The Penguins and Flyers will meet in the playoffs for the first time since the debacle in 2012. The low point in the Sidney Crosby era of Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey.
Since that moment, the Penguins have been to the conference final three times and won the Stanley Cup twice. These Pens aren't the mentally fragile group that took the ice against Philly five Aprils ago.
Under Dan Bylsma, the Penguins would get rattled and were easily frustrated. Not this team. With Mike Sullivan at the helm, the Penguins mantra is "just play." And it works.
That Philly team was good. They were the 3rd highest scoring team the the national hockey league. They also had a lot of success against the Pens. Not just in terms of the results. They could suck the Penguins into playing a fire wagon brand of hockey. The Penguins were 2-3-1 against the Flyers that year. Pittsburgh's two wins weren't masterpieces, either, with one coming on the final day of the regular season. It was meaningless.
This year's bunch of Flyers isn't as good as that year's team. If you take away the loser point, they're 42-40. Philly's 12th in the league in goals per game, 14th in goals against, 16th on the power play, and 29th on the PK. They're average. The Pens are 4-0 against them this year scoring five goals in each contest.
You may still have some PTSD when thinking back to 2012. These Penguins aren't anything like that group, and neither are the Flyers.
Prediction: Claude Giroux is hot as all get-out, but the Flyers goaltending is suspect to say the least. Philly will get their first win against the Penguins this year, but that's all they'll get.
PENS in 5.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images