The entire season comes down to a single game. The blood, sweat, and tears up to this point mean absolutely nothing tonight. It truly is a Do-or-Die Game 5.
The Flyers come in to Tuesday night’s contest a battered bunch. I’ve seen reports that almost every player on the team is nursing some sort of an injury. The physical series with Pittsburgh put its toll on the Orange Crusaders. But, like I said, nothing up to this point matters. If you can skate and play, then you can win.
It’s no secret that the Broad Street Boys are facing long odds. Only 23 times in NHL history has a team come back from a 3-1 series deficit, most recently, in 2010 when The Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins.
The Devils have never lost a series winning all eight times, and the Flyers are 1-14 when facing the 3-1 deficit. As many of you seasoned Flyers fans will recall, the Devils pulled the feat against our boys in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, and the Capitals did the same in the 1988 Patrick Division semi-finals.
Frickin’ Dale Hunter.
So what exactly does this history mean to us this evening?
About as much as the dog crap under your left shoe…..Yeah, we noticed it when you came in.
The only thing that matters is what happens on the ice in a handful of hours; one game, one try, one last stand.
The fact that Flyers superstar center, Claude Giroux, is suspended for tonight’s contest doesn’t help. But, like all the other factors outside of on ice control, that too, means nothing.
Heart, grit, determination, and testicular fortitude. Stopping the Devils' ferocious forecheck and cycle game. Winning puck battles. Playing for each other. Digging deep and finding the will to rise up and overcome.
The Devils have made the Flyers look worse than I can remember seeing them in a long time. The cycle game and physical forecheck is beating the Flyers defensemen like a percussion instrument. It has been truly painful to watch at times.
How do the Flyers beat the precision machine that the Devils have become?
The rear guards need to be quick, decisive, and fearless with their decision making. The forwards need to keep their feet moving to provide outlet options for the defense. Once the Flyers beat the pinching Devils, there will be opportunity off the rush. The dump and chase does not work against the Devils. Brodeur is too good at puck handling.
If the rubber gets anywhere near Marty, the Flyers forecheck is broken before it starts. Good zone entry will be imperative. If dumping the puck in becomes necessary, it HAS to be in the corners away from Brodeur, and the Flyers HAVE to be strong on the disc and win positional puck battles. Puck battles come down to determination, plain and simple. The Flyers have to play with more determination than the Devils. That happens, we see a win in Game 5. They continue that throughout the series, we see a 21st team added to the list of historic comebacks.
The Flyers have been here before. We are all well aware that the boys in orange came back from 3-0 to scuttle Beantown in 2010. So we know it can happen. The question becomes, do the Flyers have the will to make it happen? With all our will, we will…
Until next time (fingers crossed)....
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!
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