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First Round Wrap-Up

Alright so after a few days I’ve been able to collect my thoughts as I enter my last week of classes for the semester. Like many other Flyers Phaithful, I have been going nuts waiting for the second round to start. Never been a huge fan of teams having too much idle time, even if Chris Pronger is saying the time off is welcome. The Flyers are awaiting their next opponent and I’m watching a possible one right now as the Capitals take on the Canadiens in Game 6 of their series. The Capitals are the easiest guess to make since they were NHL’s best team and are leading the series 3-2, but the Canadiens have been playing really well as of late and in watching them I see a good possibility of them bringing it to a Game 7. They’re home tonight and currently Montreal is up 2-0 in the second period. Anything can happen in a Game 7, home-ice won’t be a huge factor as the Caps know all too well from their playoff exit two seasons ago (courtesy of Joffrey Lupul).

But I digress. The Flyers were the only team to finish their opponent in 5 games or less in the first round, and for good reason. There were many factors surrounding this advancing Flyers team; a team who was gaining momentum in the last few games of the season. I’m going to review the finer points of why I think the Flyers have upset the Devils and made it to the next round.
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Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Flyers Advance!

The Flyers beat my prediction and took the series in 5 games rather than 6. Doesn’t matter to me! Moving on in a series for the first time since we beat the Canadiens in the second round back in 2008. That feels like ages ago, so as a fan this is a good feeling. I’ll have a full series breakdown soon and a Semi Finals preview depending on who we play next week. Signs are pointing to the Caps, but they have to win first. The Flyers are the first team in the league to advance… AMAZING.

Claude Giroux and Danny Briere are stepping it up big time for the playoffs and they need to continue to do so. Our defense has been sound and Boosh has been excellent. Let’s hope this week off doesn’t kill us.

Playoff Beards
As many hockey fans know, the NHL playoffs bring a lot to the table as far as intensity and passion from the players and fans. One of the long-known traditions is the playoff beard which players grow out as well as many fans. I got a head start on my beard but I have refused to shave it since the Flyers clinched the playoffs. The Flyers are running their Beard-A-Thon again this year to raise money for Flyers Charities. The dancing guy you’ve seen at Flyers games the past few seasons, Shawny Hill, has his beard growing again to raise money. I’m asking you to check out his blog and Beard-A-Thon page and donate if you have any extra cash. Every dollar helps, and it’s for a good cause for some good fans who are asking you to pledge money on their manly facial hair. Let’s keep the charity rollin’ and Dancin’ Shawny dancing for the rest of the playoffs!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Who’s In for Tonight?

As I said yesterday, Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter will be out tonight. Shortly after I made that post, most of you guys probably figured out from the Flyers official site that Gagne would be out about 3 weeks, and Carter is out indefinitely. A huge blow to our team. There goes two of our best two-way players, two of our best shooters, and two of our offensive leaders. You can’t replace guys like that, but Ville Leino will surely have a say in tonight’s game if he can get his game going. The question is, who will be the other guy?

Tim Panaccio’s HockeyBuzz blog pretty much said the same things we’ve all been saying; Laliberte, Cote, Nodl, or possibly Bartulis. Now, he is reporting that Laliberte will in fact be the guy, and he will play alongside Carcillo and Richards on the first line. Briere will be centering Leino and Hartnell, and Giroux will still be with JVR and Asham. The 4th line remains the same with Betts leading his unit of Lappy and Powe. I like what Laviolette is doing here with keeping the bottom lines intact, yet I really think they could get away with bumping Giroux up a line or two and giving him more ice time. Are you really going to trust Laliberte with first line minutes? These lines of course are not finalized, yet Panaccio is saying they are the most probable.

Carcillo-Richards-Laliberte
Hartnell-Briere-Leino
JVR-Giroux-Asham
Powe-Betts-Lappy

Pronger-Carle
Timonen-Coburn
Krajicek-Parent

We’ll see how this works out tonight or if this even will stay the same. Don’t want to give them any hope tonight. Tonight’s about playing good hockey and trying to close out the series ASAP. Would love to see Kovalchuk’s face after we win tonight knowing he has still yet to win a playoff series.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Flyers Take Commanding 3-1 Lead; Albeit Injuries

The Flyers are one win away from advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The 7th seeded Flyers are one win away from knocking off the 2nd seeded Devils and their Hall of Fame goalie and their overpriced Russian sniper. The Flyers beat the Devils handedly last night 4-1 with two goals from Jeff Carter, a blast from Danny Briere, and another nice goal by Dan Carcillo. The problem? We have some injuries to deal with, of course. Jeff Carter’s foot is bothering him again and Gagne fractured a toe blocking a shot on the PK last night. They will both be out for Game 5 tomorrow.

This comes as terrible news because not only was Jeff Carter just finding his scoring touch again, Gagne has been all over the ice using physical play and his speed to create chances. Richards and Carcillo have both been benefactors of Gagne’s presence on the ice through this series, and Gags has been SO close to scoring numerous times this week. It’s a shame that they will have to be out, yet I think the Flyers are still in a great position. You can’t replace guys like that in the line-up, but they can definitely be back for the next series if the Flyers take care of business.

You’re going to hear the comparisons to 2000 yet again because Brian Boucher and the Flyers are up 3-1 just like in 2000. The Devils came back from the 3-1 deficit to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final and we all know what happened then. The Flyers cannot, and will not let that happen again. They have a shot to do it in New Jersey tomorrow, and another one in Philly on Saturday. Let’s hope they can get it done within those two games because I do not want to be in a Game 7 back in their building. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
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Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Flyers Look to Take 3-1 Lead

Alright I’ve been a bit lax on posting lately. Had a real busy weekend but I did get to see the Flyers lose in New Jersey and come back to Philly to take a 2-1 series lead thanks to a Dan Carcillo OT goal.

Tonight’s game will be a series changer either way you look at it. If the Flyers win, they go back to New Jersey with a 3-1 lead and a chance to take a strong hold of the series. It puts the pressure on the Marty and Devils who would need to fight in every game to not lose and go home for good. If the Devils win, it’s a 2-2 series and the Devils have momentum and home-ice back on their side going back to their home crowd.

Expect Krajicek and Parent to be that 3rd pairing again as they played a much better game collectively on Sunday night. Richards needs to continue getting involved in the offense until guys like Carter and Briere find their niche and produce some offense like we’re paying them to do. Not much else to be said about tonight… a win would be huge.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Series Preview: (7) Flyers vs (2) Devils

It was Sunday June 7th 2009 and I was in the Campbell’s Field parking lot in Camden, New Jersey tailgating and enjoying the pre-concert festivities for the return of one of my favorite bands, Phish. The last time they were touring, I was merely in middle school and did not even know they existed. It wasn’t until my guitar teacher got me to finally give them a shot late in high school did I find myself adding them to my list of all-time favorite acts. It would be my first time seeing them live, obviously. What does this have to do with the Flyers and their playoff series with the Devils?

Phish frontman Trey Anastasio is lifelong Flyers fan and is very public with his love for the team and for the city of Philadelphia. I remember him reciting this rhetoric at the show I was at, and I own an audio copy of the show and can listen to it whenever I want. Here’s a direct quote from that same show last year in Camden after they finished playing Tweezer, which is what I believe is the first time he’s made this prediction:

“…We just love Philadelphia… Flyers fan, lifetime Flyers fan. Next year is the year, I know that. I have personal knowledge of that for next year.”

This was towards the end of the set, they then encored with the premiere of one of their new songs, Joy. Then, they followed that with a stellar ending of Bouncing Around the Room > Run Like an Antelope > Tweezer Reprise. Great set.

Then there was Trey’s rocking of the Richie Winter Classic jersey at the November 24th show, and then he went on The Orange Line a few months ago and had this to say:

“But we’re waiting for the next dynasty team. By the way that’s starting this year, we’re going to start the new dynasty.”

Can Trey be right? The Flyers were playing for their playoff lives against a New York Rangers team who were doing the same thing. It came down to the wire in a shootout. An event the Flyers have struggled with endlessly and one that the opposing goaltender happened to be one of the best with. Brian Boucher was in net for us, one of five goalies to do so this season. We won. The New Jersey Devils were one of the teams we best matched up with during the regular season. Flyers fans everywhere were calling for a first round draw with the Devils. We got it. The stars aligned here…
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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Round 1: #2 Devils vs. #7 Flyers

Yesterday’s game sure as hell was something special. As I said yesterday, it was going to be a tough game. I’m stating the obvious there, but when you have two Atlantic division rivals going at it for a coveted last spot in the playoffs yet to be determined; wild things are going to be done. I missed the second and third periods, getting updates from friends with calls and texts while I was unable to be near a TV or radio. I finally got in the car with some friends to head back to a TV and I hoped I could catch overtime at least. But then I’m listening to the last minute of play in overtime on 610 WIP. Tim Saunders is calling it and I’m starting to get nervous… Can Boosh out-duel the Rangers in a shootout? Does this game really have to get decided by a skills competition?
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Posted by on April 12, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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