NHL 2012 Playoffs: Pressure Swings Back onto Flyers for Game 5

Professor BushCorrespondent IIIApril 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 18: Head coach Peter Laviolette manages his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center on February 18, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Both the pressure and momentum took a big swing in Game 4 of the series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Peter Laviolette had an easy time coaching up his young inexperienced team in the first three games:

1) Everyone is picking the Penguins to win the series, and many are picking them to win the Stanley Cup.

2) The Penguins have the best two hockey players in the world.

3) Just go out and have fun, enjoy the experience and play the Penguins like we played them during the regular season.

4) We've got a great goalie to shut down the Penguins powerful offense.

But Game 4 changed all of that:

1) The Flyers' young players looked like deer caught in a headlight.

2) Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov went from bad to horrific.

3) The best two hockey players in the world played like the best two hockey players in the world

4) The Flyers threw in the towel after they fell behind, instead of mounting a late comeback as they had done against the Penguins several times during the year.

5) The Flyers took stupid penalties, including a too-many-men on the ice to nullify a power play.

6) Nicklas Grossman will be out with a concussion suffered in Game 4, according to an Associated Press report.

So now the monkey is on the Flyers' back:

1) Will they squander a three-game lead?

2) Can they regain the momentum they lost in Game 4?

Before the series began, I predicted that the Flyers would win in six games. I sill think that will happen. I can't see the Flyers clinching on the Penguins' home ice.