When the NHL selected tonight’s contest between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins to be a national broadcast, they probably didn’t think that this would be the storyline. That the Flyers would be in the process of pulling themselves up by their skate laces and gunning for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Odds are they didn’t predict that the Penguins would be trying to avoid a three-game losing streak in the contest either.
Both of these teams were considered solid squads heading into the season, yet Philly’s struggles have been well documented to this point. Claude Giroux just scored his first goal of the season and an offense that was considered vaunted during training camp is just now getting the grease in the wheels.
When the Flyers look back at the year, they may see this three or four game stretch on the calendar as a turning point for the team. The 5-0 downing of the Ottawa Senators last night showed Philly at its best, and they’ll look to build off of that effort against the Pens.
Pittsburgh has had an awful time trying to stay healthy this season, and they might be without Paul Martin for this contest.
This is a big game for both teams, but for very different reasons and it should make for must-watch TV. Even if it isn’t for the reasons that the league had in mind at the beginning of the season. These two teams are bitter rivals, and a matchup with Sidney Crosby might be exactly what Giroux needs to shake out of his slump once and for all.