Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1
#5 Philadelphia Flyers at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Mellon Arena - 7:00 PM EDT - Pittsburgh, PA
TV: CSN HD, Versus HD, CBC, RDS, FSN Pittsburgh
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 207
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh
The playoffs are finally here, and while the Flyers aren't entering them with exactly the momentum they'd like, there is no reason that should stop them from storming out the gate. For more than one reason, they are going to need a furious start.
First off, they need to quell our nerves. All season long, they've had atrocious starts, whether it's falling behind in an individual game or beginning the season winless in six games. Our nerves are shot. Secondly, given that Pittsburgh has the home ice, they need to effectively eliminate the crowd. There is no better way to eliminate a playoff crowd then by scoring the first goal on the road.
Thirdly, and this has been a theme of John Stevens' pressers all year long, the Flyers cannot allow themselves to "chase the game", as Stevens would put it. Getting down by a goal, especially early in the game, forces you to play the other teams' game. It forces you to rush things. It forces you to take stupid penalties.
If the Flyers want to win this game, and consequently the series, they cannot allow themselves to fall behind the eight ball right off the bat as they have done so many times this season.
That means attacking the Penguins for every puck. That means physically abusing every single player in black and gold. That means playing smart. That means playing relentless Flyer hockey wire-to-wire.
If they do that, they win this game and make us all a lot more confident going forward. They've shown for stretches this season that they can do it. Now, it's time to be consistent. No more excuses. It's playoff time. Let's go Flyers.
We're changing things up a little bit for the playoffs. The preview will not be up at the same time as the game thread. That will open later on tonight with details on our road trip to Pensburgh. But of course, use this thread to discuss the game throughout the day.