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What a way to end the series. Lupul who was the only forward that scored for the Flyers all season and didn't have a goal all series long. He looked lost. So tonight he played mostly with Briere and Prospal and saw time on the 1st powerplay unit. The move paid off in the first OT with Lupul tucking in the rebound on the powerplay to win the series.

As a Flyers fan, the win was pure joy after last season. The Caps are on the right path to becoming a really good team. They need a defenseman that can play the physical game and need to replace Federov if he leaves.

Some random notes:

* Jason Smith's ice time continues to drop. Not sure what he played tonight, but he made the glaring error on the Ovechkin goal that tied the game. Not sure what he read on that play, but he left the most dangerous player in the league alone from the blueline in to make a hit. I do not think he will be back in a Flyers uniform next season.

* Kuukonen looked great again. A much better option over Modry. I know Modry has some personal issues and I offer my condolences to his family, but he did not have his mind on hockey the last 10 days.

* As I blogged before the playoffs started, the Flyers had more depth at forward and defense and should be able to outlast the Caps in the series. It took all the depth they had up front to win.

* Kimmo is a beast. I could not believe how much he elevated his game in the playoffs over the regular season. I also predict that Braydon Coburn will be a leader on the Flyers D for the next 6-8 years.

* Nice to see Marty Biron and Danny Briere put up good numbers in the playoffs to vindicate the contracts they were given.

* As a Flyers fan, my thanks to Paul Holmgren for his masterful job of rebuilding the team so quickly.

* I thought that Stevens did a good job tonight switching the lines slightly to change the matchups since the Caps had last change.

* Finally, I know the media was hoping for a Crosby/Malkin vs Ovechkin series in the 2nd round. It looked like the refs were hoping for it due the a couple of "missed" calls that would have resulted in Flyers powerplays late in the 3rd and early in OT. The missed calls were on Hartnell along the wall - once for a boarding and once for an interference. Then in OT I cannot believe that the trip on Kapenen was not called. The genius on Versus called it a "good disruption of the play" - what it was a chop of both feet.

Alright, on to round 2 and a matchup with the Habs. We kind of had our butts kicked by them for the last two seasons. I hope the coaching staff can come up with a different plan against them or the next round could be ugly. But tonight it is time to just sit back and SMILE!
Filed Under:   Flyers   Capitals   Playoffs   NHL  
April 23, 2008 1:09 AM ET | Delete
A good, tough series. Don't degrade it with whining about the refs when you ignore the Flyers second goal. That goal should not have counted. The proper call would have been that the goalie was interfered with (Flyer pushed d-man into him) but no penalty. Would that have changed the outcome? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. But it's too bad that bad refs have influence in such a great series -- both teams were super!
April 23, 2008 4:01 AM ET | Delete
Duh you are allowed to check a player on the ice. If he goes flying into his goalie because his goalie is high at the top of the paint, so be it. They were also playing the puck when that happened and then the puck shot out to Sammy who found an empty net in front of him. That was absolutely a legit goal and a fine play by Thoresan. By no means at all did he just shove the player straight into the goalie interfering with him. It was within the realm of the play and the puck was actually right there in the middle of the action and popped out to sammy. The non call on Kappy was clearly a penalty but you dont call that in overtime, however, once they did the same thing to Umberger the refs have absolutely no choice but to call it. They actually handled the overtime extremely well. Outside of the 5 on 3's for both teams, which were a result of questionable calls both ways... I think the refs did a great job in this game tonight. And you will not hear that often from me at all.
April 23, 2008 4:01 AM ET | Delete
Message Posted
April 23, 2008 8:38 AM ET | Delete
Pointing out penalties that SHOULD'VE been called is not considered whining. There were no calls on both sides but in OT there were some glaring non calls. It is what it is. The problem with the NHL is that the refs are forced to have a hand in each and every game. Players these days are so confused with the lack of consistency so even when a penalty is called there upset because of the lack of non calls.
April 23, 2008 9:13 AM ET | Delete
Read the rules and watch the Flyers 2nd goal again. The defenseman had the puck and was legally checked. The goalie was collateral damage. The goal was legal. To prove it was legal the NHL posted a clarification on their web site stating the same as I said above!
April 23, 2008 9:15 AM ET | Delete
I am all about letting them play, but blatant trips that prevent 2-1 in OT are not part of letting them play. Those kind of desperate acts must be whistled, regardless of when it happens. Just image if the guy shot the puck over the glass instead, an automatic penalty, just like a trip should be!
April 23, 2008 11:02 AM ET | Delete
Huet didn't whine about the goal...why are you???
April 23, 2008 12:42 PM ET | Delete
Right before a loose puck made its way to Kapanen, Philadelphia's Patrick Thoresen gave Shaone Morrisonn a shove, and the Washington defenseman plowed into Huet, knocking the goalie off his skates. The NHL posted an explanation on the Web, saying Thoresen legally body checked Morrisonn and no Philadelphia player made contact with Huet.That reasoning apparently didn't make its way to the fans, who yelled insults and curse words at the on-ice officials.http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/8052644/Flyers-eliminate-Capitals-in-overtime
April 23, 2008 7:49 PM ET | Delete
A great, tough fought series. Lots of heart by Washington to force a game 7. Good hockey from Philly too. They are the deeper team and proved to be the better team. I agree with the no-calls in OT. That first one prevented a 2-on-1 and wasn't even borderline it was a clear cut trip. Things like that have been my biggest problem throughout the playoffs so far. Things like the hit from behind on Hartnell and the interference on Kapanen. As far as Philly's 2nd goal, I'd like to see that play be made a penalty. While a clean check (yes, I've watched it again and was wrong at first), I don't like the idea of opposing players being able to check guys into their goalie. To me it looked like Philly used that as a strategy all series long (and successfully), and I don't blame them seeing that it's legal. I just disagree that it's a legit hockey play. Thoresen knew exactly what he was doing.
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