Today the Philadelphia Flyers organization must face the consequences of poking fun at an article that poked fun at their organization. In short the Washington Post is accusing the Philadelphia of Copywrite infringement for passing out a copy of Mike Wise's fan-bashing article. The article was distrubted to fans as the entere the Wachovia center, along with thunder sticks and orange paper hockey helmets. I assume it was to inspire the crowd to be louder and more obnoxious.
Personally I find it humorous that the Washington Post had the balls to first of all, publish such a poor piece of "journalism". I've seen more educated, more articulate work in high school newspapers. I'm suprised that they chose to stand behind such an embarassing piece of work.
Wise's story was clearly a basketball writer's best shot at trying to disguise the fact that he was writing for a sport he knew nothing about. It was a piece published purely for shock value. This type of work belongs only in the opinion pages. It should not be presented as a respectable piece of news.
Perhaps I should show pity. After all, even the best hockey writer could find little to say about the Capitals other than they were being grossly outplayed in every aspect of the game.
As expected the article had the desired effect on fans and they were as loud and boistrious as ever. Ovechkin was "booed" for his oscar-worthy performance in game 3. I feel that while many fans (such as myself) were offended by the article which made fun of our competitive nature as well as our looks, more were just amused. I suppose article itself was more of somethign I would expect to find on an online capitals hockey forums from a disgruntled 15 year old fan.
Article aside, last night's game was the closest one so far in the series. It was definately the closest to what analysts (and myself) predicted. In reality, both teams played very well until the end. Washington's PK was fantastic and it looked as though they took a page from the NY Rangers PK book. They were agressive and really took away the best shooting lanes. For much of the game it looked as though Danny Briere was finally being controlled. That was until Richards fed him across the crease for a repeat performance of his game 3 goal. This was really a turning point.
Everything really fell apart for the Caps towards the end of the game, however. The "too many men on the ice" penalty that they recieved at the end of the third may not have helped the Flyers as much as it hurt the Caps. They had less offensive time despite the flyers failure to score. What made me laugh is when the commentators said that they got the penalty because they are a young team int eh playoffs. As if a young team never did well. Did the Pens (much to my disappointment) not sweep the Sens? Are the Flyers not a young team? I know we have some veteran players but we also have the likes of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Braydon Coburn (all 23), as well as Scottie Upshall (24), and Joffrey Lupul and Patrick Thoresen(25).
Hockey analysts are obsessed with this young teams not doing well in the playoffs, while at the same time, explaining that the playoffs are a "whole new season" and "anything can happen". Let' just leave it to the later and say "anything can happen". After all, Alexander the Great has been essentially neutralized after game 1.
All in all I'm extremely happy with the was the Flyers have been playing. It was hard to be a fan last year, but this year they have certainly made it worth our while to wait it out. I think that tomorrow will be the end of this series. There are doubts among columnists who keep saying that Ovie is going to "break out". Let's face it though, they said the same thing before last night's game. It could happen but they shouldn't need it to. He carried his team all season and one man cannot drag his entire team through the playoffs after 82 regular season games. I will hand it to him because I like him alot, AO has alot of heart, but I just don't think that he can make up for the poor play of the rest of his team, and as long as Huet gets no help from his defense, we will continue to score on rebounds.
I'll leave you with this: Washington coach Bruce Boudreau was claiming that they "deserved" to win last night. You could agree with him, or you could recognize that the guy who wins the game deserves to win. In the world of competitive sports that's how it goes. In game 1 many felt that the Flyers "deserved" to win. They did outplay the Caps the entire first 2 1/2 periods but they let it go in the third. The team that deserves to win plays the whole game (and overtimes) and comes out on top. Don't forget taht the goaltender is part of the team and he keeps them it and makes them "deserve" the win.
Nice work Marty. I like the confidence.
Keep up the good work boys, and next time I write I'll eb talking about next round.