Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 6 -- Series tied, 3-3
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Say anything you want about this Philadelphia Flyers team. The goaltending sucks, the power play sucks, Peter Laviolette made some horrible decisions, whatever. All of this might be true, and there are definitely some legitimate gripes to be had. But when all is said and done, there's one thing you can't knock them for.
They care a whole hell of a lot.
Of course, we've had this conversation many times before. You don't get to the NHL without having heart and all of that stuff. But anybody who's watched this team in the postseason over the last two seasons will tell you that they have something else that rises above the normal. Instead of fearing big leads, this team thrives on them. Comebacks are routine.
Despite all the bullshit we deal with all season long -- the non-stop goalie crap (especially from experts in Toronto and Chicago and Vancouver and Washington and everywhere else who clearly get it more than we do), the streaky regular season play, etc. -- there's one thing that's certain. When this time of year comes, the Flyers aren't going to go down without a fight. No matter what happens, it's something to be proud of. And we have another chance to be proud on Tuesday when Game 7 comes back home.
Let's go, Flyers. Some more notes, questions with answers and the comment of the afternoon after the jump.
- Let's give Buffalo some credit. They're a much better hockey team than their No. 7 seed indicates, and despite the scoring on some ugly chances, they didn't sit back after blowing their lead. They didn't do it in Game 5 on Friday, either.
- Alright. I said before the game that it didn't matter which goaltender started the game. I really believed that, too, because I really believed that the drop off between Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher wasn't large enough to make a difference.
Whatever magic Leighton had left, though, is completely gone. There was a time in the first period where I legitimately thought there was no goalie in the net for a second... but there was Leighton, workin' it. He's a good soldier and he's done a lot of good for the team in his time here, but if he were in the press box on Tuesday and Bob were on the bench, I wouldn't shed a tear. I also wouldn't mind if his time in town were over.
- Mike Richards crushed Tim Connolly from behind in the corner during the second period. Connolly didn't return to the game and might not be back for Game 7. It's not a concussion according to a report from Buffalo, but it's a shoulder and that's not good.
- We'll have more on the hit in a bit, but do you think Richie should be suspended for it? It's a tough call.
- James van Riemsdyk put 10 shots on goal today and missed one, including his goal in the second period. He's a man and has been the best Flyer in the playoffs so far.
- Chris Pronger played, kind of. I thought it was the right decision to put him in the lineup, even as just a special teams guy. He played on the PP and didn't get one second of even strength time, but if the alternative is a 12th forward that is only going to see maybe five shifts (maybe), I like Pronger on the bench with the boys.
- In terms of the offense, everybody seemed to contribute today. From the top line to the fourth line, all 11 guys seemed to chip in at one point or another. That's what it takes.
Questions with Answers (Because I'm superstitious, these questions were the same as those from Game 4 vs Boston last year, the first elimination game of the 2010 playoffs. I guess it worked, even if the questions make no sense even with slight changes made).
- How does [that winger on Richards' line] look? Versteeg and Zherdev? Looked good.
- Whats the emotion like off of the start? The Flyers were strong off the start but Leighton's glove/five hole quickly robbed them of anything positive.
- The Flyers were strong in the offensive end for [most] of Game , but couldn't beat [Miller] or the [Sabres] defense. How do they make adjustments? Like I said, these questions make no sense.
- Can [Tyler Ennis] not score tonight, please? Nine goals. None from him. He's scary with the puck though.
- Is this the Flyers' last game of the season? HELL NO!
Comment of the Afternoon
Take that negative people who only show up here during the playoffs!