I just, I need a minute, hang on…
In the immediate time after the Flyers loss to the Rangers it’s obviously impossible that any Flyers fan was to think straight and we were instead wallowing in a dark rage filled corner looking to blame the first names that come to mind. I was no exception which is why this article is a little late, but I’ve pulled myself off the couch and away from the bags and bags of candy and misery to finally go over the game that went wrong.
THE FLYERS… what can I say? This series, as everyone has noticed, was a pretty neat summary of the Flyers season; incredibly inconsistent. Game 7 was no different. The Flyers lost to the Rangers by a score of 2-1 falling just short of at least pushing overtime. What’s really painful is that, if the Flyers had actually played like they did in the 3rd period through the whole game, they probably would’ve won. You want something more painful than that? On two separate occasions if Claude Giroux had put a shot just a few more inches in one direction they STILL COULD HAVE WON, even despite playing pretty badly (especially in the 2nd).
Let’s start with some positives. Because I didn’t cover Game 6, because hey let’s see how the back to back games go first! Great idea right?
Game 6 was everything Flyers fans could have hoped for. They may have played iffy with some questionable passing choices, but they really looked like the Flyers team that we expected to see way back in the offseason. Wayne Simmonds had the 2nd hat trick of the playoffs with goals separated by a breakaway goal from defenseman Erik Gustafsson to give the Flyers a 4-0 lead for the majority of the game.
Steve Mason was Steve Mason, without his enormous effort Game 6 would have been much closer than it was. He stopped 34 of 36 shots and ended with a .944 save percentage. Wayne Simmonds decided to do all of the offensive lifting and got himself a hat trick, hopefully stealing the spotlight away from Malkin’s hat trick a day before, resulting in a rain of hats and one shoe onto the ice. Erik Gustafsson, the replacement for Hal Gill who was the replacement for Grossmann, didn’t disappoint his supporters when he beat Lundqvist coming out of the penalty box to give the Flyers a 3 goal lead.
Yes Flyers win Game 6, force Game 7 they have momentum going into Madison Square Garden they can pull this off, they can force an overtime at least right?
We had high hopes going into an arena that the Flyers had only won once in, in 3 years.
While we’re looking for people to blame it’s pretty unanimous that Philly cannot blame the goalie this time around. Steve Mason had the performance of his life in Game 7 and was definitely the only reason that the Rangers didn’t win by 6 or 7 goals. In fact for the first time in a long time, fans believe that the goalie deserves a better team in front of him, Mason didn’t deserve this loss at all.
The first period, although shaky, made us believe that this game could be won. It was the first time in the series that the teams had gone without a goal in the first period and the Flyers looked like they were holding off the Rangers. More importantly STEVE MASON was holding off everything the Rangers threw at him despite his teams multitude of giveaways that lead to Rangers chances. Then the second period happened. The second period took everything good that the Flyers did in the 1st and put it on a bus back to Philly. They were sloppy they spent too much time in their own zone they couldn’t execute passes resulting in turnover after turnover after turnover. When they did manage to get to the Rangers zone it wasn’t long before a pass or shot was blocked and sent out to the neutral zone. Time spent in front of Mason eventually bit the Flyers in the ass and the Rangers first scorer was none other that goddamn Dan Carcillo, because why the hell not?
Dan Carcillo scored first. I think that says as much as you need to know about the Flyers second period.
The third period the Flyers decided to come back to life, but the fight that they put up just wasn’t enough. Expert shot blocking by the Rangers coupled with just plain bad luck made a frustrating end to the Flyers season. Luckily we didn’t go out on a shut out with late season call up Jason Akeson cutting the Rangers lead early in the 3rd, but they couldn’t rally on that.
Unfortunately all the replays of Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” couldn’t help the Flyers in the hostile Garden.