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Penguins look lost against Flyers

I had a little more rooting interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins this year than I have in the past.

It was nothing special, but for me it was added incentive to follow them in the playoffs this spring.

I got to the Consol Energy Center for the first time about a month ago and had excellent seats, just four rows from the ice.

Like I said, nothing special, but it felt like I had more of an interest in this year's squad. There was something special about seeing them in person.

The Penguins beat the Coyotes that night, playing wonderful defense and getting great goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury.

Today, just a day away from Game 4 of the Penguins' series against the Philadelphia Flyers, I wonder what the heck happened to that team I saw a few weeks ago. The team I saw then wouldn't be trailing the Flyers 3-0 and be a good bet to book tee times as soon as Thursday.

I was fired up about the postseason. I thought they were a threat, but I wasn't as blinded by loyalty to pick them to win it all. The Penguins had a terrible first-round matchup and, if they got by the Flyers, they likely would be pared with the top-seeded Rangers.

So much for that.

This team looks nothing like the one I saw a few weeks ago:
  • For one, Sidney Crosby is back, and that should have made this team better.
  • The Penguins have scored 12 goals and Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's points leader, hasn't scored.
  • The simple fact that the Pens have 12 goals and three losses is a bit mind-boggling, then again, they've given up 20 goals.
  • I don't know where the defense has been.
  • I don't know what's happened to Fleury, either.
Speaking of Fleury, I was at a loss on the decision to pull him in Game 3. I thought it would have made sense to yank him after giving up four first-period goals to try to give the team a spark. The game was lost at the start of the third period.

Finally, it's funny looking back and writing "if they got by the Flyers" a few paragraphs ago. Now, this season has come down to, if they can get a win against the Flyers.

With the implosion of this team, I'm not sure that's possible.

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