The Flyers are so frustrating. They overperformed through two rounds and now, in the Eastern Conference finals, once everyone thinks they’re ready to make a game of it, they revert to their in-season form.
They lost 4-1 last night, putting them down 3-0 in the series. The Flyers look totally gassed; they had just 18 shots on goal. And while the Penguins defense is much better than they get credit for, last night’s Flyers loss was totally the Flyers getting in their own way.
One thing I don’t get about teams playing Pittsburgh, though. Pittsburgh always has a forward floating between the crease and the blueline. This allows the forward to get back for defense and to sneak down for offense. The Rangers never picked up this forward in the second round. The Flyers don’t seem to be, either. Does no one want to play a zone against the Penguins and just assign someone to stand in front of the goalie? Am I the only one who can see this forward? Is it just the vertical hold on my TV?
Not that anyone thinks the Flyers are done. But if Pittsburgh sweeps Philly and Detroit sweeps Dallas, we’ll have the fewest post-season games (27) between two Cup finalists since the NHL went to their current playoff format in 1987. And even if both teams don’t sweep (ha ha), there’s still room to come in below 30 games, the previous low number (1995; Devils/Wings).