Why not? We see enough player pics over the course of a season...
I don't remember Philly taking to the ice after the first period. I can't prove it, but I think it's a formidable assumption.
The Penguins were the first ones to say the 3-5 regular season series record against the Flyers is absolutely meaningless, notching their first win of the series Friday night in a 4-2 victory before the whiteout seats at Mellon Arena.
This game started off on the path to what looked like a possible 15-14 final score. Goals were tallying up on both ends of the ice, in what looked like a solid 2-2 tie heading into only the second period. Yet with less than 10 seconds remaining, Malkin played the 'never give up' game and blew one past Biron to put the game in the hands of Pitt. From there the Penguins maintained a steady hold onto the game right up until Malkin added what would ultimately be the insurance marker five minutes into the first.
Looking back on the game, it's hard to believe all of the scoring took place within exactly the first 25 minutes of regulation. I say this only because it's hard to forget some of the hits and close-calls that occurred on what seemed to be a regular basis.
Versus put a lot of emphasis on Philly's R.J. Umberger tonight. The Plumborough native has somewhat of a homecoming in this Game 1 performance, but also did somewhat of a lackluster effort on behalf of the Flyers. In either case, the network still did a lovely and heart-warming feature on R.J. that should hopefully silence the constant chimes from the Philthadelphia crowds about the NHL loving Crosby. In Pittsburgh's defense, or maybe in just a rational and analytical thought - at least when any network backs Crosby he comes through with at least a point. Of course, the NHL makes sure he gets a point as part of the widespread conspiracy that is surely taking over the league.
Penalties were few and far between tonight - that is, until the third period when tempers really started to flair. Philly played a very disciplined game, staying penalty-free in the first and only taking a single call in the second. They'd later accumulate 16 minutes (10-minute misconduct included) within the last two minutes of the game.
Pittsburgh, on a similar note, kept a majority of their guys out of the box as well. Unfortunately this did not apply to Ryan Whitney, who may not have received the "stay out of the box tonight because they have a solid power play unit" memo from Coach Therrien. Regardless, the Penguins' penalty-kill unit kept the Flyers scoreless on three attempts with the man advantage.
Malkin may very well be in even better contention for the Conn Smythe more than ever with his 2 goal, three point performance in the first game of this series. For the 2008 playoffs, Malkin has posted 8 goals and 9 assists for a 17 point display over the span of 10 games. By the numbers, it would appear only Detroit's Johan Franzen is in strict contention for the same award. Franzen has posted an unprecedented 27 goals in the last 27 games, 12 of which have come in the playoffs for a postseason total of 15 points.
The Penguins remain unbeaten on home-ice this postseason and will look to continue that streak with Game 2 on Sunday commencing at 7:30 p.m.
Philly fans claimed Pitt was afraid to play them? Looks like they were wrong again.
Warning: Should Pitt win on Sunday, expect to hear "Flyers came back in a series against the Pens once" sort of talk start as soon as Monday.