Turning the Tide: Postgame Flyers @ Rangers 3/25/2008
Flyer fans are quite familiar with the story line. One team leads for much of the game. The other ties it up in the third, proceeding to win in overtime.
Except this time the Flyers left the ice victorious. I highlighted Biron, Prospal, Briere, and Richards in my predictions, and they were key players. The confidence Biron gained over the weekend was evident in his play at MSG. The tying goal was direct result of a beautiful give-and-go between Briere and Prospal. Richards’ backhander became his first ever overtime winner.
How big was this win for the Flyers? Just look to Mike Richards’ celebration following his own overtime goal. Normally the future captain subtly responds with arms raised or a small fist pump. This evening, he resembled the flashy Ovechkin – a 3,000-watt smile, arms waving, jumping up and down. When the heart and soul of a team reacts like that, you can be sure this was a statement victory.
The Flyers’ confidence level is growing by the game. They avoided yet another dwindling lead against the Atlanta Thrashers because Niittymaki made an amazing save on a blistering shot from Kovalchuk. They discarded the monkey on their back by decisively defeating the Rangers in a shootout. They held a lead against the Islanders on Sunday with a stellar performance from Biron. And tonight they managed to achieve a comeback in Madison Square Garden. Four-game winning streaks with building confidence and fantastic goaltending is exactly the type of momentum desired when approaching the playoffs.