Rangers lead series 3-2
After what was their most satisfying effort of the playoffs in Game 4, the Flyers played their worst game of the series in Game 5 and lost 4-2. The game started at the asscrack of dawn (by my nocturnal standards), and the Flyers never got up for it. They'll need to get it up much better if they're going to win this series, now needing to win both Game 6 and Game 7 on back-to-back nights on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's a lot to ask, but they should still have a lot left in the tank.
- Miffingly, the Flyers could have gotten off to a super start many times, but did not. There were some great odd-man rushes and LOTS of power plays (show some restraint, Carl Hagelin), but none were converted on. The Rangers got a softish early goal from Marc Staal and that shit held. The Rangers made it 3-0, and though the Flyers got on the board late in the second, they didn't convert the chances they needed to early in the third to claw back.
- After the game, both Mike Milbury and Keith Jones more or less crapped on the entertainment value of this series (with Milbury choicely using the word "pussyfoot" several times), and they were completely right. We've already had five games and nobody has gotten speared in the testes even once! This series has lacked hunger, spark, fire, truculence, overtime, and all those other things we theoretically want from playoff hockey. Hopefully elimination being on the line the rest of the way will ratchet up the intensity. The Flyers and Rangers are the closest geographically of any of the first round opponents, and have played a lot of regular season games against each other, but this is their first playoff series in 17 years and there's just not a lot of juice in this raspberry. Hopefully both teams can squeeze some pretty gross, bitter stuff out it on Tuesday. My thirst needs quenching.
- You probably could have guessed that Steve Mason would have a letdown after his absurdly good Game 5. The first goal he let in to Marc Staal wasn't great. Neither was the second nor the third. But you know who also wasn't great today once again? Henrik Lundqvist. More on his elaborate web of lies coming soon, including...
- That Lundqvist Advil commercial with the rhino is complete bullshit. You don't stop all the pucks at once! Pain isn't about the accumulation of everything you do over the course of a year. It's not like stepping three feet down off your bed every morning is the same as falling off a 90-foot building every month. Also, I've seen some rhinos in my day and rhinos aren't made of rubber so there. Still much better than that fucking couch, though, obviously.
- Enough credit isn't being given to the Rangers defensemen in this series. They're taking away lots of great shot opportunities, and making Lundqvist's job exceptionally easy. The shots the Flyers are getting have been nowhere near as good as the ones the Rangers get looks at. Also, Hal Gill wasn't that bad today. Yes, he's slower than a rickshaw carrying the Klump family, but he makes up for it with reading the play better than nearly anyone on the blueline. If Erik Gustafsson should be replacing anyone, it's Andrew MacDonald, but I don't think that's necessary either.
- Now a quick, incomplete list of Flyers who should be doing better in this series: Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Matt Read. And Sean Couturier has been a defensive beast, no doubt, but a goal or five wouldn't hurt, Seahorse.
- The best Flyer in this series has been almost undoubtedly Jakub Voracek (aka "Jake from State Farm" aka "State Farm" aka "Good Neighbor"). He's been carrying his fellow ginger Claude Giroux, who hopefully will get a little more comfortable now that he finally scored a goal in the garbage time of this game.
- How will the pendulum swing next? Who the fuck knows. The team that has been outshot has won the last four games in this series, which says a lot about the frustrating randomness of this sport and sometimes it makes me angry especially when the Flyers lose actually only when the Flyers lose please don't lose anymore Flyers.