PITTSBURGH - Take the average game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, multiply the intensity by at least 100 and simmer over seven games.
That's what this opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series is going to be like.
The match between the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams is traditionally a tough one, just because they're so close in the standings.
Indeed, over the 82-game regular season, the Penguins wound up just five points ahead of the Flyers.
The outlook for this series is that the Penguins will again prevail, but just slightly. I'm taking Pittsburgh in seven.
The emotion of the series sometimes tends to obscure the fact the Flyers are a talented team.
Philadelphia traditionally has goaltending issues, but Ilya Bryzgalov has been gold in the second half of the season, and Sergei Bobrovsky owns career success against the Penguins.
The Flyers have a strong power play that has enjoyed success against the Penguins. Until last Saturday's defeat, the Flyers had won every game at Consol Energy Center, so home ice isn't that much of an advantage.
If there's a concern about the Penguins, it's that their overall team defense seemed to sag in the last weeks of the regular season.
They can't play that way against any quality opponent. It puts too much of a burden on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
They've had a couple of days to work on things and regain their focus. Playing solid defense is a matter of commitment.
If the Penguins get back on track defensively, their superior talent will put them over the top against the Flyers.
The Pirates had a couple of last at-bat wins over the weekend, and they followed the new baseball trend of pounding on the guy who got the game-winning hit.
Maybe someone can explain what sense it makes to do that.
There's no good that can come of it, and there's always the possibility that someone could get hurt.
It's too staged to be an honest show of emotion, so it's unnecessary.
Nobody wants to kill the fun of a celebration, but there are times when it needs to be dialed down.
Used to be that a player who hit a game-winning homer would stage some sort of giant leap onto home plate.
That took a hit when the Los Angeles Angels' Kendry Morales took a jubilant leap at the plate and broke his left leg on May 29, 2010.
He missed the rest of the 2010 season and all of last season. He's only returned this year.
Mehno can be reached at email@example.com