With two teams in the playoffs, Philadelphia is finding it difficult to care about anything else right now. The Phillies won? Call us when they’re 13 games up. New footage of the duck boat crash was released? Who… the fuck wants to see that? Kids missed that orthodontist appointment? I got through my adolescence without head gear and I turned out just fine. Sure, the abnormal growth of one of my teeth went unchecked and temporarily pierced my brain stem. Whatever. Happens to beavers all the time.
The point is, I can’t hear the TV with my kid rolling on the ground in pain, clutching his mouth, and screaming “IT HURTS, IT HURTS!” so I bought him a bike. I never got a bike at his age. Kid doesn’t know how lucky he is. When he gets some in six hours, I’ll tell him.
But in the mean time, we’ve got post season performances to criticize. Not the ones you think.
The Flyers cruised into the second ground, pausing only to clean the scrambled guts of penguins off their skate blades. After a morale-bursting Game One, in which there was an overtime, game-winning goal and everything, Game Two looked to feature a weakened Devils squad without Ilya Kovalchuk and, with the kind of mojo the Flyers were sporting, an instant win.
But of course, that wasn’t the case. Matt Read put one in at 2:53, seemingly setting the table for a Flyers feast of devil-meat, but sadly, by the time the last horn sounded New Jersey had slipped past by a 4-1 margin. That’s right, after their first period lightning bolt, the Flyers couldn’t score again. In fact, they couldn’t do a whole lot a second time. Ilya Bryzgalov put on a show in net, keeping the Devils down, until the third period when all hell broke loose. And, being Devils, they were right at home.
Swiss cheese isn’t really what we expected from the Flyers at this point. They’ve looked dominant at time during the playoffs; they’ve looked professional and slick. Yes they also allowed ten goals in one game. That was… that was terrible. And they didn’t score on the power play on Tuesday for the first time this post season. But in the playoffs, the hot teams get hotter, and the Flyers looked pretty scalding going into Game Two. It may become more difficult to discern just who exactly is holding the momentum as they glide into Game Three tonight.
But we can yammer on about intangibles all we want. And many people will! Like for instance, I just read an “article” that listed “swagger” and “passion” as two different needs for the Flyers. The list was only three things long.
Well, Lavy will probably just send the Flyers over to PassionMart (he has got to start supporting local businesses like Carlton Swaggerly’s Used Swagger Emporium. Or at least pick up the passion-sacks Jimmy Rollins is leaving in front of Citizens Bank Park) and have them stock up before the game. Problem solved!
Sadly, the Flyers will have to rely on actual hockey things to win Game Three. For instance, keeping the puck out of their own zone for the entire game is probably not going to win them the hockey match. Or perhaps forcing turnovers. That’s starting to sound pretty important. If the Flyers’ front line of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, and Jaromir Jagr can set the pace, keep up with their own rookies, and punch the occasional Devil in the face, then it should be a pretty formulaic contest.
Meanwhile, Ilya Kovalchuk is returning for the Devils, maybe. He’s going to wait until the last moment before deciding if he wants to play or not. We’ll send flowers.
Of course, this is hockey, so the formula can involve bloodying someone into a mess of crumpled human body parts. Which hopefully the Flyers do, having seemed to step back from their natural brutality in Game 2.
Or, they could just have Peter Laviolette garrote somebody to death as the pregame speech. Seems pretty inevitable anyways.