If I’ve said before, I’ll say it again, I HATE THE PENGUINS. More so than the Devils, and even more so than the Rangers. This weekend was incredible. LET’S RECAP:
Saturday, March 15th: Penguins @ Flyers: Flyers win 4-0
The Flyers outshot the Penguins 40-25 as Steve Mason shut out the Penguins. I’ll get to the penalty killing in a bit but here’s something Flyers fans should love to see: Sidney Crosby was -3. I respect him a ton but I hate Sidney Crosby.
Sunday, March 16th: Flyers @ Penguins: Flyers win 4-3
Once again, the Flyers outshot the Penguins, this time a 35-23 split. The Flyers went 2 for 3 on the power play, after going 1 for 4 the day before. Frankly, I was convinced the Pens would flip the 4-0 score from Saturday and rip the Flyers in Pittsburgh, one of the toughest places to play in the NHL; the Flyers were 15-19 on the road going into yesterday’s game.
Steve Mason once again played out of his mind and I think this was his better game. The Penguins showed why they’re one of the top teams in the East by rallying from the 3-0 deficit; the Flyers have blown that same lead to Pittsburgh many times before. Mason made multiple big-time saves down the stretch including a breakaway from Sidney Crosby.
The penalty kill was the key to this weekend’s sweep. The Penguins went 0 for 9 on the man advantage while allowing two short-handed goals, both scored by Matt Read. Read had three goals on the weekend while Wayne Simmonds scored four points, two goals and two assists.
Going forward, the penalty killing will need to continue to be strong. It’s great to also see the forwards coming back to life scoring all eight goals. Wayne Simmonds eclipsed the 20-goal mark, the second Flyer to do so this season, Claude Giroux (21); Read hit 19 goals yesterday afternoon. Simmonds and Giroux are also the only players with 50+ points at the moment.
The Flyers will return home for a tough streak against against the best of the West. First up will be against the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night. Check back tomorrow for a full preview.