NHL Playoffs 2012: Status of Penguins vs Flyers Series

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NHL Playoffs 2012: Status of Penguins vs Flyers Series
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
It's open season between these pipes

Going into the postseason, most people not only picked Pittsburgh to beat Philly in the first round, but they also probably picked Pittsburgh to win the Cup.  Now with a 2-0 deficit headed on the road to Philadelphia for the next two games, things couldn’t look bleaker for Pittsburghers.  The obvious question is: is Sunday’s game a must-win for Pittsburgh?

Yes and no.

It is, in the sense that if they don’t win Sunday, they will have to win four in a row.  It isn’t, in the sense that mathematically, there’s still a chance they could win four in a row—like Lloyd Christmas's chances in Dumb and Dumber

So in short: Yes, it is a must-win. 

How did this happen? Penguins fans were probably quite comfortable after the first period last night. Forget Game 1, no way they do it twice in a row, right? There's no shame in admitting it Penguins fans; I was thinking the same thing.

I wanted it to happen again and didn’t think there was any chance. I texted a friend of mine who likes the Pens saying: “don’t give this lead away, Haha,” and I was totally kidding. Not a single fiber of my being thought it could happen again.  With the lead Pittsburgh had, I seriously almost turned the game off.  You getting the picture yet?

Then the unthinkable happened again.

For the second straight playoff game at home, the Penguins squandered a stellar start. Now, even if they want to, it may be too late to salvage this series.

In every game played in every sport, there are always positives and negatives to take away.  You can always find something to improve upon and something you did well. 

How will the Penguins vs Flyers series end?

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In this series though, there’s nothing but bad. 

Other than the Flyers being up in the series 2-0, what else can you feel good about as a Flyers fan? You won. But just like in Game 1: you didn’t show up, got in a big hole, and if not for the Pens quitting, you would have an even series right now. 

Pens fans?

You’re wishing Crosby sat out the rest of the season so at the very least you could blame your collapses on something.  You don’t even have a scapegoat.  You’ve got nothing. 

Across the board, your team quit.  No fight, no guts, and even worse than that: The goalie you’ve nursed into a starter looks like a head case straight out of high school. 

Four goals in Game 1, and seven goals in Game 2? Seriously?

I hate the Pens, but never in my wildest dreams could I have dreamed up greater collapses. It’s truly that bad. 

So how about it? Either side feeling good right now? 

Sure Flyers fans, you’ve never given up a 2-0 series lead in your team’s history, but is that helping you sleep at night? After the way you've started in each game?

You know you don’t stand a chance in the next round if you don’t shape up.  Even with your 2-0 lead, if the Pens decide to play 60 minutes you could still blow this series the way your team is playing.

Pens fans?

You just got to hope Philly keeps taking you for granted. Some proactiveness could help too. Mr. Bylsma, here are two things you should definitely work on in practice:

First, defense. A beer league squad could put up five on you right now. It needs a lot of work. Second, maybe give that backup net-minder a few more reps. 

You never know when you might need him…

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