By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the Flyers decided to trade Jeff Carter and Mike Richards before this season, many wondered if such a drastic personnel change was the right route to take. According to NBC’s Pierre McGuire, it was part of one of the best comeback stories in NHL history.

“To me, one of the most amazing turnaround jobs in the National Hockey League in the last 15 years belongs to Paul Holmgren and the Philadelphia Flyers,” McGuire told 94WIP’s Marc Farzetta on Tuesday night. “Aggressive general managing, really good pro player procurement, shrewd drafting of amateur talent, just, you name it.”

The Flyers have a three games to none lead in their opening round series against the Penguins largely because of their young core. Whether the acquisition of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is a winning piece of a Stanley Cup puzzle has to be proven. The Flyers have averaged nearly seven goals per game in the series.

Sunday’s game three was the source of a lot of talk, with fights and cheap shots littered throughout. The Penguins’ Arron Asham was suspended for four games, and James Neal was suspended for one game because of their actions. “I’m shocked actually that people are saying this is the worst ever. Does anybody remember the 60’s and the 70’s and the early 80’s? Quite frankly, the Flyers and Penguins have chosen not to like each other since 1967. This is not a novel concept,” McGuire said.

Even though it’s the Penguins who have lost their cool, McGuire says the Flyers are responsible for making that happen. “It’s always been a franchise [Pittsburgh], especially since Mario’s been around, and obviously since they hired Ray Shero, that’s had a lot of focus, a lot of composure, and a lot of self discipline. I don’t know what went off the rails. Something went off the rails and has gone off the rails for Pittsburgh. I think rather than blaming the Penguins, you have to give a lot of credit to the Flyers.”

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