May 4, 2011, 6:07 PM EDT
Both in the regular season and the playoffs, the Flyers have been more successful away from the Wells Fargo Center. So much for playing for a high seed, eh?
Tonight, they’ll need that trend to continue as they take the ice in Boston down 2-0 in the series. As much as we all like to recall how they came back from a 3-0 deficit last year, part of what made that so awesome was how astonishingly rare it is. In short, it’s even less likely to happen in back to back years, not to mention against the same opponent.
We’re one loss away from hanging our hopes on that slim chance. But, we’re also just one win away from ‘this ain’t that big a deal.’
Jeff Carter is set to return tonight, and the Flyers could use his scoring with Tim Thomas being master of his own domain and still without a shutout in the series. You know he wants one. The beats didn’t sound optimistic about how healthy Carter actually is, but it’s that time in the series when stars play hurt and hope for the best. Chris Pronger is out and may not return in this series. Adam McQuaid’s neck issue after whiffing on a check/elbow attempt on Mike Richards will keep him out tonight as well.
During and after games, we spend some time trying to determine which players were most responsible for the Flyers goals scored and those they let up. Having someone to celebrate or blame makes it easier to quantify and usually enjoy. But sometimes no one is really to blame, and other times someone is, but we just acknowledge that shit happens, and expecting perfection is foolhardy. Well, we’ve reached the point in the series where it’s time to expect perfection, or damn near it.
Boosh let up a goal he should have had. There were forward lapses on coverages and bad decisions with the puck on defense. Any on their own can be accepted if all else goes well. But on Monday, in a 1-goal OT loss, the single mistakes become amplified. We should expect just as close a game tonight. If not, it isn’t safe to assume we’ll be on the winning end of a lopsided game. The Garden will be alive, and the Bruins will be doing whatever they can to step on the necks of last year’s collapse. The Comeback will never be erased from the history books or the memories of the fans, players, and coaches, but a sweep the next spring would certainly help them ease the pain.
Is the fire hot enough for the Flyers to get their acts together and pull off the road win? They played fairly well for most of game 2, but the portions where they lapsed were all Boston needed to stay in it.
Will the series get a little nasty tonight? Things have been quieter than I anticipated so far.
Huge one tonight. Who shows up?
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