Pushing Back Judgement Day

In the Terminator movies, they’re always trying to prevent Judgement Day. That’s the point where Skynet goes live, becomes self aware, perceives humans as a threat, and tries to wipe out their existence. However, every time they think they’ve stopped this from happening, it turns out that things got pushed back, and that JD is inevitable. Over my entire hockey watching life, the Flyers keep having their own Judgement Day, over and over.

Judgement Day 1995

Eric Lindros and the Legion of Doom are the best line in hockey. They are nearly unstoppable. Together, they end the Flyers’ 5 year playoff drought, and are one of the heavy favorites to battle for the Cup. They sweep the defending champion Rangers, and things are looking good. Then, in the Eastern Conference Finals they are destroyed by the Devils.

Judgement Day 1997

Finally, Lindros leads the team to the Finals, where we are heavily favored against the Detroit Red Wings. Why is a one line juggernaut favored over a team that won the Presidents Trophy and has significant depth? Because that’s how damn good Lindros was. Unfortunately, Ron Hextall routinely let’s goals in from the blueline, and we get swept aside in 4 straight. Of course over the next decade we learn that Detroit was stocked with future HOF’s and would be the closest thing to a dynasty that the NHL has had.

Judgement Day 2000

Once again, the Flyers meet th Devils in the Conf. Finals. For the previous 5 years, NJ had owned us throughout the regular season. We hated them more than anybody else. Finally, it looked like we’d exorcise the demons, as we took a 3-1 series lead. Without needing to say much more, I’ll just leave it at Scott Stevens.

Judgement Day 2004

With a cast of aging superstars, and no really dominant players, this team was all about a group effort. Captain Keith Primeau took the team on his back, and just scored clutch goal after clutch goal. For the second year in a row, we face and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Roenick scored the OT winner after Sami Kapanen was nearly destroyed by Darcy Tucker. But the team simply ran out of gas in the next round against Tampa. We fought, and forced a Game 7. That’s where it ended, as we didn’t have the energy, and got whacked.

Judgement Day 2008

Our newest enemy was now Pittsburgh. This was the first time Crosby and Malkin had gone on a playoff run after being in the NHL a few seasons. By now, we hated this team. We were coming of our worst season ever, and were making a nice little run through the playoffs too. Joffrey Lupul ended Washington’s season with a Game 7 OT winner. Then we cruised past Montreal fairly easily. But we were completely destroyed by the Pens.

Judgement Day 2009

Pittsburgh, again, except this time in the first round.

Judgement Day 2010

Do I even need to remind you of last years playoffs? We backed in, and consensus was that we’d probably get out of the first round and that would be it. Instead, we destroyed Jersey, made a historic comeback against Boston, and then breezed through Montreal again. Offense was coming from every line, the defense was solid, and the goalies didn’t need to be spectacular, just solid. 4 games in the Finals vs Chicago, the series was tied. No matter how good or bad we’d played in those first few games, it had come down to best of 3. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough, and lost the next two.

And now here we are in 2011. After a thoroughly dominant first 3/4’s of the season, the team has stalled. We let our grasp on first in the conference fall away. We showed no urgency or desire to play. Still, we expected the team to turn everything up in the postseason. What should have been a fairly quick series with Buffalo ended up going the distance. However, we completely destroyed them in Game 7, leading us all to believe that the real Flyers were back. Now, we face Boston. Instead of a tight, physical series, we’ve been pushed around and destroyed on the scoreboard. We’ve been blown out in 2 games, and lost a game where we did more than enough to win.

So here we sit, down 3-0. Last night the Flyers looked completely dead. They didn’t respond to ANYTHING that Boston threw at them. They scored early, we didn’t respond. They knocked us on our asses, we didn’t hit back. Their fans taunted and jeered us, and we slunk away into the locker room. The names are the same, but this is not last years team. But it still can be. Until we’re done..we’re not done. The same logic goes this year as it did last year. We’re playing like shit, but we’re not overmatched. If we play the way we know that we can, then anything is possible. It’s a big if, but that’s all we can hope for.

There is no logic behind the statement that just because we did it last year means we can’t do it this year. Maybe, just maybe, we can rewrite the Terminator script. Maybe Judgement Day doesn’t have to happen. Maybe we can have another historic comeback. With Boston having 3 wins, but needing 4, “maybe” is still alive.

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Tags: 3-0 Comeback Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Chicago Blackhawks Darcy Tucker Detroit Red Wings Eastern Conference Semifinals Eric Lindros Evgeni Malkin Game 4 Jeremy Roenick Joffrey Lupul Keith Primeau Kristanna Lokken Legion Of Doom Maybe Montreal Canadiens New Jersey Devils New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Ron Hextall Sami Kapanen Scott Stevens Sidney Crosby Tampa Bay Lightning Terminator 3 Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals

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