Flyers Blow Game Six; Penguins Win Series 4-2

It was an uncomfortably warm 87 degrees in Philadelphia on Saturday and among the things that evaporated in the unseasonably warm weather was the Flyers’ 3-0 lead over the Penguins in game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Four minutes into the second period, the Flyers had built what appeared to be a solid lead on goals by Mike Knuble, Joffrey Lupul, and Danny Briere. Fans were pumped that the series looked to be going back to Pittsburgh for a deciding game seven. But hold on, as they have struggled to do all season, the Flyers could not play a full 60 minute game, easing up with the lead and allowing the Penguins to put 20 shots on net in the second period and to bang home some  garbage goals from in close to tie the game.   A laser shot just inside the post by Sergei Gonchar in the third period gave the Pens the lead and fittingly the Flyers’ nemesis Cindy Crosby sealed it with an empty netter. 

It was fitting that the Flyers season ended as it had gone all year, with the Flyers losing focus (check my post about a game against the Canadiens for a typical example), allowing too many shots, and failing to play a full 60-minute game.  Whether this is from coaching or lack of maturity, it is a critical problem that needs to be corrected. 

I don’t think we can blame Marty Biron, who played well through the series and couldn’t be faulted on any of the goals in game six.  I would point out that Jeff Carter looked awful in the series, scoring only one goal, and inexplicably appeared to be floating at times even in Saturday’s game.  How a player floats through a crucial playoff game is beyond me. Not sure if he was hurt, but his lack of intensity makes me angry.  He has a habit of playing in a nonchalant manner at times, demonstrated by his miss of an open net in game two. He failed to bear down from in close allowing Fleury to get a pad on his shot and failing to score a goal that likely would have put the game away for the Flyers and tied the series at one game each.  Faceoffs continued to be a problem with the Flyers losing too many draws.  Interesting how the issues that were identified all season long ended up having a major impact on why the Flyers lost this series.

Once again, the Flyers put together a solid season with over 40 wins, but they once again could not get to that level of 50 wins and a Stanley Cup. It’s 34 years now. 

The season starts to slip away from Marty Biron and the Flyers.

The season starts to slip away from Marty Biron and the Flyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Flyer Mark Eaton scores as Richards and Timonen watch helplessly.

Former Flyer Mark Eaton scores as Richards and Timonen watch helplessly.

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One Response to “Flyers Blow Game Six; Penguins Win Series 4-2”

  1. Blowing a three goal lead is something that champions just don’t do. This off season should be pretty interesting.

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