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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Now, Wait a Second, Philadelphia. . .

Don't get too excited that the Flyers have reached the Eastern finals in the NHL. Yes, they are one series away from getting to the Stanley Cup finals, which, if they win, will give Philadelphia its first major-sport championship since the 1983 76ers. Yes, the Flyers' post-season efforts have been particularly impressive, defeating the Caps in OT in Game 7 in the first round and then dispensing with the heavily favored Habs (whom they didn't beat at all during the regular season) 4-1 in the second. R.J. Umberger has emerged now as a very special player, and Martin Biron is playing very well in goal, and many others are excelling. All that is well and good.

But they're only halfway there, which, admittedly, is the best a Philadelphia sports team is doing at the moment. This is something to celebrate, and, at least for a while, more of us in the Philadelphia region will be watching hockey -- either the actual games or updates on our Blackberries -- during this next series.

Whether most of us will actually switch to watching the Flyers as opposed to the Phillies, though, even this early in the baseball season, is doubtful.

Such is the life of an NHL franchise, even one with a hard core of diehard fans like the Flyers.


Blogger Escort81 said...

I think most Flyers fans understand that the Flyers are playing with house money at this point. Making the playoffs constituted a satisfactory year, and beating the Caps in the first round made for a very successful year. By eliminating Montreal in 5 games, the Flyers are literally in unchartered territory -- no team in the history of the post-expansion NHL has finished last overall in the league and come back the next year to make the conference finals.

The Pens have goaltender who probably won't wilt under playoff pressure (as did Price for the Habs), and two of the best five or six offensive players in the world in Malkin and "Cindy" Crosby. Whatever happens in the series, the Flyers have a bright future with a good young core of players.

9:51 PM  

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