ORANGE CRUSH: Flyers DOMINATE Game 7

Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers displayed what they are truly capable of doing. This Game 7 probably never should have even been played, because the way the Flyers outplayed the Sabres throughout the series, it should have been over in 5. However, the display of hockey we saw tonight was such a high caliber that it cannot and should not go unnoticed or disrespected by anyone else in the hockey world. In a game that they absolutely DOMINATED, the Flyers ran Ryan Miller out of the game en route to an impressive, series clinching 5-2 victory. They move onto the 2nd round of the playoffs after proving that they are a team full of prime time players. This team seems to love these elimination games.

Here are the highlights of tonight’s Game 7 shellacking of the Buffalo Sabres, who showed tonight how under matched they are to this high powered Philadelphia Flyers club (highlights courtesy of NHL.com):
http://nhl.cdn.neulion.net/u/videocenter/embed.swf

From the initial drop of the puck, the Flyers dominated the Sabres in almost every facet of the game. The first period was ALL Flyers, as they outshot the Sabres 16-2 and got the lone goal of the period with just 19 seconds left on a simple wrist shot from Braydon Coburn from the point that beat Ryan Miller. It was redirected by his own player, off Mike Grier’s glove. It was definitely a huge goal and great that the Flyers were able to take a lead into the 2nd period and something to show for all their hard work and effort that period.

As a fan, I got a sense that the Sabres would come out as a different team in the 2nd after being absolutely dominated (sorry for lack of a better term) in the 1st. That wasn’t the case, as the Flyers got two HUGE goals, both on the POWER PLAY (who’da thought?!) in that period. The first one was scored by none other than Mr. Playoffs, Danny Briere, at 4:45 on a slam home goal after he found the puck on his stick in the right place at the right time. That seems to be a theme with Danny Briere, doesn’t it? That was Danny’s 6th goal of the series.

The second power play goal for the Flyers was scored by probably their second best player all series, James vanRiemsdyk. He positioned himself in front of Ryan Miller and got the perfect piece of a Claude Giroux snap shot from the far boards to put one to the back of the net, his 4th goal of the series.

When the power play was out, it was clicking. When the Flyers penalty kill was out, it was dominant. The Flyers actually had some great shorthanded opportunities that they almost cashed in on tonight. Like I said, every aspect of this game was won by the Flyers. They simply put an inferior opponent in their place tonight.

And can I say enough about the presence of Chris Pronger in this lineup? Prongs surprised everyone tonight after he started taking regular shifts, and you could just see how the team was playing with a swagger when he was on the ice. He calmed things down so much, and it was amazing how much he influenced how Buffalo attacked the Flyers in their offensive game. He finished with 17:27 time on ice, with 5 blocked shots, and assist to boot. Not bad for a guy that’s not even at full health. Imagine the wonders he can bring to this team when he is back at 100%.

The Flyers took a 3-0 lead into the locker room after the 2nd period, largely because of the overall solid team play. You can pick out any player’s name tonight, and chances are they had some type of impact on the game. Brian Boucher made some key saves in the final minutes of the period to keep the Flyers’ 3 goal lead in tact.

And you would think that Buffalo would throw everything they had at the Flyers in the 3rd period. Unfortunately for them and their fans, that wasn’t the case. They did score their only 2 goals of the period, which I would consider garbage time goals, but nonetheless they counted.

But before they could score, Ville Leino decided to get his hands in on the scoring. At 1:59 of the period, he took the puck into the Buffalo zone, and, uncontested, he ripped an absolute LASER over the shoulder of Ryan Miller. The perfectly placed and highly impressive shot chased Ryan Miller out of the game, much to the pleasure of the home crowd. Chants of “MIL-LER, MIL-LER” rained down on the former Vezina trophy winner, who simply couldn’t come up big tonight. He could only do so much playing with the limited and depleted talent in front of him. But again, unfortunately for his team, it just wasn’t enough.

The Flyers got an insurance goal from who else but Danny Carcillo, who put one past backup goaltender Enroth to make it 5-1 at the time.

On a side note, I don’t care what anyone else says, the new Flyers goal song DOOP is absolutely perfect. Don’t judge it until you go to a game. Hearing it tonight 5 times was UNBELIEVABLE. Perfect fit for this team.

So all in all, the Flyers survived the Buffalo Sabres in the first round. The series ended up being a lot closer than it should have been, but the truly more talented team advances. Buffalo put up a fight but it was so sweet to see the likes of Ryan Miller and Lindy Ruff and their constant complaining driven from the playoffs.

The Flyers will now await their Eastern Conference Semifinal opponent. It is either going to be the Bruins, the Penguins, or the Lightning. All of those teams are involved in Game 7’s as well, to be played over the next 2 nights.

If Boston wins, we will play them. If Montreal pulls off the upset, we will play the winner of the PIT/TB series.

THE ORANGE UPDATE 3 STARS OF THE GAME:

1) Danny Briere (1G, 1A)
2) James vanRiemsdyk (1G)
3) Brian Boucher (26 saves. He came up huge when the Flyers needed him to)

HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Pronger and Mike Richards

NOTES:

It was a bit of sweet, sweet irony that the final game of the series played out to see the Sabres with the goaltending controversy. The Flyers are the first team in over 20 years to win a series with 3 different goaltenders starting a game.

However, in the end, it was Brian Boucher who was in goal for all 4 Flyers victories. That says a lot about the guy, who knows his role and is seizing the opportunity to take over the starting job.

I am looking forward to seeing where Boosh can take us as we battle on in the playoffs.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: