Penguins pounce on Flyers
(2) Pittsburgh v. (6) Philadelphia
Penguins lead series 2-0
To make matters worse for Philadelphia, which already lost its top defenceman, Kimmo Timonen, because of a blood clot in his ankle before the series, the Flyers watched in horror when 1:51 into the game defenceman Braydon Coburn was hit the face with a deflected puck after a shot from Pittsburgh's Hal Gill.
"My left eye is swollen shut right now," said Coburn, who added there is a possibility he'll play in the third game in Philadelphia Tuesday. "I will keep the ice on it and get the swelling down."Next to Nick Lidstrom, Timonen had been the best defencemen in these playoffs. And 23-year-old behemoth Braydon Coburn, one of the most improved players in the NHL during the season, wasn't all that far behind.
The Flyers' hopes of winning this series without Timonen were slim; minus Coburn, too, they're nonexistent. Sunday night, John Stevens was stuck leaning hard on Randy Jones (26:14 ice time), Jaroslav Modry (20:28) and Jason Smith (21:33), while Derian Hatcher drew more than 28 minutes.
You can sneak through a handful of regular games like that, playing varied opposition, but in the conference finals, that doesn't cut it.
Chalk another win up for Team Peach Fuzz, which is now an incredible 10-1 in these playoffs. (Is it just me or is Sidney Crosby looking more and more like you wouldn't want him hanging around the local elementary school... )
This was a pretty sloppy hockey game, all in all, something Gary Roberts alluded to in a postgame interview. The ice in Mellon Arena apparently isn't great, and it showed at certain times in the game.
Overall, the entertainment value in the conference finals has been rather low. As someone just hoping for some solid hockey, here's hoping the Flyers have something in store Tuesday night in Philadelphia.