Thursday, May 15, 2008

Game 4

I don't mean to jinx anyone, but I honestly don't see the Flyers winning tonight.

(However, that last sentence almost read, "...but I honestly don't see the Flyers losing tonight." I wrote that, moved on, and didn't notice until later that I had nearly guaranteed Philly a victory. So I may have reverse jinxed the Pens somehow...)

At any rate, I stand by my earlier statement: I am expecting a sweep, would be surprised if it went to five and would be absolutely shocked if it went to six. A lot of conspiracy theorists have said that the refs will make sure the Flyers win tonight because they made sure of it last night in Dallas.

But, well, I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories, so there you go. With all the weird shit officiating-wise already -- the overturned goal in Game 2, all the phantom hooking calls in Game 3 (which really went for both sides), and just the general refs-don't-seem-to-have-a-consistent-definition-of-what-offsides-means -- I really don't think you can peg anything on the officials. From what I understand, the officiating in hockey has always been weird and will always be weird, so you pretty much have to reconcile yourself with the fact that you can't use that excuse as a crutch and move on.

Really, though, there's no way and I mean NO WAY the Flyers win the series. And, even though they're backed up against a way, staring elimination right in the face, they're at home, and the refs will be helping them... I really don't think they win tonight. I just can't force myself to believe it.


Game 1: Had a chance to set the tone early, bring the Pens back down to Earth, and, since they needed to split those first two road games anyway, may as well get it out of the way early. They played their best game and lost by two goals.

Game 2: The Pens had a goal overturned for no reason and still won by two. Once again, the Flyers played hard and still lost hard. Once again, they needed to split the two road games at the beginning of the series to win the series. Once again, they didn't.

Game 3: Playing at home, in front of some of the best and loudest fans in the NHL, facing a must-win situation and needing to win both home games to really make a series out of it, they scored one goal on 18 shots. I'm not saying the Flyers aren't trying. I'm not saying they're a bad team. There's no doubt that the injuries to Timmonen and Coyburn left them at a significant disadvantage in this series. But, playing at home, facing elimination, and needing a win to stay alive.... they only had 18 shots on goal. Eight. Teen.

It's entirely possible that the right mix of desperation, talent, and timely officiating will come together tonight and equate to a Flyers win. It's possible. I just don't think it's going to happen.

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