Reliving the 2012 playoffs: GAME FOUR

Pens avoid the sweep — Originally posted April 19
The Philadelphia Daily News photoshopped a picture of Sidney Crosby as the Cowardly Lion from the "Wizard of Oz" on Wednesday. We have no idea if that will come back to haunt them. But the thought of the Wizard of Oz inserting itself into this series will get us all to Friday. 
In a span of two minutes, this game went from turning off the TV and crying all summer to keeping the TV on and sustaining an insatiable erection for like two hours.
Has the seed for the unthinkable been planted? Or has the inevitable just been prolonged? No clue. We just wanted to see the Penguins win a game, if only to see if it could be done.  And, good lord, did they make a statement.
And now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh and the beleaguered CONSOL Energy Center where the Penguins have lost five straight games. Five straight games on home ice. How much longer can something like that continue? 
Something else we all learned/were reminded of last night: The Flyers fans can become the Flyers' enemies at the drop of the hat.  It's actually kind of embarrassing how quickly they turn on the team.
Remember The Igloo on Friday. Remember how we used to fight there.  Build on the momentum and drag this son of a bitch back to Philly.
Oh man.
Recap after Read More.

Before the game, Paul Martin was either scratched or the Penguins locked him in a room. Simon Despres took his spot. Brian Strait got the call for Ben Lovejoy.  Bylsma rolled with 7 D, reminiscent of the Cup run in 2009.

This game could not have started off worse. Steve Sullivan took a penalty 17 seconds in. The Flyers scored a minute later.

1-0. Claude Giroux.

This would be like doctors telling Terry Schiavo's family she was going to wake up and talk. And then when she woke up she vomited over everything, said she had died for a second and saw Heaven didn't exist, them came back to life and died. Same thing.

But then it got worse.  Malkin was headed to the box 4 seconds later.  The Pens somehow killed that penalty, and Malkin started trolling when he left the box.  He put home a Dupuis rebound to tie it up.

1-1. Big-time goal.

And it was off to the races after that. The Flyers took a penalty, and the Pens cashed in. Niskanen on the fake Whitney Play™.

But then the Penguins got into some serious penalty trouble. In the span of 50 seconds, they took three penalties. Kunitz got an interference at 13:02. Orpik got a cross-check at 13:28. Matt Cooke got called for a high stick at 13:52.
The Flyers cashed in.  It was like they made up that rule in Free Parking in Monopoly.   They scored two goals 40 seconds apart to make it 3-2.
Kind of frightening that the Flyers would not come close to scoring another goal for the rest of the game.
Rewind back to Philly taking the 3-2 lead.  Less than 30 seconds later, Matt Niskanen throws one on net.  Who cares what it hit.  Tied 3-3.
A minute later, Jordan Staal netted the eventual game-winner, putting the Pens up 4-3.
It was pure chaos.  Only person not affected in that picture is the old guy.  He's been around long enough.  Seems to be taking some joy out of it. He probably was in 'nam or something.


Yeah, and then the second period started.  Just watch the highlights:

Bryzgalov didn't look interested at all when Letang set up to shoot the puck to make it 5-3.
And looking back, this was still a scary time.  Bobrovsky was coming in, a goalie who has owned the Pens since he bribed his way into the league.
But the goals just kept on coming.  Staal welcomed the Bob to show to make it 6-3.
Then Sully went coast to coast and lasered one.  7-3.
He was a little bit excited after this goal, too.
Dupuis scored some goal.  8-3.
Staal and Tangradi had a 2-on-1.  HT for Staal.  Big game.  9-3.
And after that 9th goal, Laviolette had seen enough and sent out Zac Rinaldo.

Easily the most embarrassing moment of the series for either team. 
Rinaldo immediately got the gate, which afforded him ample time to take more bizarre pics of himself like this:
ahahh what an idiot. Yeah these are real.  From this site.
Something to remember:
Late in the second, JJ and Claude Giroux had a one-timer set up that has been going in the net all series.  Flyers fans couldn't believe their eyes when they saw Fleury stop it.  It was hilarious.


Malkin scored four minutes into the third to make it 10-3 and round out the scoring.

Interesting development halfway through the third when Matt Cooke was given a game misconduct for holding the stick and getting punched in the mouth.   It's a situation where it's clear he got penalized for being Matt Cooke.  If that was Richard Park in Cooke's stead, nothing would've been done.



  • The closer this series is called, the better it is for the Pens.  In a way, the Rinaldo thing and and Cooke/Kubina thing were blessings in disguise.  Should keep this series called tight.
  • Depres and Strait looked sharp.   In retrospect, can't really ask for a better situation to ease them into the playoffs.  They got a brief taste of what a roller coaster a playoff game in this series can be, then they just laid in the cut.
  • One game at a time. Expect a tight game on Friday. Some big OT game on the horizon we feel.
  • Tangradi had a presence.  Shut your mouth.
  • The Lion did well too:



Bylsma called a timeout up 8-3 or something like. What a move. The Pens scored unlimited goals after Lavy took his timeout.