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"950 ESPN's Flyers Reporter Mike Mreczko"
Philadelphia, PA • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
Let's get the bad out of the way:
Biron: 0-5, 5.95GAA, .822 save % on the 2nd day when playing back to back days this year (by comparison, Huet over the last 2 years in the same situation is 1-4, 3.33 GAA, .904 save%)

The Flyers are 6-6 all-time in Game 7s (all rounds), and for those around before all NHL series were best of 7 the Flyers are also 1-0 in game 3 of best-of-3 and 1-1 in game 5 of best-of-5s

The Capitals have played in one game 7 all-time, old time Flyer followers probably remember Dale Hunter winning it in OT (5-4) back in the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinals.... It was the only time in Capitals history they came back from a 3-1 series deficit in 6 tries.
That series was one of two times out of 19 the Flyers have blown a 3-1 series lead (the other in 2000 against the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals)

Want some silver lining? Get ready to stretch...
The Flyers have alternated wins and losses in their last 4 game 7's...and are coming off a loss (2-1 @TB in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals)
There... I'm positive


Now for the good Flyers fans need to hope for tonight
1) The best hope is that the Caps have spent all their energy in these last couple of games and maybe even get a little choked up playing a game 7 in front of the home crowd. Play physical, DON'T give the Caps the room they thrive with, control the puck and tempo and get the Caps to make some mistakes
2) The Caps have 11 players who dressed for game 6 who are playoff rookies this year and therefore haven't experienced an NHL game 7, the Flyers have 6 if you count Biron (Coburn, Jones, Thoresen, Kukkonen, Cote the others). With the exception of Coburn and Jones, the other guys aren't usually being relied upon by the Flyers nearly as much as some of the Caps game 7 virgins are: guys like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Green, Laich, etc.
3) Finally, the Flyers are a team that have faced similar adversity before: they almost played their way out of the playoffs late in the regular season but the mood in the locker room never waivered. The mantra was "we control our own destiny" and that is still true going into the game tonight.

Keys:
*First and foremost, play smart--avoid the turnovers and stupid penalties that gave the Caps their opportunities last night.
*Defend the blue line: The Flyers backed up all night in transition making it that much easier for the Caps to take it to them
*Look for the openings: Washington will come out like a house of fire I'm sure and spread the ice looking for quick breaks but it leaves them susceptible to plays for the Flyers (think Game 2)
*Slow it down: The generally older and more banged up Flyers d-men will not sustain a game full of odd-man rushes and open play around the ice. The Flyers need to limit these opportunities for the Capitals or the back-line will be gasped and the Flyers will be heading home.


Prediction: Flyers withstand an early onslaught by the Caps and gain some momentum off of it while the Caps tails go between their legs a bit. Look for some action out of the Carter line as Richards will be busy defending AO&Co. and you know the Caps will key on the Briere line. I think it will be low-scoring either way but I'm a believer and will take the Fly Guys by a 2-1 score.
Filed Under:   Flyers   Capitals  
April 22, 2008 12:49 PM ET | Delete
Will the real Flyers team, please show up!?!? If that happens, Flyers win. Question: Where was all the hustle when Brashear was with the Flyers?
April 22, 2008 1:42 PM ET | Delete
As long as I don't have to see the "scoop the sand with my little sand shovel" celebration move of Briere after he scores, then all will be fine. He needs a new goal scoring celebration. That one is old and tired.
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