Philladelphia: 4 - Boston: 3 (Flyers Win Series 4-3)
I'll give you a little inside info on how things with us writers on this blog operate... I have a bunch of plans set for Saturday and I also didn't know how much time I'd have to see the game and write up this here recap for tonight. So knowing that our beloved editor -in-chief would need our predictions for the third round, I submitted two different sets of predictions for the Eastern final out on Friday afternoon - one involving the Canadiens playing the Bruins and one with Les Habitants taking on the Flyers.
In the MTL / PHI write up I mentioned how Philly got there by completing a historic comeback on the Boston Bruins... Little did I know just how dramatic that that come back would end up being in game seven.
Now the original plan I had was to go out for dinner, attend a movie, then get home and in the quiet of the middle of the night I could skim through the game on my PVR, maybe watch whatever key points I read about on game recaps and then do a quick and dirty recap for you folks here.
But of course I came home to the news that the Flyers did indeed pull off not only a very rare 0-3 comeback, but pulled off the month of all sports comebacks by coming back down 0-3 in the actual seventh game.
Well I knew I had to watch the full game start to finish to see that kind of history. Hell, I made sure I saved this to DVD because I know I'll want to watch it a few times over. Hell, I'll probably buy a copy on iTunes once it becomes available as well just so I can have it on every watchable device I have. I mean, did that really happen?
Only three teams in all of professional sports in the history of ever have come back in a series down 0-3 to win 4-3 - The 1942 Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2004 Boston Red Sox, just in case you didn't know or just wanted it laid out for you one more time - but none of those teams had to stage a rally in the actual game seven like the Flyers just did.
Again, did that really just happen?
Just to make sure that this wasn't some sort of devil trick by my TV as a way to punish me for even dare leaving the house on the night of a game seven, I checked both Stanley Cup of Chowder...
Really? A too many men on the ice penalty? Of all penalties that could be called a Bruins playoff game was decided by a too many me on the ice call? Where have I heard this story before? Just a brutal way to lose a game and a series. Now when Bruins fans talk about "The Too Many Men on Ice Game", we will have to ask " which one?"
And Broad Street Hockey...
It looked bad. Real bad. But these Flyers don't much worry about 3-0 deficits, and they probably never will again.
The game ends up mirroring the series... The Bruins come out on fire, overwhelm the Flyers and jump out to the big lead. The Flyers settle themselves down, start doing the little things that are needed to win games - finish checks, work harder in the corners, keep passes simple and clean - and start clawing back slowly but surely until they eventually take the lead and close out a win.
The ad campaign that the NHL went with in these playoffs was "history will be made" and make no mistake it has, but no one could have imagined this.
And we're only half way through these playoffs. Maybe the best thing to come out of the Flyers win tonight is that we'll be guaranteed that there will be a Cinderella team for a Stanley Cup final and they'll go against either a great comeback story in their own right with Chicago or a classic underachieving team that is on the cusp of finally achieving a Cup in San Jose... And to me while it stings that the NHL will lack big name stars or even big name teams in the main event that critics have been bemoaning about, there is something to be said for having compelling matchups.
And we definitely have that for an Eastern Conference final now.