They did it, they did it, and they did it again. The team who had many writers predicting a Stanley Cup win in the beginning of the season became the team no one thought would make the playoffs. Then you have the team who wasn’t going to make it out of the first round. Then you have the team that’s the best in the East and representing their conference and city in the Stanley Cup Finals to play for the most prized trophy in all of sports. How’d they do it?
Things looked bad early when Gionta jumped on a loose puck and sent a shot in between Leighton’s legs for an early lead in the first minute of the game. On the penalty kill a few minutes later, the Canadiens were looking to go up 2-0 but Mike Richards had the shift of his life. The tiny Marc-Andre Bergeron thought it’d be cute to skate the puck in, but was met at the blue line by Richie for a brutal hit. Richie and Giroux skated up the ice, Giroux crashed the net and Richie found a trailing Coburn for a nice shot but a nicer save by Halak. The captain’s answer? Skate hard back on the forecheck along with Coburn and Giroux, and get the puck back. Giroux got the puck, softly played it to center and Richards took it as Halak was coming way out of his net along with Hamrlik behind him. The puck somehow got past the pile of people, Richie slid, got up and deposited an easy backhander into the empty net for it to be 1-1. And the Flyers never looked back.
Asham scored a key goal on a nice move to make it 2-1, and my amazing call that Carter would score happened to make it 3-1. Richie gave him a nifty pass from behind the net for an easy far-side shot by Carter. Carter would also get the empty net for a total of 4 Flyers goals, but not before Gomez scored near the end of the game for a final score of 4-2. Flyers move on to play the Blackhawks, and last night was a time to celebrate. The rest of the week is time for the team to refocus, refresh, and get the past 3 rounds out of their collective systems. The Hawks are different than any other team they’ve faced this postseason, but you can say the same for the Flyers as the Hawks’ opponent. I’ll have a full series preview later in the week. Right now I’m just enjoying the win and getting Flyer’d up. I’ve waited 13 long years for this along with the rest of you.
Cue the greatness: