Finally, Wednesday is upon us. Finally, we get to see if the Flyers push the series to the limit, or if the Blackhawks become Stanley Cup Champions. And if you’re a true hockey fan, even if you hate the Flyers, why would you not want a Game 7? The Super Bowl is popular because it’s winner-take-all. Game 7’s, in my opinion, are better!
Not only do you get the win-or-go-home result, but you also get the build up to it. You get teams that know, and probably hate, each other. You get fan bases that have been talking trash for 2 weeks. And hell, you get at least one more hockey game to watch before the summer comes to melt the ice away. The only people against a Game 7, would of course be die hard ‘Hawks fans. But for Flyers-haters, what do they care if it ends in 6 or 7? All they want is for the Flyers to lose. So why not root for the opportunity for another 60 minutes of action.
Everyone who’s been watching the series can agree that it’s been pretty exciting. Tons of goals, physical play, higher pace – exactly what the NHL wants it’s product to be. And TV ratings have been pretty high thus far. Except, apparently, in Canada. Chris Pope, editor of the TheGoodPoint, wrote an interesting story about how hockey’s homeland isn’t paying attention. I haven’t seen the numbers, but this honestly boggles my mind. In fact, it makes me question Canada’s dedication and reputation as great hockey fans. I understand that some teams have more appeal than others, but for the country to not care at all bothers me a bit. Chicago has been a fun team to watch all season long. And everyone hates the Flyers (but still comes out to watch them play on the road). And of course since Montreal went deep into the playoffs, Canada was paying attention and saw how good Philly has become in the playoffs. If Canadians were so knowledgeable about the game, then they would have foreseen an exciting Finals match-up.
The people that predicted an easy series for the ‘Hawks are the people that don’t really understand the game. The line-ups are too evenly matched. Chicago only has one dominant player that can carry them (Hossa), and he’s hasn’t really been himself throughout these playoffs. Because of how even the teams really are, I had a hard time making a prediction. Given all of that, you had to expect one hell of a series. And that’s exactly what has transpired. And if Canada hasn’t tuned in, it’s their loss. And it’s proof that maybe we do give them a bit too much credit or their hockey knowledge.
Anyway, tonight we can expect a much better game from the Flyers. What if they’d played the 1st period of Game 5 differently. What if they’d matched the ‘Hawks intensity. What if the score was tied after the 1st. We could have won that game, and we could have had the chance to win the Cup at home tonight. Of course, maybe the ‘Hawks would have won that game a different way. The only thing we know for sure, is what happened. But there was a lesson we learned. It’s something that players learn, forget, and re-learn many times throughout the course of a season. Lesson: YOU MUST PLAY A FULL 60 MINUTES. Both of these teams are talented. If either one decides to fall asleep, they’ll lose. Period. The Flyers could have changed their fate. Now, a new opportunity arises. Show up, play hard, and hopefully get the W.
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