For the third time in this year’s Eastern Conference Finals, Michael Leighton recorded a shut-out.
It feels a lot better to be the team ahead in the series as opposed to the one facing elimination, but you can be sure the Canadiens are not going to go down without a fight. This is the same team that knocked off the first seeded Washington Capitals in the first round and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. In both series, the Canadiens were down before taking the each series to game seven and eventually winning.
In elimination games, Jaroslav Halak is 5-0 with a 1.60 GAA and a 0.962 SV%. Those are hardly numbers to scoff at regardless of his numbers against us so far this series.
We are at home for game 5, and we don’t want to send this back to Montreal where they have a chance to bring it back here for game 7. Basically we want to end this tomorrow night on home ice. Laviolette will not let his team sleep on the Canadiens, and that blowout loss in game 3 was probably the best thing that could have happened to the Flyers.
On the other side of a victory, the mighty Chicago Backhawks, our Western Conference carbon copies, are waiting for us after a sweep of the San Jose Sharks. We can’t worry about them now though. First we need to get there.
Some of you may remember the last time the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997. Since then we’ve lost in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000, in 2004, and in 2008. The Flyers don’t want to let this end here.
We need the crowd to get into their heads. We need to dominate the game. We need to keep them playing chase-the-puck in their own zone. And we need to get past Halak to kill their resolve.
It won’t be easy, but this is for the right to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s never going to be easy.
We don’t want this to drag out.