What the hell kinda awful picture is this?
If you ask me, this barely visible mashup of colors and shapes could very well be the tipping point in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series.
Its from a fight that happened just over a month ago. Riley Cote decided to fight BGL, despite having lost to him earlier in the season. While this fight was a shade above a draw in favor of BGL, Georges landed a left that sent Cote's helmet flying 30-some odd feet down the ice. Video is provided below, so you know what I'm talking about.
Even if you're a casual Pens fan, you've probably seen this video.
With the Flyers expected to play wanna-be-goon Cote to matchup with the likes of Hal Gill and BGL, a fight might be what gives either team the decided advantage. We've been fortunate to follow a sweep with a 5-game series win. Expecting another sweep, or even a quick series, would be foolish. As much as I'd like to see an absolute dissection of the Cryers, I'm fully prepared for a series that goes 6, maybe 7 games. This isn't me doubting MAF or the ridiculous display by our defense, just me trying to stay level-headed in spite of the recent playoff success.
So what happens if the series is knotted up at 1s or 2s? Would we sit back and hope our offense comes through in the clutch? That's a good aspect to have in your back pocket, but with guys like Cote and Hartnell wearing orange, borderline-dirty play might keep the offense in check.
Which is why guys like BGL might play a bigger role than originally thought.
That April 2nd fight allowed BGL to get in Cote's head (and nearly knocked that head off). Sure, Cote is pretty fearless and will fight anyone, but his inexperience (compared to guys like BGL) causes him to bite off more than he can sometimes chew. Should the two players fight in order to sway momentum, Cote goes into the brawl knowing that the last time the guys tangled, Cote's helmet went into orbit. Sure, hockey players are tough, but something that extraordinary has to leave some doubt in a guy's mind.
Now, that was a lot of speculation put into print, but my point is this:
- Expect a tight/physical series
- Momentum will be key
- Cote is going to get a decent amount of ice time.
- Its the Eastern Conference Finals, teams will be playing desperate
- BGL is 2-0 against Cote this season
- Fights are rare in the postseason, but could Cote make a Holloweg-esque dumb move and battle BGL?
Oh, and this: