I gotta say. I've tried to be relatively fair with my opinion of officiating in this series. Despite calls for "the fix" by ESPN, I tried to believe that things would work out somewhete fairly. There was definately time where the games went in the Flyers direction and we took advantage of it. However, I ahd a serious problem with Scottie Upshall's "diving" penalty last night. While I recognize that Upshall has been known to be a bit dramatic at times, this shouldn't have been called at all. The ref was behind Upshall and should have been able to cleraly see taht the reason he fell was that Huet's stick was behind his feet and he tripped over that when he was pushed. It just seems as though they are gunning for him. There are times when he deserves to be in that box but he's definately being over scrutinized lately. Furthermore, to even have the audacity to call and dive when Ovechkin has been diving all series.
Honestly, I was (am??) an Ovechkin fan for sure. But I honestly can't stand his latest "Crosby" tactic. If you dont' believe me watch some of the footage. When Ovie is trying to get to the puck he can't be knocked over with even the biggest of hits (w/ the exception of Richards catching him with his head down). Then, magically, when he is skating in on goal and controling the puck he gets a one handed shove from Timmonen and all of a sudden he's on his ass? That seems a little unlikely. Especially when you consider Timmonen's size as he compares to Alex the great. All in all, regardless of what happens tonight, I'm totally disappointed in the guy I stood behind all season as the solution to divers and over-hyped players like Crosby. I wish he could just play it out like he has all season, which he can only appear to do when they are clearly winning. Frustrating.
I don't know what happened to the Flyers (and the crowd) last night. Where was the passion? the yelling? The hundred of people that stood in 30th street station last week to send them off to DC. And the team, they came out strong for the first, and then looked defeated as soon as Washington scored. There needs to be a little more urgency in ther play. Don't wait for your teamate to go try to make the play...YOU do it. There's no waiting in hockey...unless of course you're a fan who waited through last season and this one to see your boys in the playoffs. We want the vengence. We want round number 2 and a chance to take on the mightly Habs and the inconsistent Cary Price.
My only hopes are that Biron will look as good all game as he did in last night's first period. I hope for more production from Briere (who is just blowing all other playoff players out of the water), Richards (who I still think needs to be more agressive), and Carter (who seems to be backing down too easily). I want Lupul to step up like he should, he's making too much money not to and before his injuries he was having a career season. He has it in him. It's also about time for Upshall to put his play where his mouth is. Draw the penalties from breakaways and clean hits. Consider using your talent and not your big mouth.
Overall the etam needs to come out hard. They need to exploit the same weaknesses they did in games 2 and 3. Check them, knock them off the puck. Be agressive. We need them to play OUR game, not the other way around. We need to shake them up enough to have them throwing too many men on the ice, or taking bad penalties. We need to contain OVie like we did in games 2-4. Finally, we need to check Semin. For the love of Gretzky, the guy is skating circles around you LITERALLY!!! Just check him.
I anxiously await the game tonight. It's very exciting and I believe the Flyers can pull it out in the end. It's gonna be a rough one. Game 7...show me the vengeance!