Home > NHL > Lesson of the Season: Never Count the Philadelphia Flyers Out

Lesson of the Season: Never Count the Philadelphia Flyers Out

No one should be surprised that this Stanley Cup Final series is tied at two games a piece heading back to Chicago, even after the Flyers lost the first two games of the series.  The team didn’t seem rattled after heading back to Philadelphia trailing the series 2-0 and neither did head coach Peter Laviolette. The Flyers took care of business in game three with the exhilarating overtime victory, but Friday night’s game meant just as much as game three did. Going back to Chicago trailing the series 3-1 would not have been an ideal situation, even for this resilient team. But tying the series up at 2 games a piece would turn this into a best of 3 series and a brand new series up for grabs. The Flyers and their fans believed they could do it, but the orange and black would have to show that on Friday night. The Philadelphia Flyers did just that. They defeated Chicago 5-3 in another nail biter.

With these two teams, everyone has expected each game of the series to be close. Last night seemed like it was going to be a little different. Thanks to a beautiful goal by Mike Richards, a goal by Matt Carle caused by a great team effort, a  Claude Giroux goal set up by a sweet pass from Kimmo Timonen, and a wacky goal by Ville Leino, last night looked like it was going to be different as the Flyers led 4-1 in the third period. But not so fast. These teams are where they are for a reason. They both fight hard to the very end. Thanks to goals from Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell, the natives were left biting their nails yet again as we had another 1 goal game. But as much as fans may have been freaking out, the Flyers were still calm and very confident that they could close out the victory. They needed some magic from Michael Leighton and Braydon Coburn to hold off the lead before Jeff Carter sealed it with an empty-netter, but it was like there was never a doubt for this team that they were winning game 4.

You hate to use words like “destiny” and “cinderella story”, but when you watch this Flyers team you can’t help but have those thoughts cross your mind. Back in September this team was expected to be in this position, but not once the season was under way. December was atrocious, and the Flyers saw their coach get fired. They eventually gained some ground but struggled after the Olympic break. And everyone knows how they made the playoffs in a shootout on the last day of the season. No one gave them a chance to do anything in these playoffs after what they went through, but here we are in June with the Flyers still playing hockey. Being the 7th seed says absolutely nothing. Having to eliminate some teams that might not have been as talented as the teams that Chicago eliminated says nothing either. The Flyers have never seen themselves as the underdog, but time and time again they are counted out and written off. They’ve been written off before every series and yet here they are today just like the Chicago Blackhawks: 2 wins away from the holy grail.

It doesn’t get any easier from here. Both of these teams are still hungry. Both of these teams feel like they could be leading this series right now. Something has got to give Sunday night, and one of these teams will be headed back to Philadelphia with a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup on Wachovia Center ice. The question is: Who will it be? The 7th seed that has been counted out over and over again but is still very much alive in the month of June? Or the 2nd seed that almost everyone predicted would win the Stanley Cup before this series started? We shall see. But hockey fans in general (not so much Flyers fans or Blackhawks fans) can only hope to see a game 5 just as close and intense as the first 4 games have been.

No matter what the outcome is tomorrow night, do not expect the Philadelphia Flyers to lift the foot off the gas and roll over and die. “Relentless” is more than just a marketing campaign. The word truly defines this Flyers team. They have character and most importantly they have heart. There is just something special about them. There is some kind of aura that surrounds them. It’s impossible to ever quit on them because you know that they are never going to quit themselves. They have their superstars in Richards and Chris Pronger, but this is a team of role players and great stories. You can expect that trend to continue as this series continues. The Flyers are the perfect definition of team, and they are the perfect definition of resilient. The media can continue to count them out all that they want. It will not phase this team. They believe in themselves, and it’s not just some overused cliché with this group of guys.

  1. Su
    June 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Another stellar write-up, Alicia!

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    June 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm

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