Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers Preview Part 1

Black and Gold May 9, 2008 6

The Penguins fan perspective:

Somewhere on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, aside the east bound lane of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, after the Irwin exit I believe, is a normal-looking, PennDOT approved, highway sign with that green reflective paint that was installed to indicate to travelers leaving Pittsburgh the distance it is to the next major metropolis. The sign to most people says: “Philadelphia 287 miles.” Except if you didn’t know that Philadelphia was located in the east bound direction and were perhaps a really terrible Wheel-of-Fortune or hangman player, the sign may not be as clear to you since someone once pulled over and placed a Pittsburgh Steelers bumper sticker angularly over the -adelp- portion of the sign.

I pass this sign probably a good 5 times a year cruising back east from the �burgh, and every time I think well yeah sort of, and I begin to wish that this sign that always seems to catch my eye meant a little more to me.

Thinking back, the last legitimate Pittsburgh -Philly marquee matchup in any sport may have been in 2004 when the 6-1 Steelers took on the 7-0, newly T.O. equipped, Eagles at Heinz Field. My friends Toph, and Big G made the trip from Philly to meet me for a late night on the Southside, and then we ponied up for three scalper tickets that beautiful, cool November afternoon. I recall how newsworthy of an event this was to even the most casual of NFL fans in PA. But even with all the hoopla, all the mayoral politicking of Primanti Brothers for Gino’s cheesesteak wagers, low and behold before you knew it, the Heinz ketchup bottle appeared to be doing sets of side bends with the Steelers leading 21-0 with just 5 minutes evaporated in the second quarter. It never got any better, or worse, or better depending how you looked at it; the Steelers went on to win 27-3. Brian Westbrook had 21 total yards. It was such a lop-sided and abysmal showing that no one wanted to remember how much talk was talked, or how much money we just forked over for tickets that we came to find out weren’t even in the same seating section. Granted I was thrilled to win, Donovan and T.O. began their glorious buddy-spat on these very sidelines, but come on. There was just not a lot of substance to this Pennsylvania rivalry.

Not yet. Now comes this. A best-of-seven series between these two intra-state teams, who are each playing quite impressively right now to say the least. And the very fact that the winner moves on to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals says to me there is no way around this one. Not this time. There will be almost 2 weeks of hockey, broadcast on television in every major market, on the Versus and NBC channels that will divide hockey fans in the State more distinctly than the Appalachian mountain chain running through it’s middle.

Who’s going to win? I don’t know. Who has the better powerplay kill, is younger, faster, a better goalie. No comment. What I do know, is that no one on the ice will be tougher than Gary Roberts.

And secondly, I know when this series is over; I will hate you people regardless. And if it’s customary to exchange jerseys before the series as a friendly token of Commonwealth pride, I think this one should fit ya.

The Flyers fan perspective is right here


  1. King Ing May 9, 2008 at 10:13 am -

    The series is going to be a dogfight. Timonen’s injury is big

  2. bshrek May 9, 2008 at 11:22 am -

    I used to tudor mentally disabled children and even then i didn’t see such a long winded run-on sentence.

    That aside, its called a “penalty-kill”, not a “powerplay kill.” I’m kinda of embarrased for you. Good thing you don’t even know that Roberts was injured all season and played under 40 games. Yes very tough indeed. Minus a lucky pp (that means powerplay) goal he has played 4 ineffective games in the postseason. How many quarters do they play in hockey anyway? Go back to watching the steelers and just don’t mention that you might have flipped on a penguin game when there wasn’t a new kids video on mtv back in 1992.

  3. King Ing May 9, 2008 at 11:26 am -

    OH WOW!

  4. Black and Gold May 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm -

    Oh please, you are just so bitter about your fantasy football team scoring 37+/- points in the championship game last season and losing to me.

    Here is an excerpt from an NHL scouting report on Russian prospect Nikolai Kulemin that says “powerplay-kill”. Thats what I call it, thats what Mike Lange of FSN Pittsburgh calls it, and thats what this NHL Scout who apparently has seen a game or two calls it.

    “Scout 2: A typical work horse who works hard and gives it 100% at any place on the ice…skates well, but won’t blow away with his top speed…crashes the net and works hard in the corners…not a sniper and a lot of his scoring depends on his linemates…if he plays on the line with a player like Evgeni Malkin, he will have a lot of scoring chances and will deliver a lot of “working” goals off the rebounds in front of the net…however he can equally deliver very few points for the season, but still be a valuable power play-kill unit, checking line defensive player for his team…”

    Learn to read faster if you can’t get to the end of a sentence. I dont have the time to cut up sentences for you.

  5. bshrek May 9, 2008 at 12:54 pm -

    thats the problem with the internet, people can read something online and think its from a reliable source!! thats the chain i was trying to stop!! haha

    and honestly, what’s that far side comic, if a mime gets killed in the middle of the forest does anyone care? if anything is said on television in Pittsburgh, does it really matter?? Power-play kill, i mean really, lets get serious.

    And i thought we were supposed to pretend not to know each other, i think it takes away from the validity of the site.(the fantasy f-ball championship game never happened. All we should remember is how u dropped colston in week 5, and then i went on a huge winning streak after i picked him up with my terrible team)

  6. Homer for Pres May 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm -

    Ummm I’m going to have to agree, the p.k. is penalty kill. any sports announcer who says otherwise shouldn’t be allowed to cover hockey.

    Anyway, Roberts has been out half the season and isn’t all that impressive. If I were you, I would have chosen Gonchar (sp) over him.

    This is going to be a tough series but I’ll leave the predictions to others. I will say this though. The Orange and Black have three things working in their favor right now: 1) being challenged the entire run of the play offs. 2) depth and 3)HEART!

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