Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shenanigans Ahoy in Buffalo

The Flyers aren't used to being pushed around; they're usually the ones being the big, bad bullies.  They're the ones usually shrugging off the incessant whines of the opposition, and their fans, about getting away with murder on the ice.

The Sabres aren't usually the team heading into the corners with reckless abandon; clearing Ryan Miller's crease with welt producing cross checks; they're supposed to keep their play to the perimeter, use their team speed to make pylons out of opposition bluelines.  They're the ones who find themselves speaking out on the stick infractions that have crept back into the "New NHL"; they're the ones strewn about the ice after being railroaded by the bigger, stronger rosters.

But here we are, heading into a best of 3 starting Friday, and that's the exact opposite situation we find ourselves in.  That's playoff hockey.

What exactly led us to this point?  As it stands through 4 games the Sabres have (in the most subjective of stats) 117 hits to the Flyers 105. But it's not just Pat Kaleta who's getting under the Flyers skin, it's the sudden thick skin that developed around the Sabres, eliciting reactions like the elbow to the chin of Kaleta by Mike Richard's that launched Flyer Phans into a frenzy and sent the Captain to the box for a questionable 5 minutes.

Of course the hockey Gods spoke with the 5 minutes PP being one of the worst ever run on this planet.  Richard's explanation of his actions? "I saw him take a couple of hard strides at me. I had to protect myself. They're not going to call anything, so I had to protect myself."

Those words are telling.  The Flyers seem to feel, as punctuated by their frustrated leader, that the Refs have it in for them (remember now; 28 minors called against Buffalo so far, 24 against Philadelphia, just so you know, that it ain't true) and they'll be taking care of things on their own.

Like say, for example, the 2 minute "slashing" call levied to noted pugilist Kimmo Timonen for his upsy-daisy on Nathan Gerbe at 00:00 of the 3rd period.  Video, naturally.

Now of course that's not to say the Sabres are innocent of the goonish behavior that is warranting such vigilante on-ice justice.  Of course it's almost all coming from your friend and mine, Patrick Kaleta.

And Mike Weber and Tyler Myers were doing the kind of crease clearing that we're predisposed to seeing Chris Pronger dish out.  Again; not something the Flyers are used to; not at all. Like here. And here.

Of course, who could forget the move that has Flyers' fans bouncing off the walls (while the fans of 29 other franchises laughed hysterically.  Go ahead, ask, they did), Kaleta conveniently, inconspicuously, coyly, opens the door for his teammates to enter the bench, except it seems that Nik Zherdev was in the midst of a scrum on it.

Add it all up and what do you get?  One of the best damn Friday nights of your life.  And a pretty entertaining morning on Twitter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Playoff Prognostication Part 2

I, being a wannabe Jew, obviously had to wait until the first day of playoff games were in the books before I would post my playoff predictions that no one cares about. Pens will win every series ever. Ever.

To the Windows...

1st Round2nd RoundConf. Finals
Washington in 5
Buffalo in 7Washington in 6
Boston in 7
Boston in 6Boston in 7
Pittsburgh in 6

And the Wall...

1st Round2nd RoundConf. Finals
Vancouver in 5
Anaheim in 7Vancouver in 7
Vancouver in 7
Detroit in 6Detroit in 7
San Jose in 6

Much like Vance, Vancouver is my pick to win it all...unless of course that shitty shitty PK of theirs lets them down. And Boston fans will be able to relish in the fact that at least their hockey team doesn't suck...or whiff on balls. BOOM.

Montreal sucks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Playoff Prognostication

Because 1 more set of predictions isn't going to kill anybody.  After some serious deliberations (not really) and painstaking research (again, not really); here's the official (read: mine, not Denson's) BanginPanger playoff predictions; complete with NHL 94 brackets.

Starting with the East...

1st Round2nd RoundConf. Finals
Washington in 6
Buffalo in 6Washington in 7
Boston in 7
Boston in 5Boston in 6
Pittsburgh in 7

No, Phoenix did not win the SJS/LAK series; it's re-seeding...dicks

1st Round2nd RoundConf. Finals
Vancouver in 7
San Jose in 5Vancouver in 6
Vancouver in 6
Phoenix in 6Anaheim in 6
Anaheim in 7

And in your 2011 Stanley Cup final; the Vancouver Canucks get their 1st Stanley Cup with a 6 game victory over the Bruins of Boston.

Flame away homers.

BanginPanger on Flyers Corner

Last night had to go ahead and drop some knowledge on those Flyers homers at Flyers Corner and my personal stalkers FlyersGoalScoredBy.

Some pretty good discussion on some of the major issues surrounding the Sabres - Flyers series such as, but not limited to:
  1. Chris Pronger's health and how he changes the dynamic of that roster,
  2. Ryan Miller's late season injury and confidence in Jhonas Enroth,
  3. The Pegula Factor,
  4. The Ennis n' Gerbe factor,
  5. The Briere - Giroux - Leino line scaring the shit outta me, and
  6. Doing blow off Sean Avery's backstraps.

Listen to internet radio with FlyersCorner on Blog Talk Radio

You can follow the hosts of Flyers Corner on Twitter at @SethDH and @Mtrible.  Yeah; some predictions coming later this morning; gotta get my photoshop on first.
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.