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Orange & Black Breakdown

Flyers Mania is Running Wild!

Just when you thought the Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t look any more defeated, the final blow was sent in true American fashion.

“Watcha gonna do when Flyers Mania runs wild on you!?!?” bellowed Hulk Hogan to a raucous crowd of over 20,000, as a helpless Sidney Crosby could only muster a fully-deflated upwards glance at the perfectly timed message ringing through the arena in crystal-clear HD with just a few minutes left in Game 3.

Much like any shirt the Hulkster has ever worn, the Penguins have managed to destroy a complete body of hard work, blood, and sweat in an instant, needing only nine periods and change to bust the seams and tear apart the fabric of a season that has become synonymous with the term ‘cup favorites’.

Even if you were saying your prayers and eating your vitamins, Flyers fans couldn’t ask for a better start to the postseason. But now what?

(PS – Hulk video after the jump)


Kudos to the Flyers Video department or whomever it was who thought to pull that off yesterday, because in my opinion that was the icing on the most awesome playoff cake I’ve had in years. Maybe it was the perfect timing of the video, but should this series end in four games I look forward to this serving as the exclamation point of the victory in my memory for years to come.

That being said, it is time to move on from the euphoric daydreams of Penguin-colored brooms hitting the ice and re-focus on the task at hand, because there is still a victory to be had in order to move on to the next round.

 

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Hartnell has given us plenty to cheer about

Yes, the Flyers have never lost a series when up 2-0, let alone 3-0. Yes, only 3 other NHL teams have ever completed such a comeback, one of them being a Laviolette-led Flyers squad from just a few short years ago. And yes, this Penguin team has not looked like the one that everyone was picking to hoist the cup, particularly from the back end out. But a team with nothing to lose and all the talent in the world at its disposal will surely prove to be a fickle opponent, and the Flyers would be wise to end this quickly.

I am hard pressed to think of an opponent more capable of flipping the script and erasing a 3-game deficit than the Penguins, and if this series has proven anything it’s that nothing goes as planned. Four game winning streaks in the regular season aren’t a crazy notion and a long series is still very much in the cards until the Flyers can manage the hardest and most important win of all– the fourth one.

It’s obvious the offense is producing at an incredible rate, but it is equally obvious that there is room for improvement on the back end. Kubina has looked as slow as ever and Lilja’s decision making has been equally suspect. The Flyers need some serious help from their third defensive pairing if they want to sustain a playoff push for the long term, otherwise their top pairing guys will start to tire out. If they can’t get it together, you have to wonder when Gus will get to see some action.

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The poor defense has been overshadowed by the stellar offense… for now.


In the crease, Bryz has made some stellar stops; but putting together a solid start from beginning to end would go a long way in helping to intimidate future opponents and also infuse even more confidence within the locker room. A confident and comfortable Bryz also helps lead to a more in-control defensive performance in front of him. These improvements will be crucial for the Flyers to close out the series on a high note.

The playoffs are less than a week old, yet here the Flyers stand on the verge of advancing. With such a stranglehold on the series, you have to wonder if the Flyers might almost be moving too quickly through the first round. The ever-present theory of momentum usually frowns upon extended down time in the midst of a playoff run, and with so many battles on hand this round it isn’t tough to imagine round two still being weeks away. To this I say: bollocks.

It can’t be said enough so I’ll say it again: no team is more prepared to make a comeback than the Pittsburgh Penguins. Every game the Flyers play versus their bitter division rival is another game that carries the risk of a loss in many forms, be it injury, suspension, fatigue, confidence, etc.

Momentum is a mindset that isn’t worth losing a guy like Giroux or Timonen for the playoffs over. Furthermore, the opportunity to nurse some injuries and gain some players back in the fold (looking at you JVR!!!!) should serve as an equal shot of confidence to a team that will already be riding high should they send Pittsburgh to Puttsburgh.

The goal when this series started should have been to survive and advance as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Brother, we’re almost home to the next round. *Rips (pre-sliced) shirt off violently*

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Continue the discussion with us on twitter (@marcs797 and @thevintern), email (theobbreakdown@gmail.com), or in the comments below



Lets Go Flyers!

Filed in: | Orange & Black Breakdown | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

But now what?

Well you start planning the stanley cup parade of course.  Geeez.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/16/12 at 04:28 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

But now what?
Well you start planning the stanley cup parade of course.  Geeez.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/16/12 at 03:28 PM ET

I should start scoping out spots on Broad st…. good thinking! lol

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 04:31 PM ET

Avatar

10 periods, but whose counting?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/16/12 at 04:41 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

10 periods, but whose counting?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/16/12 at 03:41 PM ET

Good call. Fixed, thanks

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 04:50 PM ET

phillyphever's avatar

But now what?

Well you start planning the stanley cup parade of course.  Geeez.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/16/12 at 03:28 PM ET

Man, who pissed on your Wheaties this morning?

Posted by phillyphever on 04/16/12 at 05:01 PM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

LOL at the Hulk video.

Seems like everyone is hating on the Flyers lately. I really like the makeup of this team and if Bryzgalov gets it going then I think they can beat anybody even with a banged up blueline. If my Wings get eliminated then this is the team I wanna see win it.

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 04/16/12 at 05:36 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

The thing that caught my attention when the former governor was ranting was .... wow, there are some bleeding eardrums in that place.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/16/12 at 05:40 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Man, who pissed on your Wheaties this morning?

Posted by phillyphever on 04/16/12 at 04:01 PM ET

His team.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/16/12 at 05:49 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

LOL at the Hulk video.

Seems like everyone is hating on the Flyers lately. I really like the makeup of this team and if Bryzgalov gets it going then I think they can beat anybody even with a banged up blueline. If my Wings get eliminated then this is the team I wanna see win it.

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 04/16/12 at 04:36 PM ET

I talked about it a bunch in the preview but these guys are playing tighter than they have in years. It says a lot about this team when Timonen is dropping the gloves IMO

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 05:55 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I don’t hate the flyers, but I don’t necessarily love them either.  I do however enjoy them kicking the pens around and making a mockery of that team of bitches, namely crosby.  He was exposed for who he is:  a coward, whiney, bitch.  It’s absolutely a dream (if only it was the DRW doing the work).  However, that being said the whole Hulk thing is really lame, korny, and douchey.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/16/12 at 06:41 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

I don’t hate the flyers, but I don’t necessarily love them either.  I do however enjoy them kicking the pens around and making a mockery of that team of bitches, namely crosby.  He was exposed for who he is:  a coward, whiney, bitch.  It’s absolutely a dream (if only it was the DRW doing the work).  However, that being said the whole Hulk thing is really lame, korny, and douchey.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/16/12 at 05:41 PM ET

My thing with crosby is that he’s been such a sore loser this whole series; but I guess that is to be expected when he probably has never lost anything in such a spectacular fashion in his entire life

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 07:00 PM ET

Avatar

My thing with crosby is that he’s been such a sore loser this whole series;

This is an honest question.  Is Crosby pushing a glove away any different then Chris Pronger stealing pucks at the end of a game?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 04/16/12 at 07:45 PM ET

Avatar

And I know you aren’t talking about that one instance, but a lot of people, Flyer’s fans included, are giving Crosby crap about about the glove push (rightfully so IMO), but Philly fans were quick to give Pronger a break when he pulled similar crap a couple years ago.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 04/16/12 at 07:54 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

The Flyers aren’t going anywhere. I don’t say that out of bitterness, either. Bryzgalov blows, and the team has a horrible habit of slow starts. That won’t work against the Rangers or Bruins. Those teams also aren’t jokes defensively.

Posted by cs6687 on 04/16/12 at 08:15 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

People don’t like Crosby going after Giroux to get his team going. Or him challenging Schenn. I had no problem with either of these. He’s allowed to stick up for himself. People don’t want Crosby getting involved in scrums, but they don’t mind it when someone takes a shot at him. Can’t have it both ways.

Posted by cs6687 on 04/16/12 at 08:17 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

This is an honest question.  Is Crosby pushing a glove away any different then Chris Pronger stealing pucks at the end of a game?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 04/16/12 at 06:45 PM ET

I guess I should clarify… me calling him a sore loser is almost a compliment of sorts, in that he’s so supremely talented that he has rarely been in this position of being dominated in all facets of the game.

He (and the rest of the Penguins team for that matter) went into yesterdays game with the mindset that they were going to be walking into the locker room at the end of the game with a W in their pocket and a new series at hand. Instead, they weren’t even able to maintain the lead like they had in their previous efforts, and it all began to unravel (primarily because of Fleury, FWIW).

Simply put, Crosby wasn’t mentally prepared for such a situation to ever occur, and he just lost control. He’s a young man who has plenty to learn, and this will surely be something he learns from, but it wasn’t pretty and it served as vindication to all of those who look at him as a cry baby. I had (and still have) a lot of respect for his work ethic, but he has a lot to learn if he wants to be truly respected for the player he is in this league.

To answer your question, I think it was very different because Prongs did it at the end of a game, where as Crosby did it AFTER a major scrum had been put under control by the refs. Crosby’s actions led to the ensuing fights between Timonen and Letang + him and Giroux - Pronger’s just led to post game quotes. The action itself might not even be that bad, it was more in the timing of it all IMO

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 09:36 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

People don’t like Crosby going after Giroux to get his team going. Or him challenging Schenn. I had no problem with either of these. He’s allowed to stick up for himself. People don’t want Crosby getting involved in scrums, but they don’t mind it when someone takes a shot at him. Can’t have it both ways.

Posted by cs6687 on 04/16/12 at 07:17 PM ET

I didn’t really have a problem with Crosby getting in guys faces, to me it was the glove push and the Hartnell grab that were over the top. I agree that he should be getting into it to get his guys riled up, especially down 2-0.

As for the Flyers, you’re absolutely right if we end up facing the Rags. Flyers definitely need to start off stronger if they want to get serious, but you can see the potential once they get rolling

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 04/16/12 at 09:39 PM ET

Avatar

I have commented mutliple times that Pronger is an a-hole and the least of his crimes is the puck stealing. The constant elbows to the head and the NHL failing to severely suspend him has been commented on many of times. The puck stealing just further proves he isn’t just a jerk in the heat of the moment, but a premeditated jerk. I’ve also mentioned I don’t feel nearly as much sympathy for him as I should when he discusses his concussion because it never seemed to be an issue when he was doing it to others.

I also don’t like Matt Cooke, Sean Avery, Jordin Tootoo, Cal Clutterbuck, Shane Doan, Dion Phaneuf, and a few other players I don’t recall at the moment just in case I am accused of only picking on one player or one team.

I don’t care if Crosby goes after anybody, but it isn’t a wise decision on his part considering his concussion history. He let’s his temper get in the way of his better judgement.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/17/12 at 10:37 AM ET

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The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.

The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).

So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.

This is my second writing stint focusing on the Flyers, but for a much larger audience - so do be gentle. Different perspectives and opinions on the organization are welcome and encouraged. Just because I see it one way doesn’t mean I’m beyond seeing it your way as well, so speak up!

I’m always interested in interacting with readers, so find me on twitter (@marcs797) or email me (theobbreakdown@gmail.com) and let’s talk hockey.

Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!