2012 NHL Playoffs: Why Arron Asham Will Decide the Penguins-Flyers Series
It is hard to argue that any other series in the first round is as intriguing in the Eastern Conference as the fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the fifth-seeded Philadelphia Flyers. There is no doubt that these two in-state rivals absolutely hate each other, and if you don't believe me, well then here is what happened earlier this month.
The amount of star players in this series is undeniable. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr, James Neal, Jordan Staal and Danny Briere are stars in this league. Yet in my mind, there is one player and one player only that will decide this series.
That man is Arron Asham.
Now why would I pick a guy that only has 16 points in 64 games this year? One word: grit.
There is no doubt that the Flyers are going to try to grind down the Penguins' top two lines and try to get guys like Crosby and Malkin frustrated. Well, the only way that Pittsburgh is going to be able to get over this is to fight fire with fire. And Asham brings every aspect of that and more.
The guy can throw with the best of them, and whoever said that there isn't any fighting in playoff hockey has not tuned into the game for quite a few years. The fact of the matter is, the goal scorers are going to score, and with all the fire power on both teams there is a solid chance that they will come close to evening each other out.
This is where Asham comes in. He has two points in his last three games, and any time he puts a goal on the board it will increase the Penguins' intensity to another level. When a fourth-line guy scores, it is the largest momentum swing in the game.
The momentum of the series will rest in the hands of the 33-year-old from Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Whether it comes in the ways of him winning a fight or scoring a goal, he will be much bigger of an impact than people think.
Lets go Pens!
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