Last night’s comeback win at Philadelphia was a brilliant display of Penguins resilience. But the Pens displayed shortcomings, too. Read my breakdown at timesonline.com.
Nitpicking aside, turning a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 victory in front of the half-wits that jam the Wells Fargo Center was MORE GLORIOUS THAN D-DAY. The aftermath on Twitter may have been my finest hour. I heeled better than C.M. Punk. #bestintheworld
The excuses are flying out of Philadelphia. Most are pathetically irrelevant. To wit:
*CROSBY’S A SISSY. Only they don’t say “sissy.” Cool story, bro. Thing is, Crosby dominated from goal line to goal line last night. He was Herculean. Crosby is the player the Flyers most try to rattle, and – now that he’s 100 percent – they can’t. Last year’s playoffs were an aberration in that regard. As for Claude Giroux – a/k/a Crosby Lite – he’s now tied with Brandon Yip in the “best player in hockey” rankings. INVISIBLE.
*THE PENGUINS WENT BANKRUPT TWICE. Better to be financially bankrupt twice than morally bankrupt since 1967. When success on the ice lacks, discuss sellouts. But the Penguins have both. When the Penguins can’t win, they finish low and get high draft picks. The Flyers constantly cruise slightly above mediocrity. The Pens have won three Stanley Cups since the Flyers won their last one. So, which formula works better?
*WHAT ABOUT LAST YEAR’S PLAYOFFS? To be fair, the Flyers were worthy winners. But what did it get them? A second-round exit at the hands of New Jersey. When the Penguins KO’d Philly in ’08, they got to the final. When the Penguins eliminated Philly in ’09, they won the Cup. Last year was the exception. Last night was the rule. We apologize for the interruption. Normal service has now been resumed.
*WE HAVE REAL HOCKEY FANS. That’s nonsense. You have cannibals. The Flyers serve red meat, and you scarf it up. Low-rent hockey for low-rent scumbags. You don’t attend hockey games. You attend the Roman Colosseum. Pearls before swine.
*YOU’RE UNDER .500 AGAINST US. Or, what about your 42-game winless streak at the Spectrum? Or, remember when Keith Primeau scored in the fifth overtime? Or, some other recital of ancient history. OK, let’s talk tradition. The Flyers won two Cups via organized gangland violence, with the last coming 38 years ago. They beat Soviet Red Army in 1976 via thug life, setting the sport back decades. The Flyers have lost six finals since their last Cup. The Penguins have had the best player in hockey non-stop since 1984, setting the standard for skilled, elegant play in that time. Fourteen scoring titles, six MVPs and three Stanley Cups (not two): That’s what we call history.
I could go on and on. No need, though. Last night speaks for itself. Last in the division, 11th in the conference, in real danger of not making the playoffs. #jackpot