Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 5/7/2012

There’s a feeling of frustration among Philadelphia players (The Inquirer) and fans alike.  The Flyers have dropped three games in a row to the Devils, and are now facing elimination, being down 3-1 in the series.  Their most recent loss came last night in New Jersey when the Devils, like Games 2 & 3, completely outworked them (ESPN).  

There’s just no answer as to what has happened to the intense and relentless Flyers team from the previous series (Hockey Buzz).  They could be fatigued, or maybe even beat up.  Either way, they’re totally faltering (Crimespree Hockey).

Some have even brought up the fact that the Flyers just don’t want it.  Center Claude Giroux quickly shot down this theory in a postgame interview Monday.  He said it’s not a matter of ‘working hard’ but instead ‘working the right way’ (CSNPhilly).

To make matters worse, the Flyers will be without their best player due to suspension.  Claude Giroux was suspended one game for his illegal hit to the head on Dainius Zubrus (TCL Flyers).  While Giroux definitely won’t be playing in Game 5, Andrej Meszaros may be back.  He’s been participating in Flyers practice since May 5th (@NHLAdamK), but just wasn’t ready enough to play in Game 4.  When he makes a return, there’s a few different spots the Flyers could use him at (TCL Flyers).

The Devils do deserve credit though.  Their cycle game is top notch (Orange and Black Pack), and their defensive game has been better than ever (In Lou We Trust).  That’s where Marek Zidlicky comes in.  Zidlicky was a mid-season acquisition and has proved to be a good one (NJ) as he helps to solidify both ends of the ice (RLD Hockey).

The Kings are also excelling...

They came into the playoffs at the eighth seed, and have an 8-1 record, which includes sweeping the St. Louis Blues (NHL.com).  Meanwhile, the Capitals and Rangers are involved in a tight one.  The Rangers won Game 1, only to be matched in Game 2.  The same happened with Games 3 and 4, and the series is now tied 2-2.  They will play tonight in New York (NHL.com).

Also playing tonight are the Coyotes and Predators.  Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith has completely led the way for the ‘Yotes, picking up three wins, one of which included a shutout in Game 4.  The Predators will have to find a way to solve him, or else they’ll be eliminated by the end of the night (NHL.com).

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Kimmo Timo