Where to start?
When Brian Boucher stoned Olli Jokinen in a game 82 shootout that gave the Flyers a chance at Cup run?
Cruising through the NJ Devils while Brian Boucher outplayed one of the best goalies of all time?
Or the best come back in Stanley Cup Playoff History against the B’s?
Despite a roller coaster ride of a season and a long list of injuries on the Flyer roster this season, these factors were all key attributions to an outstanding performance in the post season thus far.
Remember when the press were once questioning Mike Richards leadership and they are now praising him for his characteristics. Who is laughing now? Not the good people with microphones, clip boards and cameras!
The return of Simon Gagne in game four scoring the overtime winner against the Bruins and later scoring the winning goal in game 7 to upset the B’s. Unbelievable, that is all I have to say.
I know it is a team sport and sometimes the key veterans need to lead by example and that is what we have seen from guys like Pronger, Timonen, Richards, Gagne and Briere. Along with the soon to return Jeff Carter, these are the highest paid players on the team and they have certainly earned their pay checks when it mattered most! I believe the word is clutch!
Pronger leads the league in minutes at age 35. He has the ability to shut down the best goal scorers which takes pressure off the net minder, whoever that might be.
His presence and calmness seems to rub off on the other players and they have some insane chemistry going for them right now and is tough to match in any professional sport.
Funny how the game Leighton returned to the lineup Brian Boucher went out with a likely season ending injury. This is nothing new at all, that is just the way it has gone for Peter Laviolette and the ‘Comeback Kids.’ Leighton has been stellar since his return in which he and Boosh shared a shutout.
He also had a solo shutout tonight when all the focus and hype was on Halak. Six goals from the Flyers helped but the Habs have been on fire beating the number one and also the fourth seed but the Flyers gave them a little taste of what Broad Street has to offer.
I don’t count the Habs out but in all honesty, I don’t think they can match what the Flyers got going right now. It is all about the passion and the team are playing for the logos on the front of there jerseys not the name on the back.
All of these crazy events so far and I haven’t even mentioned Ian Laperriere and his brave heroics taking a puck to the face while blocking a shot. He skated today and will be back in orange and black on the attack soon despite suffering a brain contusion.
Is this the year? Through all the injuries, a coaching change, trades, signings, call ups and obstacles, the Flyers are now 7 games away from winning their third Stanley Cup!
It is far from over at this point. But the Flyers seem to play better when facing elimination and are determined to meet the ultimate goal in 2010.
Is this the year? That is the question and any moron can try to predict the outcome but the answer lies on the ice. Anything can happen, everything matters and anything is possible. Go Flyers Go!
R. J. C.