Posted on May 11, 2008 04:23 PM | Permalink
Every series, the Flyers dropped the first game, then came roaring back with an impressive victory in the second game. Some would make a case that for John Stevens’ club, a playoff series doesn’t actually begin until the puck is dropped for Game 2.
“I think you try to learn from your past as you move along,” Stevens said. “Every series, if you can win the first game, I mean, it is obviously a big step. You need four wins. Any time you can get the first one, I think it helps your team. We started every series on the road. We have been in every game that we have played. But unfortunately we've dropped the first game again.
"But we told our team yesterday, we lost the first game in Montreal, we played well, lost overtime. It's just one game, and we lost this game. It is just one game. We have got to leave it behind. Got to move on, try and do some things to get better. It's just part of the series. Those momentum swings that we talk about, whether you win or lose, you got to take from that game what it gives. You got to move on.”
Mike Richards, who scored Philadelphia's two goals in Game 1, was more succint.
“[You’re] looking at a must‑win game,” he said. “You don't want to go down 2‑0 in any series.”
Crosby's take on Ribeiro/Osgood
Sidney Crosby saw what happened at the end of the Detroit-Dallas game on Saturday when the Stars’ Mike Ribeiro slashed Red Wings’ goalie Chris Osgood across the chest with his stick. Osgood took a huge dive – really overplayed the hit. You would have thought Jack the Ripper had slashed Ozzie’s throat.
“That's the playoffs," said Crosby. "It wasn't anything too major. But in the end, it probably did more ... I mean, if you really look at it, it got him on the chest. There's more padding there than on a guy's face, so that happens.
"That's the playoffs, and you know, you don't want to see anyone get hurt. So tempers flare a bit. That stuff happens. It's not the first time stuff like that has happened. It's pretty typical for the playoffs.”
Changing the defence
Six games ago, Penguins coach Michel Therrien changed around his defensive pairs. It has produced a Ryan Whitney- Kris Letang duo that has been rather effective in the playoffs.
“They are pretty sharp,” Therrien said. “They move the puck really well. This is one thing. They got that the ability to see the ice and move the puck well and putting those two guys together, forces them to make sure that they are committed defensively. That's one of the challenges we try to bring with those two, young defencemen. You got to give challenge to players, and especially at this time of year, so they don't have to rely always on their partner.
"And a natural thing would have [been to] split those guys up, but I want them to focus really well and playing solid defensively. And you know what, since we said made that change, they are doing a good job.”
Penguins centre Max Talbot (fractured foot) is back, after missing the opener. That likely means Adam Hall is out of the lineup. Therrien would not say who gets benched.
"He's an energy guy, so I think we all expect him just to provide a lot of energy for us," Crosby said of Talbot. “He has got some offensive skills as well, and he can create things out there, but I'd say energy is a big part of his game.”