Monday, April 16, 2012

That's the Way Pittsburgh Became The Bylsma Punks

Game 3 of the Flyers-Penguins first-round playoff series degenerated into a barroom brawl between cross-state rivals that love to hate each other. En route to a third-straight loss that would put them on the brink of an early playoff exit, Pittsburgh got downright dirty, prompting several fights and ejections.

Sidney Crosby—long teased throughout the league as "Cindy" for his tendency to whine, and thus positioned in Cindy's square, at bottom-right—precipitated Pittsburgh's cheap play by jabbing several time at a puck already covered in goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's glove. When Flyers captain Claude Giroux came to his goalie's defense and pushed Crosby, the Penguins captain—who missed more than 100 games over two seasons after suffering a concussion—shoved Giroux's head into the glass and, during the ensuing fight, took a swing at him while Giroux was wrapped up by one of the linesmen.

Then, after Flyer Brayden Schenn blasted Penguins defenseman Paul Martin with a booming hit, Pittsburgh enforcer Arron Asham (Mike Brady's spot, bottom-center) cross-checked Schenn under chin, sending him sprawling to the ice, pounced on him, and punched Schenn while he lay prone. Schenn clearly charged Martin, but for Asham—well known as a fighter—to cross-check a smaller player rather than drop the gloves...and then to hit a man as he lay defenseless on the the apex of cheap play. Asham received an immediate match penalty, and later a four-game suspension.

Early in the third period, James Neal (Peter Brady's spot, center-right) left his feet and intentionally blindsided Sean Couturier with a forearm to the head, leaving the Philadelphia rookie lying senseless on the ice for several moments. Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette was understandably furious with Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma (Alice's spot, center square) for allowing—perhaps even encouraging—his players to goon it up. Unbelievably, Neal received no penalty.

So, altogether now... 
Here's a story
Of a lanky lady
Who whines and moans and knocks away others' gloves
Cindy scores a lot of goals
But like her mother
She cries like a little girl

Here's a story
Of a coach named Danny
Who was bringing up two dozen boys of his own
They were twenty-five men
Skating all together
Yet by the Flyers they were all owned

Til the one day when Cindy came to Philly
And they went head-hunting and threw a sucker punch
That this group might play like the Corleone family
That's the way they all became the Bylsma Punks

The Bylsma Punks
The Bylsma Punks
That's the way they became...the Bylsma Punks

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