The Eastern Conference Semi-finals between Montreal and Philadelphia is turning out to be a series that hockey fans love the most: Fast-paced, hard-hitting, and rough, including tough fans and unbelievable goals and saves.
This series currently stands at one game a piece. I guess you could now call it a best-of-five series, making it even more nerve-wracking.
Martin Biron has been the key to Philadelphia taking Game 2 and almost winning Game 1. The Flyers were being greatly out-shot but Biron insured them a chance for victory.
Playing at home is always nice, but three straight for Montreal was just too much. The pressure to keep the fans happy for that long is far too great. A person must remember, also, that in the regular season the Canadiens had one of the top road-wins record in the NHL.
One thing making this series entertaining to a greater degree is power plays. After having the worst percentage in the first round against Boston, Montreal's power play is stepping up. It has become obvious that Saku Koivu is critical for more than just leadership. At the same time, Philadelphia has also showed they can score on the power play. A lack of discipline for either team means a better chance of a higher score.
Speaking of discipline, tempers have sure been hot. Tom Kostopoulos of the Canadiens' fourth line proved that at the end of Game 2 with providing a face wash. The best part of both the Habs and Flyers not being afraid to get physical is the refs. They let the players rough each other up and when they do call a penalty these are often coincidental.
Everything mentioned above leads up to close (as well as entertaining) games. Neither of the first two were runaways or blowouts. I would be surprised if that changes in the remainder of the games. This is one series that would deserve to end with something that leaves you sitting at the edge of your seat all night; even more perfect would be not only a Game 7, but one decided in overtime(s).
Does hockey get any better than this?
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