Monday, May 05, 2008

Penguins-Flyers Storylines

Now that the Pittsburgh Penguins have defeated the New York Rangers, we can all focus on the Eastern conference final between the Pens and the Philadelphia Flyers. For those of you seeking storylines for the series, let me be of assistance of what you will hear from sportscasters and writers over the next week.

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are both located in Pennsylvania, or some variation of this such as the battle of Pennsylvania or the Keystone State rivalry. Let’s face it: this is truly a battle between fans that choose pop versus fans who say soda.

In the Eastern conference semi-finals, Jordan Staal of the Penguins defeated his older brother Marc Staal of the Rangers. Jordan Staal has no siblings on the Flyers. (Or does he? [dramatic pause] No he does not.)

The Flyers’ R.J. Umberger is the Pittsburgh area. Specifically, Umberger is from Plum, which was on of the high schools that my high school faced regularly in sporting events (the last part will not be mentioned during any broadcasts).

Former Penguin Joe Mullen is now an assistant coach for the Flyers.

The last time the Penguins and Flyers met in the playoffs was the 1999-2000 season when the Flyers defeated Pittsburgh 4-2 in the conference semi-finals. The Penguins fourth leading playoff scorer during that post-season? Janne Laukkanen. (This useless piece of trivia will also not be discussed during any playoff coverage. In case you were wondering, Jagr led the Pens with 16 points in 11 playoff games followed by Martin Straka and Jan Hrdina with 12 points each.) Personally, I hope Versus or NBC shows footage of the epic 1989 series when the Flyers defeated the Penguins in seven games in the Patrick Division finals.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are both young and very good.

The last name of Philadelphia’s Joffrey Lupul is a palindrome.

Riley Cote (202 penalty minutes during the regular season) and Georges Laraque (1,037 career penalty minutes) could fight. Of course, Laraque may be practicing more yoga lately as he amazingly has no penalty minutes so far this postseason.

Five words: What Would Gary Roberts Do?

(from The Pensblog)

Finally, Empty Netters has posted the Eastern conference finals schedule. Game one on Friday, May 9 in Pittsburgh.


Anonymous said...

haha, nice article Sean. It is pretty predictable what they will talk about on the air, isn't it?

As for Cote, he has only played in a couple games so far this playoffs. The only reason the Flyers will play him is for Laraque if it gets too dirty.

Good luck, and GO FLYERS!

Sean said...

Laraque generally isn't a dirty player.

I hope that you don't mind that I will be supporting the team from Western Pennsylvania. Go Penguins!

Anonymous said...

Laraque took a penalty in game 4 or 5. Pretty sure it was 5, got called for a slash.