There are some fans and some in the media who think that the Penguins playing the Flyers in the first round of the playoffs is a bad thing.

The Flyers schooling the Penguins at Consol yesterday reinforced those feelings.

Put me down as thrilled that the Penguins are opening with the Flyers.

Especially after seeing what happened yesterday.

That game had a playoff feel to it and it was a great preview, not only for what might happen Saturday when they play again, but in the playoffs.

Any player on the Penguins roster who’s not thrilled to be playing the Flyers in the first round isn’t worth his weight in hockey pucks.

The Flyers –despite the Penguins two month run through the league –have established themselves as a better team than the Penguins.

The playoffs haven’t started yet and the Flyers head coach has already called the Penguins’ coaching staff gutless.

Imagine Mike Tomlin saying that about John Fox before last year’s playoff game with the Broncos.

The Penguins-Flyers series has the potential to deliver more drama and excitement than anything that has happened in Pittsburgh sports in a long, long time.

Super Bowl runs are nice but there is the potential for seven times as many games in a  Stanley Cup playoff series.

And every game has the potential to be a classic.  What happens in one game flows into the next one.

This is what I meant when I said the NCAA basketball championship is the second best tournament in North America.

How could anyone want to give this up for a series with the Florida Panthers just because it might mean an easier path to the Final?


  • Blasto

    Watched the d very closely while at the game last night. Paul Martin has no business being top 6. He is playing like an old man and is going to cost this team in the playoffs. Lovejoy or despres are better options at this point.

  • a-dawg

    If Pens play the Flyers….Pens will lose in 5.

    The refs are letting the Flyers clutch, grab and mug their way to victory vs. Pens. That and Disco Dan experimenting with his #1 line and #1 PP unit….all to pacify Sid. IF IT AIN’T BROKE….DON’T FIX IT!!!

  • Dr. Phibes

    7 game nail-biting classics are great only in retrospect and if your team wins. I’ll take a breezy 4-5 game series walkover and move onto the next round.

    • John Steigerwald

      I’ll take seven games with a couple of OTs in Game 7.

      • Bobzilla

        Ticket prices should be cheaper for Games 1, 2 and 3 than they are for Games 4, 5, 6 and 7. Seven-game series are all about milking money from the customers. Lots of times, teams play with no sense of urgency early in a series. I believe the Pens were involved in such a series just last season…

        • John Steigerwald

          Then they should be cheaper for the first round of the NFL playoffs. Not all 7 game series go to seven games. I never considered the World Series a gimmick for milking the customers. Whoever came up with the idea of 7 games was a genius. Five isn’t enough and 9 is too many.

          • Bobzilla

            Baseball is completely different from hockey and basketball. Different pitchers, different lineups to combat the variety of different pitchers. Hockey and basketball have no actual reason to play so many games that feature the same lineups… Two-out-of-three ought to be the limit.
            I’m pretty sure a ticket to an NFL wild card game is cheaper than a ticket to a conference championship game.

          • John Steigerwald

            Zilla, you hate hockey. You’re entitled to your opinions and your preferences but you have no credibility on the subject. Seven games is the perfect number because of the way momentum shifts and teams adjust and readjust. Not to mention how much the teams hate each other after three or four games. For my money, there’s nothing better in sports and I came to the opinion late in life. I never played hockey and paid little attention to it until I had to because of my job. The first Cup run by the Penguins was the most entertaining, enjoyable compelling six weeks of my career and NOTHING comes close. With the possible exception of the second Cup run. Prior to that, my favorite assignement was the seven games in the 1979 World Series.

          • Bobzilla

            John: Hate is a strong word. My disinterest in hockey and/or basketball is mostly due to their seemingly year-round formats. More isn’t better; too much of anything is a red flag for money-grubbing. Even serious hockey fans have difficulty paying attention to a sport they crave … right up until their favorite teams are eliminated.
            Your passion for hockey is well documented, which I truly respect. I would never even think of joining in on a discussion about the game’s Xs and Os, or the sports best players. I know nothing about those sorts of things.
            But to attack my credibility because of my lack of interest is biased on your part. You have a blog full of those who are Steelers/football haters who are never called out the same way you call out alleged hockey “haters.”

          • John Steigerwald

            I think the difference is that I assume that Steeler “haters” understand and like football. You seem to know little or nothing about the game of hockey and that reduces your crediblity when critiquing it. I have a feeling the Steeler “haters” watch football s9imply because more people watch football than watch hockey,

          • Dan

            I haven’t been this juiced for a playoff series in a few years. Recently I’ve either been complacent, expecting the Penguins to win easily and waiting for one of the last two rounds, or realistic about their chances like in the Tampa series last year. But in this case, as a fan, I’m more fired up and hungry to beat the other team since the Red Wings series the year we LOST to them. The year we won I was actually more afraid of a second straight disappointment.

            The smack talk by the Flyers has done the trick. So has losing to them all year. My whole schedule for the next two weeks is going to revolve around this series. I’m rooting for a humiliating sweep.

          • Bobzilla

            Sure hope no one get hurt.

  • franji1

    To any Flyer fans out there – just remember that the Pirates have won a World Series more recently that the Flyers have won a Cup. I think Gerald Ford was President the last time Bobby Clarke last raised the Cup.

  • youroldproducer

    stags… hope all is well… i caught the end of this game and i dont mean any disrespect, but how are hockey players who hit guys with sticks when they arent looking “old timey hockey players” and james harrison is a “gutless punk”?

    i know you and i will have this argument til they throw dirt on us… but football and hockey are violent games… collisions are gonna happen… some are intended, some are borderline, but in the end, it’s two bodies smashing into each other…

    ps… i hope this attaches, cause it’s worth watching… if it doesnt go to peter king latest MMQB column or google “hardy brown” on youtube…. no facemask, did not tackle, but launched into people… my dad said he hit joe geri so hard that geri’s cheek and jaw where shattered and he was never the same player… old pappy said the steelers had some real animals in the 50’s and they were terrified of this guy….

    scary dude, mr hardy brown

    • John Steigerwald

      i think guys who hit guys who aren’t looking with sticks are gutless punks. I don’t think Harrison is gutless. I have just never understood how it is that guys who make a living hitting players who are unaware or are in a defenseless position are considered the tough guys. I think the guys who take the hits and get up and get back in there are the real tough guys. Lambert wanted to put dresses on quarterbacks. I think the tough guy in the famous Y.A Tittle picture is Y.A. Tittle, not the guy who blindsided him, John Baker. Rick Tocchet was right when he said on TribLive radio last year that the instigator rule creates more problems than it solves. The kid who cross checked Crosby yesterday would have had to go toe to toe with a guy like Tocchet before the instigator rule. Tocchet calls those guys rats. He says they run around taking cheap shots knowing that they’ll never have to drop the gloves. Now a guy can do that knowing that if someone retaliates he’ll be suspended. I’ve seen the Hardy Brown video. He became famous because he was unique. Now they all do it. Life is good. Tell Charles his commercial worked for me. I dropped at least 2 1/2 inches off my waist on Weightwatchers. I put my old 32 inch jeans on today. The last time I lost weight it was because of Dan Marino’s Nutrisystem commercial. I should do a Weightwatchers commercial because I tried them both and they both worked but Weightwatchers was easier. You can only eat that Nutrisytem food for so long. I lasted 3 weeks and lost 14 pounds but I got to the point where I couldn’t look at the food anymore.

  • Chris


    The pens-flyers playoff matchup has not been set in stone just yet

  • Jeff S

    I am the only one who would like to see carrot tops teeth knocked out? Cheap shot artist and a long list of obscenities describe him well.

    • Dan

      Love to have him on my team. I’d trade Tyler Kennedy for him in a second. In fact, how different would this series look now if they had let Kennedy walk and given that money to Jagr instead?

  • Blasto

    Serious concerns about breaking up the defensive pairings to separate Martin and michalek. Those 2 are now poisoning orpik and Letang.

    • Erik

      Whenever a goal is scored against the penguins it’s usually because Paul martin is on the ice

  • RKR

    Let’s go Bucs!!

    Come on, John! You know the Pirates-Phillies series is the real match-up we want to see!

  • Vermonter

    There is nothing NOTHING NOTHINGXXX33 like sticking it up every orifice of the “fans” of the Orange Stain, their patron saint, who is only legendary for breaking an ankle of a better player, their current “leader” and his cheap shotting and his mullet,, and all of the rest of their endless longing for the Good ol days when they could mug their way to a Cup.

    I want it. Again. There is nothing like winning over the Flyers.