Martin Biron skates against of the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Hey Marty, I’m sorry.
A couple weeks back I pegged your Flyers as a team sure to bow out in the first round and I fingered you as a big reason why that would happen.
Fact is, however, despite being down 3-1 to those pesky Penguins, it’s not your fault.
I’m not trying to get all Good Will Hunting on you here, but you’re going to need every ounce of confidence you can muster up if you hope to lead the momentous task of overcoming a 3-1 deficit for the first time in franchise history (0-13).
There’s only one way to ensure the Philly faithful get another live taste of the Orange and Black this season and that’s to steal tonight’s game at the Igloo. You’ve been solid through the first four tilts – posting a respectable 2.81 goals-against average and .912 save percentage against the league’s sixth-best offense and holding the potent Pens to four power play goals – but the playoffs are the time to separate the men from the boys and if you’d like to cash in on your unrestricted free agent status this summer, now would be a great time to start.
There is a chance, of course, that your team could stop taking (or perhaps I should say, “getting called for”) stupid penalties and/or get its power play back on track, but I wouldn’t count on it.
After sporting the sixth-best power play (22.5 percent) in the regular season, your mates have lost the man-advantage magic, tallying only three times on 22 opportunities (13.6 percent). That includes an oh-fer on nine chances in Game 4. Add that to the fact this latest incarnation of the Broad Street Bullies has been shorthanded a playoff-topping 25 times – many of which have been monumental momentum-suckers – and you can see why you’ll need to be at your very best.
Don’t get ahead of yourself, but if you can put a chill on the Pens and force a Game 6 back in Philadelphia, you have to like your chances of making the return trip for a one-game, winner-takes-all showdown. And as we’ve seen time and time again, anything can happen in a Game 7.
BRING YOUR BIG BROOMS
The Wings would be wise to bring their ‘A’ game for their Game 4 matchup against the Blue Jackets. Thursday will be Detroit’s 190th game over the past two seasons and with an average age of 31.7, the Winged Wheel would do well to match the available rest period of the Canucks, a team they could likely meet in Round 2.
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Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Thursdays.
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