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Ohhhhhh, We’re Halfway There….

May 11, 2010

After being in the impossible situation of a 3-0 deficit in their playoff series against the Bruins, the Flyers have won the last two games and are now halfway to winning the series.  While they’re still underdogs, things still look a lot brighter for them than they did at the end of last week.

Really, they looked cooked at the end of regulation in game four.  Facing elimination with a loss, they allowed the Bruins to tie the game in the last minute of play.  It seemed assured that the Bruins would find a way to win the game, but unexpectedly, Simon Gagne (playing well in his return from injury) scored in OT, and kept the series alive.

In game five, the Flyers dominated and shut the Bruins out 4-0.  By getting this far, the Flyers have already defied the odds.  Of the 155 teams that previously started a series 0-3, only 11 even made it as far as game six.  Now, the task ahead of them is to simply win two straight games.  Doesn’t seem too imposing when you look at it like that.  And you have to figure that if they can win game six at home, then the Bruins will be more than a little nervous for game seven.

Of course, since this is the Flyers, they have to do everything with an added degree of difficulty.  In last night’s win, goalie Brian Boucher suffered an injured knee and will likely miss the remainder of the series.

Goalie injuries are nothing new to the Flyers this season.  Projected starter Ray Emery suffered an injury early in the season and was replaced by Boucher.  Boucher soon got hurt and was replaced by Michael Leighton who the Flyers picked up on waivers in the middle of the season.  Surprisingly, Leighton went on to play very well, only to suffer an injury of his own in March.  A few others stepped in for a game or two, but down the stretch, the starting job belonged to Boucher.

But now it looks like Boucher (who really hadn’t been playing very well in this series) won’t be back, and Leighton – just returned from a long absence – will be in the net the rest of the way.  Can Leighton lead the team to victory?  He played very well in his stint earlier in the season.  But he also hadn’t seen live game action since the middle of March.  It might be too much to ask for a cold goalie to carry a team to two straight wins. 

But as I said last time, nothing about this year’s Flyers team has made much sense.  If there was ever a team that could come back from a 3-0 deficit behind a backup goalie who hadn’t played in months, this is the team.

The story continues Wednesday night…

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