Gameday 1 – Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-0) @ Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-0)

NBC, 3:00 pm/et

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA

It's the first game of the season and the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing in Philadelphia. It's been a long, long, long (long) offseason. The Penguins last game of the 2011-2012 regular season was against the Flyers. Then they played six largely disasterous games against them in the playoffs. And now today. If you stretch back to last season, this will technically be the Penguins' eighth-straight game against the Flyers. 


During the lockout, you may have found other things to do with your time. NHL hockey may not be as important to you as it once was. And that's fine. There are a lot of things in the world that are more important than hockey. But as far as hockey goes, it doesn't get much better than Pens/Flyers. 
This rivalry is hockey at its best and at its worst. For generations these two teams have battled hard against one another. They've given their all against one another. They've hated one another. Penguins versus Flyers means hard hits and huge goals and coaching mind games and everything else that makes hockey great. It also means cheap shots and staged fights and fan arguments and coaching mind games. It's the kind of stuff that can send your blood pressure skyrocketing and force you to come up with brand new obscenities in order to properly express the anger you're feeling. It's the best and the worst of the game all in one.
And that's how we're starting the 2013 season. After a long, annoying and embarassing lockout, the NHL is jumping right back into the fire with this one. Everyone is anxious for this to begin. Emotions will be running high. "Crosby Sucks" chants will be everywhere. Hulk Hogan may make an appearance. 
After months and months of discussing hockey-related revenue and make whole provisions and hills to die on, we jump right into Penguins versus Flyers on NBC. We're finally back to goals and saves and highlight reel plays. We're back to Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Letang, Orpik, Fleury and the Penguins versus Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Hartnell, Talbot, Bryzgalov and the Flyers. We're back to NHL hockey.

Season Series: 0-0-0

Last meeting that counted: April 22nd, 2012. Penguins lost 5-1.

What we said in our recap:

That will stay with us for awhile. Most playoff loses hurt. This one will resonate for awhile. This series will be in your head the next few years when the playoffs start and you are pumped about the Pens chances. But that is how it goes.

Know Your Enemy: Broad Street Hockey

What they're saying:

Nevertheless, these four Flyers vs. Penguins games this season are going to be vital (obvious statement) and Pittsburgh can, you know, go to hell and stuff. They might have a totally healthy Sidney Crosby on their hands and they clearly still have Evgeni Malkin, but the Flyers have proven that they can shut those two down. Our team defense is definitely a concern heading into this short season, however, and it'll be interesting to see how Peter Laviolette aligns his lineup against the two Pittsburgh stars.

On the other hand, they're a little easier to matchup against now with the departure of Jordan Staal as their No. 3 center. Brandon Sutter came back to Pittsburgh in the trade and he's a fine young player, but at least for the immediate future, he's not even close to the level of player as Jordan Staal. A nice reprieve.

Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:

The cliché word of the day is "grit."

Also in the "finally" file, Sidney Crosby might kill some penalties this season.

Brandon Sutter has big shoes to fill.

Philadelphia Flyers Notes:

Danny Briere is out with a hairline wrist fracture.

Claude Giroux is now the Flyers' captain.

Ruslan Fedotenko is a Flyer now, in case you forgot.

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Tangradi – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
Glass – Vitale – Adams

Niskanen – Letang
Orpik – Martin
Despres – Engelland


Philadelphia Flyers Lines:

Hartnell – Giroux – B. Schenn
Talbot –  Couturier – Voracek
Simmonds – Laughton – Read
Fedotenko – Wellwood – Rinaldo

Coburn – Grossman
Timonen – L. Schenn
Meszaros – Foster


Lines via NBC Pro Hockey Talk.

Do It.

Go Pens.

Gameday 1 – Flyers


7:00 PM
CONSOL Energy Center
Know the Enemy:

"The Flyers get to open the Consol Energy Center, the latest earring on the pig called Pittsburgh tonight, and I fully expect Pens fans to make it sound like the playoffs start in October. The Penguins are a good if not great hockey club. Their downfall last season, when the Habs suprised the Pens, was their defense. Their D is good, and their top 4 is the second best in the East (Flyers blueline is better. period mark.) Goals Against with MA Fluery, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek out there will be hard for any team to overcome."

And here we are.
For the first time since May, meaningful hockey will be played in Pittsburgh.
And tonight we are in the CONSOL Energy Center.
This is the arena we dreamed of.
Through the leaky roofs and the power outages and the bankruptcies and the threats of relocation, we had this dream.
We had this dream of a new building.
And we held on to this dream. 
Even when it was the darkest and it looked like we had nothing to believe in or look forward to, we held onto this dream.
And now it's here.
Across the street sits the Igloo.
Up until now it's held all of our hockey memories:
· Lemieux's five goals in five different ways.
· Jaromir Jagr's tying goal against the Blackhawks in 1992.
· The 1990 All-Star Game.
Sidney Crosby's first goal.
· The tribute to Badger Bob.
· Mario Lemieux coming out of retirement.
· Rob Scuderi in the crease against Detroit.
And of course the Igloo brought us a share of heartbreak as well:
· Keith Primeau in overtime.
· Mike Cammalleri.
· The Wings holding the Cup.
· David Volek.
But even though we have moved across the street, we bring those memories with us.
They have not died.  In fact, they will live with us forever.
Tonight, in our beautiful new building, we begin to make new memories.
It's A Great Day For Hockey.

The Pens line up:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Eric Tangradi – Mike ComrieEvgeni Malkin
Matt Cooke – Mark Letestu – Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp – Craig Adams – Max Talbot/Eric Godard

Brooks OrpikZbynek Michalek
Ben Lovejoy – Paul Martin
Alex GoligoskiDeryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Arron Asham has been placed on IR.
Kris Letang is "under the weather" and will be a game-time decision.

The Flyers lines:

Daniel Carcillo – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Scott Hartnell – Daniel Briere – Ville Leino
Nikolay Zherdev – Claude Giroux – James van Riemsdyk
Jody Shelly – Blair Betts – Darroll Powe

Kimmo Timonen – Matt Carle
Andrej MeszarosBraydon Coburn
Sean O'Donnell – Oskars Bartulis

Sergei Bobrovsky

Chris Pronger will be a game-time decision, but isn't likely.
For some reason, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the Flyers instead of Brian Boucher.


For future gameday posts, if you want to send in arena pictures, Photoshops or anything else (but not anthems) send them to
Make the subject of your email "Gameday."
Let's take out the garbage:

Things will be a little different tonight.  We'll be in a new arena.  There are some new faces in the line-up.  The Philadelphia Flyers are the defending Eastern Conference champions.  Holding a title that the Penguins held in the previous two seasons will add a little extra swagger to the Flyers' attitude. 

And yet some things remain the same.  This team we all love will take the ice tonight against a team we all hate.  Black and gold versus orange and black.

Hockey's back and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Do It.
Go Pens.