Big win against the Pens for the Flyers. After a lackluster performance against the Devils, the Flyers came out and took a 3-0 lead--shutting down Malkin and Crosby for most of the game until Malkin got a nifty pass from Ryan Whitney, which beat Biron badly. Although the Penguins had two power play goals, they were only 2 for 6 and were shut down pretty well for a team that is supposed to have a great power play unit with Malkin and Crosby.
In fact, special teams played a huge part in the game--five of the seven goals in the game came during either the power play or PK.
Kimmo Timonen played excellent offensively, allowing himself to have his second career four point game by being quite essential on the power play effort.
Marin Biron, who got roughed up in the game against the Devils, played very well. In the end, he stopped 29 shots, on 31 chances. Great game for Martin, who is easily the team's MVP.
Mike Richards also had a very strong game, having two assists during the game, and setting another one up earlier in the first period--however, he didn't receive a point on it. Besides that, Richards was important in shutting down Sidney Crosby, but he wasn't the only one to do so. Jason Smith covered him pretty well, actually slashing him in the third period. Of course, Crosby went down like a ton of bricks and it seemed as though he was embellishing just a tad. Yet, he did get medical attention for it.
The point is that what he did last night was one of his popular moves. There is no point in denying that Crosby gets a lot of attention from the refs because he draws a lot of penalties on the opposition, which he did against last night against the Flyers. He's known for it--and does a great job doing so. However, his reaction to scrums in the corners, and small incidents when he gets slashed is simply ridiculous. He embellishes so much so that when he really is injured, no one really knows. That is probably the case last night when he got slashed by Smith. Sure, the slash looked innocent on TV, but Crosby could have been hurt. Yet, his reaction was quite like that from a fifteen year old. Ideally, if Crosby gets hurt on a play, he should stay down and not look up as if he was looking for attention or a call from the refs. Then maybe people would take him a little bit more seriously, and not see him as a giant crybaby--which leads me to my next point.
It seems as though Crosby has been affected by the fan's perception around the league that he cries a lot and doesn't do anything about it. Late last year and this year especially, he seems to be opening his mouth a little bit more and acting a little tougher. Last night he yapped with Mike Richards, a former teammate of his from juniors. Now, I'm a Flyers fan obviously, so I've seen Richards, and Crosby wouldn't have a chance against him in a fight. Everyone in that building last night knew it too, and they made sure Crosby heard it too.
Gotta love those Flyers fans.
So, as to why Crosby was jabbing at him verbally and in the end, doing nothing, is beyond me. If he really wants to send a message, he should drop the gloves and not let his teammates come to his aid every time he is touched. There was one particular instance where there was a scrum after the whistle and he grabbed Braydon Couburn . AS the players were seperating, Couburn pushed Crosby, I guess to get Sid off of him. Well, Crosby didn't like it very much, and took a shot at Couburn, which nearly started a riot.
Scrums were a big reason why this game was interesting, and exciting. Ryan Malone dropped the gloves against Jason Smith, who had high sticked him in the face earlier in the shift. Malone was cut, and upset understandably, yet I don't think he wanted to personally fight Smith, who appeared to drop his gloves unexpectedly against Malone. The only other Penguin to fight was Daryl Sydor and Stefan Ruzicka. Yes, I said it. Stefan Ruzicka dropped the gloves quite unexpectedly and winning against Sydor. However, Ruzicka's jersey got unhooked and he was given a misconduct--something the Flyers didn't want to have happen, especially to Stefan who was playing great up and until then.
Also, why didn't George Laraque drop the gloves last night? It was fairly evident that him, and Ben Eager were yapping at each other. Eager had a number of Penguins yapping at him too, including Colby Armstrong, and Gary Roberts.
In the end though, the Flyers prevailed against a struggling Penguins team and they'll face the New York Islanders Monday night.