Friday, May 14, 2010

Can the Flyers Make History?

We saw it happening at 3-2, but now the Flyers are on the brink of an epic comeback. Down 3-0 in their series with the Bruins, the South Philly fellows have stormed back to tie the series at 3 all.

Game seven is tonight in Boston.

What favors the Flyers? A lot of things. The momentum has shifted all the way in their favor. They're on a hot streak. They are scoring and shutting down the opposition. Their goalie, Leighton, who took over when Boucher was injured in game 5 - has let up just one goal – for a .978 save percentage. So he’s hot and he’s rested. The Flyers, having been written off and left for dead - are playing with house money now - they are reborn and brimming with confidence. The Bruins haven't won a hockey game in a week and have scored exactly one goal since game 4 - they are reeling right now. And in their heads - they are thinking about an epic collapse - instead of focusing on a victory.

What favors the Bruins? Well, they have home ice advantage. And unlike all the other major sports - there is a real tangible edge to playing at home. Your coach gets the last line change - so you can put your best line out against your opponent's worst. But that is about it.

Who will win? The Bruins need to score more than one goal on Leighton. They haven't. If they can do that – especially early - the aura of invincible gets knocked off of Philly a bit. But if Philly gets ahead - Boston may just collapse.

And yes - I am so embarrassingly old that I remember sitting with my Dad as a kid in front of the TV in 1975 watching the Islanders come all the way back from 3-0, and yes - I believe it could happen again tonight. I believed it at 3-0 - I'm certainly not changing my mind now. I’m not rooting for it, mind you, but I believe it can happen.

The winner plays a Montreal Canadien team that shocked and delighted Dave Pucks and all of us here at Blueshirt Brothers by beating first the NHL points-and-goal leader Washington - and then the NHL defending champs Pittsburgh. What an accomplishment - they beat the two top teams in hockey back to back. Congratulations men - I am glad that Ovechkin's name stays off the cup this year - and that Crosby doesn't get to wrap his Olympic gold between back to back cup wins.

Add the ex-Rangers Dominic Moore and Scott Gomez into the mix - and I'm rooting Habs all the way.

We just have that little matter tonight to decide who they'll be playing. I can’t believe that the team we nearly caught for the 8th slot is on the verge of round three.

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