I have the answer.
The reason that the Penguins lost so abysmally to the frickin' Flyers is....Chris Pronger.
Why is this Prongs' fault? Let me guide you through the quick and easy equation of: 'Seven Degrees to Why Everything is Chris Pronger's Fault'.
1. Start with the reason for your problem.
Well, in this case, it can be pinned down to two points: The Flyers got lucky, scoring hat tricks and all that (which would be Lupul and Umberger, but Lupul was the more frustrating and early pain, so I'm blaming him primarily), and the Pens had some horrific goaltending in Sabourin and (ack) Ty Conklin. Leaving aside the fact that Karma is most likely biting me in the ass for my incessant teasing of Lupul and Conks last season, we'll stick to the three people mentioned above.
2. Blame these problems on Chris Pronger.
Let's go individually down the list.
-Lupul: This one is easy. He came from the Pronger trade (along with Ladislav Smid) to Edmonton, and then because he wasn't producing and only scoring in bars with the bunnies, got traded to Philly with Jason Smith. The reason for the trade? I can only imagine it was to try to rectify the gaping wound left by the fall of the 2006 Cup run and the stinging ache in Edmonton's collective testicles by the kick Pronger bestowed on that fair city.
-Sabourin: An acquisition from the Canucks this season, he has shown up remarkably well in net for the Pens so far. His last game was against his old team when he came in to relieve a wounded Fleury, which he went on to win like he was playing on PCP. I'm sure the high after of winning in his old house was great...and probably brought back the memories of his last game between the pipes up in Vancouver, a playoff game he stepped in to relieve Luongo for, against, you guessed it, Anaheim. I'm sure the stress of having to relive that moment of Pronger-ness drove him to sleepless nights and therefore made him unfocused in net.
-Ty Conklin: Ahh Conks. What to say here. His first time wandering between the pipes for Pittsburgh, and against his old captain, Jason Smith. The last time he got to see him up close and personal was (barring the Blue Jackets game last year) during the Cup finals of 2006, which was a particularly horrible time for him. This horrible time also involved Pronger, who shortly after made his Escape to LA. Coincidence?
14 December 2007
I have the answer.