From start to finish, last night’s Game 7 between the Flyers and Sabres was arguably the Flyers’ most complete game they have played all season. Down the stretch run of the regular season, the Flyers built leads only to let up on the gas, allowing inferior opponents that should be put away to crawl back games. Not last night. The Flyers rode the energy of a rowdy Philadelphia crowd and came out forechecking and hitting like a pack of ravenous wolves. They wanted that game so badly, and showed it by winning every one-on-one battle and smothering whatever little offensive attempt the Sabres had. Last night was the Flyers most dominating playoff performance since they shat on the Maple Leafs 6-1 in Game 7 of the 2003 Eastern Conference Quartefinals.
Good night Buffalo
Series MVP: C, Danny Briere
This one’s a no brainer. Briere had 7 points (6G, 1A) in the series and 4 points (3G, 1A) when the Flyers faced elimination in Games 6 and 7. In my Game 7 Notes, I talked about Danny Briere and how he elevates his game when the pressure is on. He loves the big stage and once again proved why he has earned the nickname Mr. Playoffs. Just as impressive, Briere was able to achieve success in this series while overcoming the emotions of playing against good friends (Ryan Miller, Jason Pomminville) and being booed in his former hometown.
Said Briere following Game 7: “Honestly, it was one of the toughest series I’ve had to go through. When you’re facing a lot of friends — it’s no secret that in the playoffs there are no friends. You’re out there, it doesn’t matter who has the puck, you’re going through them.”
Briere now has 94 points in 93 career playoff games. Among active players, only Sidney Crosby is operating at a point-per-game clip in the playoffs for their career (minimum 15 games).
Briere: “I’m way better than you.” Miller: “Go fuck yourself.” Briere: “Love you, bro.”
Some quick numbers:
– The Flyers powerplay began the series 2 for 26 (7.7%) in the first 5 games. With Chris Pronger’s return, it finished 4 for 9 (44.4%) in Games 6 and 7.
– With the Flyers victory last night, the home team has only won 3 of the past 11 playoff Game 7’s since 2009 in the NHL.
– The Flyers have won their last three Game 7’s, two of which were on the road (2008 Conference Semifinals @ Washington, 2010 Conference Semifinals @ Boston, 2011 Conference Quarterfinals vs. Buffalo)
The next opponent:
The Flyers second round opponent won’t be determined until the end of tonight, as both remaining matchups are headed to Game 7. If Boston wins their deciding game tonight at home against the Canadiens (Versus, 7pm), they will face the Flyers in a rematch of the epic 3-0 comeback from last year’s Conference Semis. If Montreal takes that series, the Flyers will face the winner of the Lighning @ Pens Game 7 (8pm). I look forward to sitting back stress-free tonight and enjoying a couple of great hockey games knowing that my boys are moving on.
Predictions: Bruins 2 Canadiens 1 (OT), Lightning 5 Penguins 3
Oh and by the way, suck it Rangers you pack of losers!