As the playoffs begin tomorrow, thoughts of the grudge match between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are really starting to heat up. Fans are quickly getting into it and everyone is becoming a fan of the “Because it’s the Cup” commercials on TV. It’s that time of year again, where the season you have been watching all year could crumble in front of your eyes or you could end up seeing a parade in your beloved city. This is when every single game, shot, hit, and fight all add up to either winning or losing.
In the six meetings so far this year between the two teams, the Flyers won four while the Penguins snagged two victories. Every single game, with the exception of the final, meaningless game, was heated.
Fans from either team will not forget the game on April 1, 2012, when the teams went at each other late in the game, with the Flyers taking it 6-4. Flyers rookie forward Brayden Schenn cross-checked Sidney Crosby from behind after the whistle had blown, which infuriated the Penguins’ bench even though it had been somewhat soft and Crosby immediately stood back up. However, head coach Dan Bylsma wasn’t going to let it get away, and he sent out his fourth line, more commonly known as the “checking line”.
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was getting aggravated when Penguins’ “goon-squad member” Joe Vitale put a clean, but uncalled for, hit on Flyers forward Danny Briere. Laviolette stood on top of the bench, screaming at Bylsma. He later called the move by Bylsma to send his big-hitters out there “gutless”.
NBC’s Pierre Mcguire stated that it is the most angry he has ever seen Peter get. This instance shows just how heated this rivalry can get. It should be very interesting to see how this series plays out among the two teams. We will just have to wait and watch.