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Let these little nuggets seep in:How can we forget? 5 overtimes - players worn out on both sides. It all comes down to the stick of Keith Primeau. You could blame the choppy ice, sheer fatigue and exhaustion or just the fact it was a genuinely nice goal. Respective answers in this order: it's possible, that's highly likely, that's kind of true but I still won't accept it. My personal memory of this game is trying to stay awake to watch the game with my father, constantly staring at the clock as school edged closer and closer. I don't remember what time it ended, but I do remember my father getting up after the loss, going into the kitchen to eat breakfast, getting changed and heading right off to work. I guess I fell asleep for a bit before doing just the same for school. Now I know this game didn't clinch the series, but it definitely turned the momentum in favor of the Flyers. So much so, in fact, that Philly turned around from a 2-0 deficit to win the series 4-2. Next to home-ice, momentum is a huge factor in this match-up. It's funny to look back on times like that and laugh at the ridiculous nature of it, but you just shake your head in shame knowing the Pens dropped a nail-biter to the Flyers. Would it have been different if the Penguins edged out a 3-0 series lead? Of course it would've. But perhaps they'd also have run the chance of dropping 4 straight for only the third instance ever of a team leading 3-0 and losing 4-3 in a best of seven series. Seeing as how it's somewhat relative, I'd like to take this time to say; San Jose, we feel your pain. Let me just dissect the quote from the Flyers' Chairman Ed Snider:
"Let's face it, you get rewarded for being the worst team in the league, so Pittsburgh has all these great players for being lousy for so many years," Snider said Monday during a rare locker-room visit. "That part I don't like so much. "I've never been in favour of the draft the way it is."
Ed Snider - Flyers Chairman
Personally I see this as Snider already trying to make an excuse. "You guys were horrible and now you're great - that's not fair!" Give me a break. The Flyers were horrible last year too; they just didn't get a huge pick like Crosby, Ovechkin or Malkin in the draft. Would he be singing a different tune if he did? Of course he would. That's what makes this hysterical. I just feel bad for James VanRiemsdyk, their first round pick.
Now, this series is definitely on pace to be one of the most violent ones in the league. Everyone knows it. A majority of New York fans are pulling for Pittsburgh, which shows you just how hated the Flyers really are. While I normally have issues with supporting the team that eliminated the Pens, I can honestly say my full support would have gone to New York had the series ended otherwise.
Then I would have gone West - but that's besides the point.
Fact is, we're going to see a lot of hitting, potentially even a few fights in the heart of this series. Home-ice and undying fan support will really turn the tides in this match. Keep in mind: Pittsburgh is still undefeated at home.
I could go on and down-talk Philly's playoff appearance, awarded solely by a fluke goal against Washington in the first round. But I won't. You know why? Because Philly earned it. Now they get the ultimate test against Pittsburgh to see if they deserve to go further.
Game 1 : Friday at 7 p.m.
More Flyers/Penguins history to come.