Where Clint Eastwood Meets Hockey
After the Flyers’ playoff-clinching shutout of the New Jersey Devils, Paul Holmgren complimented his team’s performance. When reporters probed for a more ecstatic response, Holmgren assessed the Flyers’ season as a combination of three teams – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. He added that on some nights, all three teams emerged over the course of one game.
The Good Flyers press forward, attacking the team physically and driving the puck towards the net. The Bad Flyers enter a game slowly, sit on their heels when they have a lead, and back up into their own zone rather standing up at the blue line. The Ugly Flyers take sloppy penalties, fail to establish a forecheck, and blow defensive coverages.
All three teams showed up in Washington. Bad in the first, Good in the second, and Ugly in the third. The Capitals have an offensive-minded, physical system (much like the Good Flyers). If the Bad and/or the Ugly show up to play, the Capitals will steamroll over the Flyers into the second round.
Hopefully the Good Flyers arrive at the Verizon Center tomorrow. Otherwise, see you next September.
Quick note: Patrick Thoresen was released from the hospital and is expected to play in tomorrow’s game. He left Game 1 after a blocked shot caught him in the groin.