SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flyers-Penguins -- "They Started It!"

That's paraphrasing what kids say after a teacher or adult intervenes in a scrap, scolding both. So one usually says, "but he started it." Sometimes it's hard to tell who started it, but today the desperate Penguins, down 2-0 and playing in a hostile Wachovia Center, talked trash, cheap-shotted the Flyers and generally lost their composure en route to an 8-4 thrashing at the hands of the Broad Street. . . Flyers.

There was feistiness, there were rights, and there was trash talking, and among the biggest instigators/antagonists was uber-star Sidney Crosby, who was, depending on how you looked at it, dirty and profane or feisty and combative. I'm not a huge follower of hockey or a huge fan, but it struck me that the Penguins needed to play a lot smarter in order to take Game 3 and try to make this a competitive series once again. Instead, they came out too aggressive, and, in the end, the Flyers played with more poise and routed their cross-state rivals.

If the Penguins learned anything today, in hockey they should remember this -- if you start it, you better be able to finish it. But it was the Flyers who answered time and time again, finishing any scrap that the Penguins brought their way. It was surprising to see, to a degree, both the Flyers' keeping their cool, relatively speaking, and the Penguins' losing theirs.

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