers in the soft area to double team the lead.
PIT – 2nd Pd./6:48 – PPG – Malkin; A: Letang, Crosby – 3-0
As of course is tradition, neither of these two teams could help themselves when it came to staying out of the box. Jultz and Konecny would find themselves jousting and getting matching minors about 3 minutes after Brassers doubled the lead, giving us some 4v4 action that the other Brazzers would’ve made a fortune on. Under 40 seconds later, however, Voracek got hit with a penalty after
high sticking hooking Sheary. Not sure how that wasn’t a high sticking double minor, but we have apparently hit peak NHL Playoff Referee status. This is where you insert the shrug emoticon.
With the 4v3, the Pens PP had the space they needed to work with and be dangerous, setting up shop after nearly getting hit on a shorthanded break. Crosby, Malkin, and Letang all worked the interchange over on Malkin Street, pushing and pulling the Flyers PK around to open up that Geno Bomb from the dot. Bang.
PIT – 2nd Pd./6:53 – Dumoulin; A: Crosby – 4-0
Off the ensuing faceoff, Crosby had one thing on his mind: dropping that hammer dick right on the Wells Fargo Center. He continues to remain both inhuman and inhumane, going forward on the draw and hitting Dumoulin jumping in with a backhand feed nastier than a Belladonna film.
PIT – 2nd Pd./13:42 – Sanheim; A: Voracek, Patrick – 4-1
Despite the Flyers being down 4-0 on home ice, they weren’t going away regardless of how much we’d like them to just fall off into the Atlantic and sink back into irrelevance.
After working the puck in deep, Ruhwedel found himself circling out from behind the net and met with resistance along the wall. The 2v2 scrum that followed popped the puck around, eventually with Voracek nicking it away from ZAR hovering in support. Voracek, with no other option but to drop it to Sanheim up high, did just that for the shot through a mass of bodies.
Jultz missed the block and before you knew it, Sanheim broke the shutout for his first career playoff goal. Not a whole lot Murray could do on this one with the traffic again just taking away his sight, including Giroux’s fly by.
PIT – 3rd Pd./7:08 – PPG – Jultz; A: Malkin, Crosby – 5-1
As the ruts to the penalty box continued to get cut, the Derrick Brassard found himself in the sin bin with 69 seconds left in the 2nd and carrying over into the 3rd. The Pens PK took care of business, keeping the Flyera at bay and the score at 4-1.
Shortly after Brassard was released, Laughton and Voracek would find themselves in the box to give the Pens back to back powerplays.
On the second of the two, the life was officially sucked from the Wells Fargo Center as the Pens PP went full business casual, whipping the puck around and created chaos through movement, allowing Malkin to set up Run the Jultz for a missile through Elliott for a Job Well Done.
The Penguanos would get themselves another PP late after a chickenshit play from Gudas, but instead of scoring, the focus was getting the clock further down, killing off Crosby and Sheahan penalties late, and getting that 2-1 series lead.
- Crosby’s owning of the orange corncobs will not stop. Four more points in this one, bringing him to 13G-17A-30P in 20 playoff games played.
- Malkin, with a goal and an assist, improves to 12G-13A-25P in those games himself.
- If Game 1 wasn’t enough of a sign, this should be. Playoff Murr is risen.
- After Crosby, Malkin, Phil!, Hornqvist, and Jultz had a PP1 only meeting after practice yesterday, things seemed to click a lot better. They weren’t without their struggles, particularly on zone entries, but nobody gives a shit how you get it done if you go 3 for 7.
Both teams get a rare postseason 2 days off before Wednesday’s Game 4 matchup. Bury them. LGP.