This might have been the best win all season. Seriously. I've made that claim a couple of times this season, but this time, it's for real. The odds were completely against our boys in orange and black. They hadn't won in Pittsburgh in eight tries. The Penguins hadn't lost in regulation in their last 12. Just two weeks after being irrelevant in the Flyers playoff plans, they were now tied with the Flyers and would pass them with a win.
Philadelphia never let that happen. Looking at the stats, you'd probably assume that, well, Martin Biron played fantastic and the Flyers offense was completely stagnant. Well, that's not true. Sure, Pittsburgh brutally outshot the Flyers all game long, and Biron was absolutely brilliant in net today, but the team was not outplayed by Pittsburgh by any means.
The defense stepped up when necessary. Until midway through the third period, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were invisible on the ice. Neither of them had even registered a shot on goal. When that happens against Pittsburgh, you win. That's what happened today.
When the other guys on the Penguins tried to step up, Biron was there to show them the door. He was absoultely, positively unbeatable today. He has been nothing short of spectacular over the last two weeks or so, and he has regained the form we thought he lost earlier this season. He's playing like he wants to be the playoff goaltender, but even moreso, he's playing like he wants to be a Flyer come October.
The power play, at first glance, stepped up today. Both Flyer goals were scored with the extra man, but on the whole, it wasn't that great of a performance. Honestly, and it probably comes off as nitpicking, but there probably should've been more than just two goals on the power play today.
But, when you win like you do today, with all the odds against you in a great team effort, it doesn't matter. It was an awesome win today against the Flyers biggest rival (that's right, I said it) and it seriously helps hopes for home-ice advantage when the playoffs start in three weeks.
Questions With Answers
- Briere came back with a vengence on Friday night in Buffalo. Can he keep it up? Briere assisted on Scott Hartnell's game winner in the second period.
- Do the Flyers (primarily Kimmo Timonen) keep Crosby and Malkin off the board? Timonen, as well as the defense as a whole, did a great job of neutralizing these guys.
- Do the Flyers play 60 minutes of hockey? They slowed it down a bit in the third period when they had a 2-0 lead, but that's not necessarily a bad thing when you're playing on the road. It was a good, solid 60 minute win.
- A Flyers win at Mellon Arena? Maybe? Yes!