Archive for May 11, 2010

Comin’ Back to Broad Street! Flyers Shut Out Bruins, 4-0

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 by flyersfan44

The Flyers played one of their best games of the playoffs on Monday night, shutting down the Bruins 4-0 to stay alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals and force a sixth game in Philadelphia. The Orange and Black controlled play from the start of the game, limited Boston’s chances, and tightly checked them for the shut out win. Simon Gagne, playing just his second game since returning from a broken toe, scored two goals. Scott Hartnell, looking like he’s coming out of his season-long funk, scored another and has had two solid games in a row. The best player on the ice was Ville Leino, who was all over the place and had a goal and assist. GM Paul Holmgren, criticized for acquiring the little-producing Leino from Detroit earlier this season, looks like a genius for that move now. He traded defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, who really couldn’t play, to the Wings for Leino. Tollefsen went to the minors and Leino has provided capable depth.

Goalie Brian Boucher was injured in the second period and had to leave the game. What more adversity can this team face this season? In an uncanny coincidence, however, goalie Michael Leighton, who was on fire when he was injured late in the season, dressed for the first time in two months. That enabled the Flyers to insert a capable, experienced goalie in Boucher’s absence. Leighton was right on, and he and Boucher produced the first shared shut out in the playoffs since Montreal did it in 1955. This was Leighton’s first NHL playoff game.

In addition to Boucher, center Claude Giroux was injured after being checked from behind. The Flyers could not afford to lose Giroux as they are thin already due to injuries.

As the third period wore on, the Bruins became increasingly frustrated and began to take cheap shots. Defenseman Chris Pronger was deliberately tripped into the boards by Blake Wheeler, Giroux was boarded by Steve Begin, and Mike Richards was cross checked in the face by the Bruins’ biggest pussy, Marc Savard. Now, Dan Carcillo was suspended earlier in the season for a similar action. Will the League have the guts and integrity to suspend Savard? Regardless, shame on Boston for resorting to these neanderthal tactics when they start to lose. They’re obviously undisciplined and perhaps are thinking that they’re losing a grip on the series.

Returning to Philadelphia, the Flyers will need to keep the same approach: Focus on winning one game and playing with on-fire intensity. It won’t be easy to take two more games but this could be a wild finish to what has been an unusual series.