Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flyers Face Game 7

I missed a ton of stuff to talk about over the past few days as we threw a party for my son, who turned two, and I had to play Mr. Mom yesterday and didn't have time to post anything.

But today, let's stick with the Flyers, who put themselves in just a brutal hole by dropping a 4 - 2 decision in front of their home crowd in one of the most frustrating games of the year. This was after they got up 2 - 0 on the strength of their seemingly rejuvenated power play.

At about the midway point of the game, it was as if the Flyers stopped skating and hoped the Capitals would simply quit. Not only did the Caps not quit, but I wonder if that game gave Alexander Ovechkin the confidence he may have been missing and would possibly propel him to carry his team to a Game 7 win tonite. Ovechkin finished with 2 goals, including the backbreaking goal on a breakaway near the start of the third period. This was the same segment that saw the Flyers put a ton of pressure on the Caps, to no avail, and included Braydon Coburn solidly ringing one off of the post.

I'm not so sure about how the Flyers will even come out tonite and to be honest, I'm not feeling terribly optimistic. There is much to be concerned about with this team right now. Specifically:

1.) Can Martin Biron handle back-to-back starts? He has not done well with these situations through the regular season.

2.) Can John Stevens make the necessary adjustments? Last night marked the second time this series his team coughed up a lead.

3.) Will any of the Flyers secondary scoring show up? Hartnell, Upshall, and Lupul have 1 goal combined. Last night, Lupul finally posted an assist to give him 1 point for the series, which is only one more than I have. Also, the Flyers d-men currently have 1 goal in this series and that belongs to Derian Hatcher, of all people. I can't call out Kimmo Timonen here, as his task has been to keep an eye on Ovie, but the rest of the guys on the blueline (*cough*Randy Jones*cough*) need to pick up the slack offensively.

4.) Can the Flyers sufficiently hide Jason Smith? He's a -6 in this series so far. Love his heart and grit, but he is not getting any faster in this series.

The puck drops at 7 tonite down in DC.

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