I had a long time to contemplate the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The lockout allowed me a long grieving period—long enough, in fact, that I became rather embittered about the diminuitive winger Martin St. Louis and his partner in crime Vincent Lacavalier. Those two truly deserve the title “dynamic duo”. I’ve watched them burn my Flyers so many times that I don’t even want to know the exact numbers.
Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers need to show that they can arrive mentally prepared to play before the puck drops for the opening face-off. Paul Holmgren is holding up his end of the bargain as General Manager, assembling a roster that should win games. John Stevens and the rest of the coaching staff appear to have a game plan in place. So either the coaches have failed to clearly communicate that plan, or the players are simply incapable of executing it properly.
But I’m tired of watching boring hockey. I’m not asking for high-scoring, run-and-gun spectaculars every night. I just want to see a full, 60 minute effort. And I don’t want to be ashamed to call myself a diehard fan after this game is over.