Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey
Remember that scene in 24/7 where, after a loss to the Caps, the cameras cut to the locker room and show Dan Bylsma down and out? He looks up at the guys, punches his palm and says, "I wanted to ****** win that one."
That's more a less a metaphor for Pens fans everywhere following Tuesday's loss to the Flyers. We wanted that one. Did the Pens need it? No, not necessarily.
But man, did we want it.Hindsight, I'd venture to say the 5-2 loss to the Flyers holds more weight than the outdoor game on New Year's Day. With playoff implications weighing heavily on the outcome - or at least the Conference/Division - the Pens were unable to hold off Philly in the latter part of the game, dropping a 2-1 lead on four consecutive, unanswered goals.
If we're going to talk about the postseason than you definitely can't rule out a possible meeting once again between the Pens and Flyers. Philly holds the slight edge in regular season play, closing out the six-game series with a record of
3-2-1 4-1-1 and also tallying the franchise's best 25th win on the road in a single season. But perhaps the more pressing matter for the Pens is that all three of those Philly wins came in Pittsburgh.
Then again, two of Philly's losses, if you want to call a shootout loss a real loss, came at Wells Fargo Arena. That shootout may not count for much (or anything at all, for that matter) in the postseason, but the history of postseason overtime games between the Pens and Flyers has been legendary to say the least.
So what does this mean for the Penguins in the Eastern Conference? Well, as you already know by now the Pens are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. But you can't officially rule out the No. 1 seed in the Conference or in the Atlantic just yet, although a win against Philly would have improved those chances drastically. The Flyers have six games remaining, while Pittsburgh has just five.
But home ice is looking pretty good, as the Pens now sit five points ahead of the fifth place Lightning, who have six games remaining on their schedule.
Next game is Thursday against none other than the Lightning. I know it doesn't hold the same implications as tonight's game against the Flyers, but handing two points to Tampa and losing one more game off the schedule in the process does not do much to pull away in the race for home ice.
...in 34 less games.
Oh, and Alex Kovalev discovered he doesn't have to be in a shootout to score goals. Too bad it didn't help lead to a win, or come on the power play that is currently wrestling with a disgusting, putrid, despicable and horrid 3-for-59 drought.