“The pressure isn’t on us to win, it’s on them to close out the series.”
That was what the Flyers coach told his team when they were down 3-0 in the series to the Boston Bruins and it worked to perfection. The Philadelphia Flyers made the comeback winning four straight to win the series 4-3 and to eliminate the Boston Bruins from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Flyers became only the fourth team in sports history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win the series 4-3. What an incredible accomplishment to have on their tape. They will be remembered as one of the only teams to complete such a come back. Everyone will be thinking back to the '09-'10 Flyers and using them as an inspiration. How so? Like this.
-”But coach, we can’t win it’s impossible.”
-”Guys, think back to 2010 when the Philadelphia Flyers completed that amazing comeback against the Boston Bruins. We can be like them, we can do it!”
Something along those lines could, should, and would be used by coaches everywhere to help motivate their squads back into things.
When Philadelphia tied up the series 3-3 it came down to one last game. Boston had one more chance to close out the series, while Philadelphia simply had one chance. One chance to make history by completing the four game comeback. It was certainly a game worth watching for so many reasons.
The game took an interesting angle. The Bruins got a 3-0 lead on the Flyers, much like the 3-0 lead they had in the series. Philadelphia made the comeback and took the game and the series 4-3. It’s funny how things like that just happen, wouldn’t you agree?
With that, Philadelphia had a date with Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now while most are going to have their money on the Montreal Canadiens, I think it isn’t too far-fetched to see Philadelphia wining either. They’ve got a solid squad and they have obviously proven they can get the win when nobody expects them to.
Did anyone think they were going to beat New Jersey? Probably not. Did anyone think they were going to beat Boston? Again, probably not.
The Eastern Conference and Western Conference are exact opposites. In the West you have the two top teams facing off in the finals, but in the East it is the exact opposite. Chicago and San Jose were the two best teams in the west during the regular season, now they meet in the conference final there. Meanwhile, Montreal and Philadelphia were seventh and eighth in the regular season and now they meet in the conference final. Like I said, exact opposite.
Now the Canadiens and Flyers have played similar roles in the playoffs. Both have been on the better end of upsets this year.
Montreal took out the two most feared teams this year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The Capitals were the best team in the NHL going into the playoffs. They had dreams of winning the cup this year. In seven games, Montreal ended those dreams winning the series 4-3.
The road only got tougher as they got the defending cup champions in the next round. Many believed that Pittsburgh was going to repeat last year’s success this year round. After seven games, no one was thinking that anymore. Montreal beat them and eliminated yet another giant in these playoffs.
Although Philadelphia had teams not up to the level of Pittsburgh or Washington, it wasn’t a walk in the park either. First Philadelphia got a tough test in Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. What happens? Philadelphia gets the series win 4-1.
Next was Boston. Boston had taken out the Buffalo Sabres in the first round and were considered dangerous. What happens? I think you already know.
An interesting development here has been goaltending for the Philadelphia Flyers. Brian Boucher was doing a great job of guiding the Flyers through the playoffs early on putting up some great numbers: 6-4, a 2.33 goals against average, .915 save percentage and a shutout against the New Jersey Devils.
Unfortunately, Boucher would go down with an injury in the series with Boston. The Flyers did not seem worried though when Michael Leighton took over for Philadelphia. They were right not to worry. 2-0 record in three games, a 1.55 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. His numbers are better than Jaroslav Halak’s. Then again Halak has had tougher opponents.
The Flyers defense is going to be a huge problem for the Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers defense really makes you work for your goals and do not let you get easy pucks on net. The Montreal offense is going to have to work really hard if they want to get good scoring opportunities on net. Someone besides Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri are going to have to learn to score.
Here are some things to keep in mind about the Flyers offense:
-Every forward on the Flyers squad who has played at least 8 games, except for Blair Betts has scored at least one goal in the playoffs.
-The return of Simon Gagne has been an impactful one. Since his return the Flyers are 4-0.
-Ville Leino is averaging almost a point per game for the Flyers
This should be quite the series for an Eastern Conference Finals. Both Philadelphia and Montreal earned their spots in the conference final. In the end though there can only be one team moving on to the Stanley Cup Final. Will it be The Giant Killers, the Montreal Canadiens or The Comeback Kids, the Philadelphia Flyers? In one series time, we’ll have our answer as to who will be playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name " The Comeback Kids: Philadelphia Complete The Comeback On Boston And Move On To Face Montreal ." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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