Blog 1 - Sunday, April 12
Bring the heat. That's what it is this season. The heat. We get it round 1 - again - drawing Crosby and the Penguins in the opening round (only a year after drawing Alex and the Caps). Hey, nobody said it would be easy.
So the playoffs are beginning, and that means everybody starts at ground 0. My biggest question is, which Flyers' team is going to show up? Is it the team that has played .500 hockey for the last couple weeks, or is it the team that clicks on all cylinders, the one full of gritty vets and exciting rookies, and rock-solid goaltending?
Pittsburgh is going to be tough. The firepower they have: Crosby, Malkin, Gonchar, Letang, Kunitz, Guerin, Sykora… they have weapons all over the place. And it's a tough first-round draw, but if you are going to win the cup, you have to beat everyone anyway.
Anyway, they’re talented? So are we. Obviously goaltending is a question, but this is Biron in a contract year, playing for next season. That can be a good thing. He had a pretty good run going to the Eastern conference final last season, and I'm confident he's motivated to do the same thing again.
The whole team is, actually.
With a year under our belt, and another year of experience for a pretty young team, we’re going to be a lot stronger than last year. And people forget: we were banged up defensively on the blue line last season! Kimmo was out, and to me, he’s the guy in this playoffs. What he does back on the blue line is pivotal for us.
It’s important to realize where we are this year. We’re healthy. Coburn. Timonen. Jones, Parent. We’re a healthy squad. I guarantee you last season it would’ve been a different result if we were fully healthy. Well…now we'll see. Because this season, we are.
And a healthy Simon Gagne! All these guys in the lineup, Briere back and healthy to help the PP, and the x-factor: Claude Giroux. I knew this kid was going to be something the first day I watched him, now I can't wait to see what he can do in the playoffs.
Almost done, and I haven't even mentioned Carter or Richards - that's how deep this Flyers team actually is. Scary-deep offensively and healthy for the first time almost all season.
I can't wait to see what this team, healthy and ready, can do in the playoffs. I'm calling a deep run, but it starts with the battle of PA. And I'm saying Flyers in six. Home ice is so valuable for a team like Pitt or Philly because it gives you that extra edge, but if we can finish it in 6, their home-ice advantage doesn't even affect us.
Philly has great fans, Pitt has great fans and you go in their home building, it’s scary. It’s positive for us that Philly has been great on the road.
We’re back. Let’s get the Cheasesteaks on! Bring the heat baby!
You want to play in June? You have to show up in April.
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