Blog Entry

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

Posted on: May 14, 2010 11:14 pm

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette saw it coming midway through the second period. Philadelphia was still trailing at the time, but Laviolette sensed the tide had turned in this game much like it had done earlier in the series.

So it really was with confidence rather than arrogance that he promised a television interviewer during a play stoppage Philadelphia would win. And the Flyers did with a comeback that in and of itself may have been more impressive than their overall rebound in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

That’s no mean feat either considering the Flyers became only the third NHL team in history and only the fourth professional team to advance after losing the first three in a best-of-seven. But Philadelphia took it one step further by coming back from a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 to win 4-3. And they did it on the road too, which is probably the least surprising aspect of this because the visitors have won the three other Game 7s in these playoffs.

To call it a remarkable resurgence on the Flyers part would certainly be accurate, but it would tell only half the story of a game and a series that saw the Bruins come apart at the seams and suffer one of the worst meltdowns in recent memory. It’s the kind of thing that will linger a long time for this team, especially since this is the second consecutive season Boston has been eliminated in a Game 7 of the second round at home.

Last season was painful because Boston had finished atop the East and had swept its opening round convincingly. But this loss was shattering and underscores just how poorly this team handled adversity. Truth is that while Boston was eliminated on this night, it was done after Game 5 when it needed a big bounce back from an overtime loss in the previous outing.

The Bruins didn’t end this in four games, but they were still in control coming home and they let it slip away by coming up flat.  It shifted the momentum, and apparently made the Flyers believe and Boston fear that the tide really had turned.

The disparity in the confidence level became most apparent in the deciding game. Boston owned the first 15 minutes, playing aggressive and physical hockey at both ends, getting the defensemen involved and threatening to run the Flyers back to Philadelphia by taking a 3-0 lead. But obviously they didn’t intimidate Philadelphia.

If the Flyers were disoriented or simply shell shocked by the Bruins best effort in a week, they regained their bearings quickly. Laviolette called a time out, rookie James van Riemsdyk’s scored a couple of minutes later on a shot Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask misplayed, and suddenly the seeds of doubt had been planted in Boston’s heads. After outshooting the Flyers 14-5 in the first period, Boston inexplicably sat back in the second let Philadelphia dictate the pace, and with Daniel Briere leading the way by getting a goal and an assist, the Flyers tied the game before the period was half over.

Briere actually was one of the offensive heroes of the series for Philadelphia, but the most important one turned out to be Simon Gagne, who missed the first three games with a broken foot. Gagne was treading gingerly when he returned for Game 4, but scored the overtime winner and then added two more in Game 5.

For good measure he finished off Boston with a power play marker in third period of Game 7. There were still about seven minutes left, but the Bruins were done, beaten as much by themselves as the Flyers in this series.

That doesn’t bode well for Claude Julien’s future. He was last season’s coach of the year when Boston finished first in the East, but the voting was done before the Bruins lost at home to Carolina in round two. Lose that way twice in a row, especially when the second time comes after your team has a 3-0 stranglehold in the series, and there has to be questions about whether he is still the right guy to create the necessary mindset.

Right now that’s debatable.


Category: NHL
Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: May 16, 2010 10:55 pm
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Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2010 6:52 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

The minute that David Krecji was obliterrated at the line way back in game 3, which the Bruins won, the series was over.  He was their best player at the time and the team lost momentum after that, while Philly was getting back Gagne at that time, but to not be able to win 1-4?, thats just awful!

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2010 5:47 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

Best thing that happened to the Flyers was Boacher getting hurt.  He was not playing well.  New Goalie comes in, a big gu and the Bruins started second guessing themselves.  Bougher doesnt get hurt, Bruins win the series. 

Since: Jan 17, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2010 5:25 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

despite the fact that he takes runs at guys, richards is your best player.   he was being totally outclassed by krejci early on so he decided to injure him.  too bad lucic didn't bundle him but thats the benefit of wearing a visor.

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2010 3:49 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

I have to admit I enjoyed watching the Bruins collapse.  I can't stand any team from Boston or their fans.  You said it best Cletown, KARMA is a biootch!!!  Cool LMAO

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2010 3:36 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

Hey apev....I wish the flyers only were missing their best player (Carter) instead of the numerous injuries they have had to deal with. Quit your crying!!!!!

Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: May 15, 2010 1:59 pm
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Since: Aug 28, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2010 1:12 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

Spot on, Apev.  I still have my bumper sticker and have always seethed about the Jacobs being more concerned with selling hot dogs than putting a quality team on the ice.  Growing up watching the Big, Bad Bruins of the 70's makes it that much more painful.  However, with the institution of the salary cap, you correctly pointed out they have spent right up to the cap each year since it started.  I think the blame has to lie on the GM and coach (and players!) at this point.  Gagne coming back for the Flyers and Krejci going out for us tilted the scales a bit, but there is no excuse for being up 3-0 in the series, 3-0 in game 7 and ending up on the short end.

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2010 12:39 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

No Carter just scores goals and when the first two games are decided by 1 goal each, maybe he makes the difference in those.  Or maybe Gagne as he is a goal scorer too as evidenced by his game winners in this series.  Injuries played a part for both teams in different ways and the Flyers were the ones that were able to overcome theirs first.

Since: Jan 17, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2010 12:36 pm

Fragile Bruins fodder for Flyers

i'm not even a bruins fan, but i know how good krejci is and how vital he was to that teams' success. carter has wheels and a good snap shot but he doesn't make guys around him better like krejci does. i think its hilarious that someone thinks jacobs doesn't spend enough on coaches and facilities.  boston will be dangerous if they get taylor hall on draft night.

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