Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #5 Philadelphia Flyers
For the Pens this year, it has been business as usual. Crosby gets hurt; Malkin steps up. The Penguins proved once again that the key to Malkin’s success is to not have Sidney Crosby play. They could save a lot of money by trading Crosby and just not telling Malkin about it.
Malkin had a career year; he is a 50-goal scorer, is likely the league MVP, and is proof that there are Supercuts in Russia.
Also having a career year is left winger James Neal, who put up an impressive 40 goals. Neal’s Wikipedia page refers to him as James “The Real Deal” Neal, which shows that in addition to scoring goals, Neal also knows how to edit Wikipedia pages.
The Flyers had a very busy offseason, turning over nearly half their roster, spending big money on goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and, perhaps most importantly, not re-signing Dan Carcillo. The addition of Bryzgalov was meant to secure the goalie position for the foreseeable future, which is technically true, since they signed him to an untradeable contract.
Among the new Flyers are former Penguins Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr, and gritty winger Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds was welcomed by the Flyers faithful, most of whom remarked, “I didn’t know that Apollo Creed could skate.”
The Pens are stacked, and eager to make up for an early exit last playoffs. The Flyers roll 4 solid lines, and have plenty of depth to fill the void left by whichever player gets suspended for laying out Crosby.
Flyers in 7.