Posted on May 9, 2008 11:37 PM | Permalink
What Went Wrong
If you’re the Flyers, everything.
They couldn’t control the puck during most of the first and second periods. They could not get it out of the zone cleanly. They turned it over in transition in neutral ice and got burned for two goals. They refused to dump-and-chase.
"You turn pucks over and give up rushes against Crosby and Malkin, that's a game you can't play,” said Flyers coach John Stevens. "You know, we did that. Every time you get an odd man rush error I call it a stressed attack, it favors them.
"Those are things we can't do. Whether it's not getting pucks deep. Thought we did a good job early on. But now we turn pucks over in the neutral zone, they come with too much speed, and they get you on the rush. That's the problem in the first period. We didn't manage the puck.
"You're not going to get it in with possession all the time. You have to be able to get it in, go after it with the speed of the puck. Even when we did get it in, we had one guy gone, our support got better but early that was our Achilles heel."
How the Penguins Saw That
"It was kind of weird how that first period went with so many goals," said Sidney Crosby. "You know, usually that's uncharacteristic of the playoffs to make mistakes like that early on. But like you said, we did a great job of capitalizing. I think as the game went on, we maintained that speed and probably wanted to get a little bit more on that, and that is something we'll look to next game.
"But we certainly do a better job of that early on."
What Went Right? Malkin Gets Two Goals
Derian Hatcher and Braydon Coburn drew Evgeni Malkin given that Kimmo Timonen (blood clot) is out for the playoffs and the pairing didn't fare well.
Malkin had two goals, including a breakaway, cherry pick shorthanded goal that made it 4-2. Malkin was standing at the Flyers’ blue line waiting for a Sergei Gonchar pass, basically giving the Flyers a 5-on-3 power play.
"If a guy wants to stand down there, you pretty much let him and take your chances five-on-three," Joffrey Lupul said when asked whether the mistake of leaving Malkin unguarded would have occurred had Timonen been on the ice.
"I've never seen that before. I don't know if Kimmo would have stayed back there with him."
Malkin sped into the Flyers zone and then unleashed a slapper between the circles. Weird looking play, really.
That’s because Malkin is awful on breakaways, never knowing what the hell to do with the puck, like last Sunday against the Rangers when he flubbed a penalty shot.
"It was really last-second decision," Malkin said (via translator) about using a slap shot. "All my penalty shots wasn't that great all the time, pretty much. So, in the last second, I just decided to shoot that puck as hard as I can. I didn't think about it, where to shoot, and to make any moves. Just as hard as I can."
Marty Biron on Malkin’s shot: "He let it go. He’s got a good one."
Stats You Need to Know
Hatcher played 21:38 and partner Braydon Coburn played 25:09. Malkin played 21:36.
Going into the third period, the Flyers had just one penalty. They didn't take any bad penalties until the final two minutes when scrums broke out.
Usually, the Flyers are good for a couple bad ones right away.
Where is Leon Stickle?
Was Malkin offside on his first goal? That pass from Ryan Whitney appeared to be close enough to be just that.
"All you have to do is have your skate touching the blue," said John Stevens. "So as long as he's touching part of the blue paint there, I think he's okay. So I only had a quick look at it. It looked like it was close, but probably made the right call being onside."
Michel Therrien Says
Both teams were very sloppy in the first period. The Flyers, however, were far sloppier with the puck.
"I thought we had a kind of slow start," Therrien said. "The competitiveness level we should have around the net, we knew what they were going to do. We know how they're going to score their goals. They throw a lot of pucks to the net.
"And not playing in a week, the competitiveness level wasn't there, and we didn't capitalize on it. After that we addressed it to the players and we've got to be much better around the net to win our battles. When we took the lead, you know, we were concentrating on shutting them down. And we put a really tight-checking, defensive game after that."