The Flyers got absolutely scorched in the first period. It was the type of performance I was expecting out of Chicago in games one and two, and the kind of effort the experts had been predicting all along. It’s been a home ice series, and Sunday was no different. The Flyers got buried early, hung tough for most of the last two periods, but never threatened to win. Their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup becomes quite difficult now.
I said before the series that it wasn’t going to be easy to hate Chicago, you know, nothing personal. Well, I hate them now. With a burning passion. I hate their song that they bootlegged from a garbage light beer ad, I hate their fans who are too shell shocked to cheer unless things are going perfectly, and I hate the annointment of Dustin Byfuglien. Before the game I referred to him as Brett Lindros without the concussions, so maybe I am responsible for his game five, but I still say he’s overrated. Massively.
It’s a tough spot to be in as a fan now, because of the road that this team has taken. They’ve won over the entire city. Philly die-hard Big Dub even called this his favorite Philly team ever. A strong statement, not one I’m willing to make, but there is something ’93 Phillies about these Flyers, we’re just hoping for a better ending. It’s hard to believe this is the same team I struggled to watch in November and then again in March.
I’ve often lamented why the Flyers never seem to catch lightning in a bottle. They’ve never been the team that gets hot at the right time. They never get the breaks in the playoffs, or have role players turn into superstars. Well, all that has changed this year. From Ville Leino, to history making comebacks, to the illustrious Flyers kitten, you can’t argue the Flyers aren’t getting any help from the hockey gods. We’re now one loss away though from missing out on the ultimate prize, though. You want the ride to be good enough, and unexpected ones often are, but when it’s this close it is nice to finish.
Before game five I was thinking about a Philly sports revival. It’s been high times with the Phillies, but 30 years ago, four teams were near the top here. I thought a Flyers Cup might kick start an era that could really challenge 1974-1983. That Cup is still there for the taking, and perhaps the golden age of Philly sports, part two, still has life. If the Flyers pull this out, I’d go ahead and expect 35 TD passes out of K-squared next season. But, one step at a time. The NHL has kindly given us an extra day (NBA style)* to get ready for game six. Until then.
*Wasnt it nice that both games were on at the same time? Brilliant stuff there. On the NBA Finals I have no real thought except that I used to work with a kid who would randomly throw objects at trash cans from 3-50 feet away. When whatever object was in flight, he’d yell, “Ray Allen!”. It was both odd and hilarious, and tonight completely appropriate. That was some decent shooting.