Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers was heated, controversial, and just the beginning. The two squads will all-but certainly play each other in the first round, in what is sure to be an emotional and rough series for all involved.
“Let’s be honest,” Sidney Crosby said. “Both teams bring out a lot of bad things in each other. You can sit there and put a microscope on every slash that goes on out there. The fact is both teams do it. … That’s going to happen when these teams play each other. I know that’s probably the most hacks I’ve given out personally in a long time. So they seem to bring out the worst in me, too.”
Crosby swatted at Brayden Schenn with his stick during the contest and Schenn responded by hitting Crosby in the back as the two returned to their benches. The contest broke down further from there. If you missed the madness that occurred towards the end of Sunday’s contest, you can watch it below.
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Crosby hasn’t been able to lead his team to victory against the Flyers in either of the teams’ two matches since he returned from a concussion. However, he has traditionally dominated the Flyers. Crosby has 26 goals and 64 points in 38 career regular season contests against Philadelphia and he was just as impressive when the teams played each other in the first round of the 2009 postseason.
The Flyers are a different team this time around and might prove to be Pittsburgh’s Kryptonite in the playoffs, just as they have been in the regular season. Still, it will be very hard for them to silence Sidney Crosby and the Penguins’ offense.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.
Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.
It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.
Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.
It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.
You can see and hear his full comments below:
If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.
Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.
Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.
Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.
It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.
The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.
It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.
Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.
Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.
Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.
The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:
The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.
Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.
The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.
The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.