Saturday, March 15, 2014

Inside Access: Philadelphia Flyers verses Pittsburgh Penguins

'Inside Access' is an ongoing 'Insight' series that takes readers behind the scenes at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Today's game featured the Flyers verses the Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fred Shero

The Flyers honored their legendary back-to-back Stanley Cup Championship head coach Fred Shero prior to today's game. The organization unveiled a statue of the Hall of Famer ceremony outside of Xfinity Live approximately two hours before today's 1 p.m. EST faceoff.

With Shero the Flyers revolutionized hockey in the 1970s, terrorized every National Hockey League opponent and created an era that they fiercely defined. Without Shero the Flyers have often appeared in the playoffs and made it to the Stanley Cup Final a number of occasions. But, the organization has never been able to lift the Silver Chalice for a third time. That ongoing reality serves to underscore how vital Shero's presence in Philadelphia was during the team's greatest moments in ice time.


Starting Goalies: Marc-Andre Fleury for the Pens and Steve Mason for the Flyers. (Ray Emery's return to the bench today could mean that he starts the Pittsburgh end of this double-header tomorrow.)

Pens entered the game with the top power play and the top penalty kill in the NHL.

The Flyers would accomplish something against the Pens today that they hadn't done since April 23, 2009 (playoffs) and since April 6, 2008 (regular season).

First Period

Zac Rinaldo involved himself in a scrum directly in front of the Pens net that eventually drew all five opposing players into a shoving match that resulted in a Flyers' power play.

Scott Hartnell then scored his sixteenth goal at 3:50 on the power play. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds assisted.

Later in the period, while short-handed, Sean Couturier stole the puck, circled behind Fleury and hit Matt Read with a pass. Read tallied his seventeenth marker of the season at 8:12.

A notable play happened when Braydon Coburn stripped Sidney Crosby of the puck as he was moving in on Mason. Crosby was called for a cross checking penalty at 11:04.

Flyers outshot Pens 12-7 in the period.

Second Period

Fleury made two terrific right pad saves midway through the second period.

Vincent Lecavalier pulled a string, then lifted a nice shot over Fleury's right shoulder to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead. It was his fifteenth goal of the year, which was assisted by Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann.

Pens have been shutout three times this season, most recently by the Dallas Stars (3-0) on the road in January (25th). The other shutouts were by Colorado in October and by Ottawa in December.

Tic-Tac-Toe: Couturier moved toward the net on a rush. He passed the puck to Giroux, 'G' paddle-balled it to Coots, who slid it to Read. Number 24 stood alone on Fleury's right side and smartly netted his second goal of the game (eighteenth overall).

Flyers outshot Pens 29-18 through two periods.

Third period

Mason recorded his fourth shutout of the season, stopping 25 shots to Fleury's 40. The Flyers last shutout the Penguins (3-0) on April 23, 2009 with Martin Biron between the pipes. Prior to that playoff game, they last shutout the Pens in the regular season on April 6, 2008. Biron was also in net during that game.

The Pens clearly seemed less motivated (considering their double-digit Metro Division lead) then the Flyers. Philadelphia knew they needed these two Saturday points and they got them.

Tomorrow's game in Pittsburgh offers a different challenge for Craig Berube's squad, who have done well on the Consol Energy Center Ice in recent seasons. Of course, the same was also true for the Pens when they've played in Philly before today's game.


Craig Berube praised Matt Read's speed, quickness and competitiveness in the postgame presser. He said that he liked 'Coot's' positioning against Crosby and also noted that his rising young star has a good stick.


Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, through Facebook, or on LinkedIn.


My illustrated children's book: Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile officially became a Top 10 Amazon best-seller as of January 29, 2014. 

Since December (2013) Maddie has appeared within Amazon's Top 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 illustrated children's books. 

The ongoing public response to this real-life story continues to be deeply humbling for everyone who was involved in creating this illustrated children's book.

Children's Alopecia Project

50% of all proceeds from the sale of our book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP).

What a ride

This incredible and unexpected ride began in the spring of 2011. By August 2013, the book was published by the Children's Alopecia Project in print form. We have been very pleased with sales of that edition. Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to purchase the printed book directly from CAP.

I published a special ebook edition within weeks of the print book release. After starting in the tens of thousands (in terms of Amazon's children's book rankings), Maddie broke into the Top 50 just prior to Christmas. It climbed through the 30s and settled in the upper 20s before breaking into the Top 10.  

Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a 'free-view' of the special ebook edition. 

I've included extra bonus features in this version that provide background information, extra photos, and illustrations. Each item helps to tell the complete story of this book's birth. 

Here's a link to this great (print and online) article that the Reading Eagle recently published about our story Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile: Book chronicles Wyomissing teen's journey since being diagnosed with alopecia


Thank you to Stacey Stauffer (Fox 29 Philadelphia). She interviewed Madison Woytovich, her parents (Jeff and Betsy Woytovich) and me about the latest chapter in this inspiring story. Here's a video link to Stacey's wonderful feature. 


Feel free to click on any of my interviews with famous athletes and sports' personalities...
Martin Brodeur: Discusses His Record-Setting Shutout Total and Key Rivalries 
Jaromir Jagr: Current NHL Forward and Future Hall of Famer
Philadelphia Flyers' Bernie Parent: Postgame reflections 
Bobby Clarke: Philadelphia Flyers' Legend Talks Hockey
Ron Hextall Recalls His Greatest Season
Kerry Fraser: NHL Referee is Still Making the Right Calls
Here's a selection of my interviews with broadcasters, actors, models and more...
Fox Television's Erin Como Reveals Her Timeless Model for Success: Interview

This mini-tome is a collection of stories and poems for readers who don't take themselves too seriously. I hope that you enjoy it and am always interested in your feedback. 

Visit my Examiner Contributor Page, or my Yahoo Contributor Page.

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