It almost seems that every year there is that one team that no one expects to make out of the first round but somehow manages to carry the "Cinderella" title all the way to the Cup finals, and I think we may be seeing that with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Two years ago we saw the Edmonton Oilers accomplish this task; finishing in 8th place in the West at the end of the regular season, most expected them to be knocked out early by the powerhouse that was the Detroit Red Wings. But somehow the wins just kept on coming, the momentum started to build, and a team that not many expected much from made it to the Stanley Cup finals before losing in Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes.
We can then take a look at the Ducks, who were still Mighty in the 2002-2003 season. Paul Kariya led a 7th seeded squad of pond floppers to a 7 game war with the Devils of New Jersey. We all remember that hit that Scott Stevens used to crush Kariya, before watching him regain consciousness, go to the locker room for a breather, and then come back to rip one home past Marty Brodeur. If that doesn't define a Captain, I don't know what does. However the Ducks lost Game 7 without Kariya, in a classic hard fought game.
The following year the Calgary Flames tried to overpower the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sitting in sixth place, not many expected them to defeat the intimidating Vancouver Canucks squad. But much like the teams that I've all ready mentioned, momentum just kept on swinging their way before reaching the Cup finals.
All of these teams, including the Flames, LOST.
Right now the Flyers are looking pretty damn good for a team that barely made the playoffs, and it truly shows that the playoff season is a new season where ANYTHING can happen.
Their confidence has to be soaring after eliminating one of the best teams in the regular season, the Montreal Canadiens. Biron is showing that he is the real deal, and plenty of their guys are stepping up.
If history is to repeat itself, the Flyers will be that one team that makes it to the Finals, puts up a hard fight, and then loses
They are the underdog who starts a new trend of winning when it's not expected.
Or of course they don't get passed the Penguins, which should be one heck of a series that I'm sure all fans Pennsylvania fans will be enjoying.
So what do you think? Are the Flyers the annual underdog?