Flyers/Penguins game 1 looked like the unstoppable force vs. the highly moveable object. Surely, that means Dave Hakstol will make some changes for game two, right?
That's a bold strategy, Cotton, let's see how it plays out. Brian Elliot gave up five goals on 19 Penguins shots on Wednesday. The statistics were telling, but so was the eye test. Elliot simply didn't have it in game 1.
Neither did anybody else on the Flyers. Their plus/minus portion of the stat sheet looked like the leaderboard of the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Claude Giroux was a minus-4. Philly's best d-pair, Provorov and Gostisbehere, were a combined minus-6. Hakstol, though, will keep the lineup the same as in game 1.
What say the Penguins?
The Penguins will look to improve off of a 7-0 win. The Flyers, meanwhile, say they're just going to have to "play better."
The Flyers could use the same lineup and try to deploy different matchups. If I were Hakstol, I'd try to get Giroux's line against the Sheary/Brassard/Kessel unit. Brassard is a good two-way player, but neither Sheary or Kessel would ever be accused of that.
If the Flyers don't get Giroux going, they're doomed. They may be doomed anyhow. One thing is for certain ... doing nothing different would mean certain elimination.