Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 5
#5 Philadelphia Flyers at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Flyers trail best-of-seven series, 3-1
Mellon Arena - 7:00 PM EDT - Pittsburgh, PA
TV: CSN HD, Versus HD, CBC, RDS, FSN Pittsburgh
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 206
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh
So this could be it, guys. The final game of the season for the Philadelphia Flyers. With their backs squarely against the wall, the team could be packing up those lockers come this time tomorrow. I mean, after all, look at the recent elimination games the Flyers have played in.They lost 6-0 in Game 5 of the Conference Finals last year to Pittsburgh while being down 3 games to 1. And then in 2006, they fell flat on their faces against Buffalo in a 7-1 loss to round out the season.
So why should things be different tonight? Well, this isn't even close to the same team as the one that lost in Buffalo three years ago. And last year? That team was absoutely spent -- both mentally and physically.
There is something resilient about the current Flyers bunch. They may not get off to the greatest starts and they may not play their best at all times, but they've had success in digging out of deep holes. An six game winless streak to start the season was a pretty big hole. A 5-1 third period deficit to the Hurricanes in December was a pretty big hole. A 3-1 series deficit to Pittsburgh is a pretty big hole.
But you win tonight at the Igloo, and suddently you're coming home with a chance to tie the series. Suddenly, this series looks a lot more winnable. All it takes is an excellent hockey game from the Flyers tonight and the momentum is, believe it or not, in our favor.
So what has to be done? They need to play the way they've been playing since Game 2. Stay aggressive, especially on the defensive side of things. Get traffic in front of Fleury and get the defense involved in the offensive side of things. On the power play, for the love of God, move the puck. And no matter what happens, do not get frustrated. Just don't let it happen, because that is this teams' kryptonite.
Seriously though, this would be a tied series if it weren't for Marc-Andre Fleury. In fact, it could very well be the Flyers trying to close this series out tonight if it weren't for Fleury. So actually getting pucks past him is the serious problem here. As we learned on Tuesday night, you can get all the offensive pressure in the world, but that doesn't guarantee scoring goals.
There has to be a better job of finishing but there has to be a hope that Fleury doesn't play as great as he played in Game 4. A little bit of luck and a whole lot of skill -- let's get this series back to Philadelphia.