A microcosm of the entire series in 3 hours
The Flyers and Bruins have been battling for almost 2 weeks. However the 3 hours of game 7 told the entire story of the epic series. The entire rollercoaster of emotions was on display in one of the greatest non-overtime game 7’s of all time.
6:59pm: nervous energy as the game comes on. As a Flyers fan I was supremely confident that the black and gold were dead. The plug was pulled and this would be an extension of the last 2 games.
7:19pm: Hartnell highsticks a Hunwick trying to bat the puck forward. Dumb play and lucky not to draw blood. My anxiety goes up a notch. We hadn’t taken dumb penalties in the last couple of games.
7:20pm: Boston scores. Now I am mad at Hartnell for giving them momentum as the crowd goes up a notch. The shot was going wide and bounced off Timonen trying to block the puck as Ryder scores.
7:25pm: Briere runs and hits Wideman high with the stick. The refs arm never goes up until Wideman returns the cross check. I figure it will be 4 on 4. But no, only Briere gets the call.
7:27pm: Wideman makes a gorgeous pass from the corner and tees up Lucic for a tap in goal. The building goes nuts as the Flyers have taken 2 bad penalties and given the Bruins life.
7:37pm: Timonen pinches as the forwards are coming towards him, but they both turn offensive and leave Coburn solo on a 2-1 rush. Lucic shoots and scores on a shot that Leighton flat out missed. Really an average shot that should never go in.
7:37pm: Laviolette calls time out and explains to the team what the problem is. They are playing tentative and not taking the attack to the Bruins. You can’t sit back in a game 7. My belief is shaken badly. We start talking about who should be brought back or moved in the off-season and how the loss of Carter and Lapierre has really cost the team.
7:48pm: JVR slips a change-up past Rask. The goal energizes all of us watching. Now we start talking about how getting 1 more before the 10 minute mark of the 2nd period puts us back in the game. The goal is made possible by Richards absolutely destroys Wideman on a big check.
8:06pm: 2nd period starts and I am feeling like I did in game 4. We have a chance but man it is bleak! But there is something different in this period. The Flyers are moving faster and the Bruins look confident sitting back – just like in game 4!
8:09pm: the Bruins strategy is revealed as Pronger is allowed to stand still in his zone – right on top of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Logo with the puck and survey the ice for what seemed like a minute. I said – they are sitting back and we have them now! 10 seconds later Hartnell scores to make it a 1 goal game! So 3 minutes into the 2nd period and the Flyers have scored 2 goals in 5 minutes of playing time. The tide has changed! Just like game 5 in Boston. The Flyers have full control of the game even though they are losing.
8:11pm: thr Bruins look lost as wave after wave of attack is coming. The fans are quiet as JVR goes in on a mini-breakaway that Rask stops.
8:15pm: Versus comes back from commercial with an interview with Laviolette from the bench. Peter says “we are going to win this hockey game!”
8:19pm: Briere goes in with speed and scores on a wrap-around goal. Classic move by Danny. He is one player that is worth much more in the playoffs than he is in the regular season. This is game 6 now. We all know that the Bruins are done – it is just a matter of time. The crazy thing is that the Flyers bench reacts in a way that shows they know it too! Of course Versus shows all the worst possible replays that show the goal. TSN showed the puck in the back of the net!
8:31pm: the Flyers appear to score on a powerplay. The puck must have been in as the defense of Boston and Rask appear to pull the puck out. Versus again has crappy angles. I hear the both CSN of Philly and NESN of Boston have angles that show the puck is in. But I have not seen that.
8:45pm: end of the 2nd period all tied at 3. But in all reality Boston knows from their body language that they are about to not only blow a 3-0 series lead, but also have a 3-0 lead in the first period of game 7!
9:02pm: the Boston fans try to rally the troops as the 3rd period starts.
9:17pm: 10 minutes left in the period and we are all supremely confident that the Flyers will score soon to end it. They have dominated the play and Boston is still playing not to lose!
9:20pm: Boston has 6 players on the ice. Peco Powerplay coming and we all start predicting who will score the powerplay goal! Not if, but WHO! I say Pronger, Giroux, Briere are screamed from around the room.
9:21pm: Boston holds the puck in the Philly zone with some minor pressure. I say they are using their energy as here comes the goal! I get a text message from my friend “what kind of PP is this?” Perfect with his luck I now know for sure the goal is coming!
9:22pm: As expected Gagne roofs one far side to give the Flyers the lead! 4 straight goals to take the game– just like winning 4 straight games to take the series! But 7 freaking minutes left! 7 minutes left in game 7 – wow the irony!
9:30pm: the Flyers are expertly apply pressure up ice and getting the puck out quickly. Making fast line changes and winding the clock like pros!
9:31pm: the net is empty, just like the garden will be soon.
9:33pm: Giroux gets the puck with 3 seconds left and flips it down the ice! Game and series over!
The stars of the comeback are in no particular order. Boucher, Leighton, Briere, Hartnell, Leino, Giroux, Gagne, Hartnell, Pronger, Timonen, Carle, Coburn, Betts, Holmgren, Laviotlette, Carcillo, Richards….The best part is that I could keep going…Nodl, JVR, Asham….A total team and organization win. Peter Laviolette would not let the team quit. Holmgren added Leighton and Leino for nothing (well Tollefsen – so less than nothing). Briere, Pronger, Richards and Gagne all raised their games like they do in the playoffs. Richards out battled Chara physically! Shows how brave he really is!
Good Night and Good Hockey!
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