The Wachovia Center has seen its fair share of great games this season, with the Flyers playing pretty well at home overall. Tonight will be the last game played at the Wachovia Center for the 2009-2010 season, and it is the most important. The Stanley Cup will be in Philly tonight for the first time since 1987, and we don’t want to see it on the ice tonight. You can read other blogs for a recap of Game 5, because there’s not much else to say except the Flyers got flat-out outplayed for a majority of the game, and couldn’t settle down for long periods of time. Tonight will be different, I am sure of it.
There is no way the Flyers or their fans will let this team go down at home with the Cup on the line. We will have last change tonight with the advantage of setting up our defensive and offensive match-ups, so that’s another advantage besides our boisterous crowd. Joel Quenneville broke up his original line combinations on Sunday night and it helped Chicago spread their talent out. The Flyers also moved switched Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux on their respective lines, which I’ve been screaming for all series. Giroux needs more ice-time to be fully effective, and Carter has been fully ineffective. Let him center JVR and Asham and let them strut their stuff. Richards and Gagne need an effective player that can help them out and not shoot the puck into opposing players’ shin pads.
Michael Leighton should get the start tonight, I don’t think we could see it any other way. Boosh is still not 100%, regardless of what he has said. Tonight will be one of the last tests this team that has overcome so much adversity will face this season. Will they tie up the series and force the fabled Game 7 for the Stanley Cup that every team dreams as when he’s playing with his friends? Will they lose at home and end this amazing ride? I don’t think so. This team has consistently showed up when they’ve needed to most, but that’s not to say they usually don’t show up. Chris Pronger was a -5 last game, but who cares? I said it before after Game 3 in Montreal, Chris Pronger does not play two bad games in a row. He didn’t even have a bad game last time, his +/- was a reflection of a lack of team defense.
The last game of the season was the biggest game of the year.
The four elimination games in the Boston series were the biggest games of the year.
Game 4 in Montreal was the biggest game of the year, and then Game 5 was.
Games 3 and 4 in Philly were the biggest games of the year, and then Game 5 in Chicago was.
As we go further, there is more on the line and the games get bigger. Tonight will be no different; the biggest game of the year.
Let’s do it at home.
Image courtesy of Zimbio.com