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As Hawks visit, Cup loss still stings for Flyers

by Adam Kimelman
PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers center Claude Giroux best summed up his memories from the night of June 9, 2010.

"It was one of my worst days of my life," Giroux told "I remember sitting here and telling myself we're just one game away from the Stanley Cup. That's what you live for, to win that Cup, and to see that we were that close, it hurts."

That night -- Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final -- Giroux and his teammates were left to mourn how close they had gotten while the Chicago Blackhawks were on the ice, skating laps with the Cup.

For the first time since that night, the Blackhawks are back in Philadelphia on Thursday here at Wells Fargo Center, and while the talk in the visiting room was about all the fun they had -- Patrick Kane even tried to re-enact his Cup-clinching overtime goal -- the Flyers were left to deal with less pleasant memories.


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"There's disappointment there," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Am I disappointed about two years ago? … Yeah, it stings. Two years ago, you'll take that with you forever -- that's part of professional sports. You get the opportunity to play for the greatest trophy in the world and your team has a chance to win a championship, it doesn't happen -- it stings. Those things you don't forget about, they don't leave you. I think they're part of the fabric of who you are as an athlete or a coach, whoever it might be."

Matt Carle told that the sting comes from losing; that it was to the Blackhawks isn't really important.

"I don't know if it's anger toward them or disappointment that we lost," he said. "Doesn't matter who the team was, you're always going to remember that no matter how long you play in the League or how many Cups you win, you're going to remember the one you lost. It has nothing to do with the Blackhawks, just disappointment we lost in general."

For obvious reasons, the Flyers are more concerned with living in the present, rather than dwelling on their ultimate loss. Part of that comes from the fact that just seven active players remain from that Cup Final team -- forwards Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk, and defensemen Carle, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn. On the other side, Chicago only has eight players remaining from that night.

"There's been a lot of change on both sides, in both dressing rooms," Coburn said. "We play these guys so few times during the year, just once this year. I think it just boils down to, it's the best Western Conference team coming into our building and we have to be ready and be able to respond, especially because we want to get back to the top of the East here."

The common sentiment from the Flyers was that it's far more important for them to be facing one of the best teams in the Western Conference today, rather than the top team in the League two seasons ago. The Flyers enter the night fourth in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the first-place New York Rangers.

"Once the game starts tonight, it'll be about the team there now," Coburn said. "They've got a lot of talent and a lot of … they got a good team there. We have to be ready for what's going on and be present and be in the moment."
Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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