Pittsburgh Penguins: 4 Philadelphia Flyers to Watch in Cross-State Matchup
Injury news has once again dominated the coverage surrounding the Pens.
Previously, Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek were sidelined with a concussion. Deryk Engelland had a lower body injury. Yesterday, the Penguins received the news that Sidney Crosby would be forced to sit out two games as a "precaution."
To literally add insult to injury, the Boston Bruins and Tim Thomas basically kicked the Penguins around the Consol Energy Center in the team's last game. With all the injury news and a bad game directly in the rear-view mirror, it helps to remind yourself that it is only December still.
The Flyers always present a challenge as well as a spirited rivalry game. Their team is a bit different then it was in previous seasons, so let's take a look at four players to watch out for in tonight's contest.
Whatever the result of tonight's game, it sure is nice to know that the NHL preserved this rivalry at its fullest with the realignment.
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This will mark the first game that Maxime Talbot plays against his old squad.
How long will it take for Pens fans to hate him?
Warmups? First shift? First scrum?
Chances are "Talbo" will be in the face of Marc-Andre Fleury any chance he gets.
He may also look to give a few face washes to some of his old buddies, too. All part of the game when you are wearing Flyers orange.
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Wayne Simmonds can the play the game any way you want.
If you are looking for hard-nosed hockey, Simmonds will scrap, play rough (44 PIM) or dish out one of his 45 hits.
If things are calm, then Simmonds can play.
He has chipped in five goals so far this season along with four assists.
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You know, most of you hate him, but you cannot deny that Jaromir Jagr still has some gas left in the tank.
Despite some lingering injuries here and there, Jagr is still a player you have to watch any time he is on the ice.
So far this season, he has suited up for 22 games. With nine goals and 13 assists, he clocks in at a point per game.
Yes, it may stink to see him wearing a Flyers jersey, but I can honestly say I do not hold anything against him.
As long as he does not beat the Pens, it is still good to see Jags lace 'em up.
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Claude Giroux had four points last night against the Buffalo Sabres.
That was enough to push him into the NHL points lead.
If you are not familiar with Giroux, you may get a quick introduction to him tonight.
Many people scoffed when Maxime Talbot compared him to Sidney Crosby in these comments.
Whether or not that statement holds true over the long term is debatable, but the fact of the matter is that Claude Giroux appears to get better every time he steps on the ice at this point.
If you are interested in further coverage from Ernest, follow him on Twitter @shootinthepuck.