Prior Flyers Game Sevens: 2010 at Boston Bruins


You know, the 2009-2010 Philadelphia Flyers are among elite NHL company. They are one of three teams to come back from 0-3 in a playoff series to win. Some Flyers teams have a distinguished identity. “The Broadstreet Bullies,” “The Legion of Doom,” and this team who completed “The Comeback.” With Michael Leighton between the pipes against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Flyers were “The Comeback Kids.”

Think about it. The Philadelphia Flyers went from being counted out by game three to be counted on by game six. Game seven took place in Boston, but all of the momenta from this series resides with Philadelphia. In game six, Blair Betts left the game with a shoulder injury but would be in the lineup for game seven. In this series, Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne have been the embodiment of the term “clutch.” With sixty minutes between the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and the Eastern Conference Finals, the Flyers looked forward to playing the spoiler to the Boston Bruins.

First Period

For the first twenty minutes of the game, the Philadelphia Flyers had “a case of the Mondays.” That’s what it seemed at least because just about everything went wrong. Michael Ryder scored a powerplay goal to set the pace, followed by another powerplay goal by Milan Lucic. Lucic scored once more to put the Boston Bruins up by three in the first period. We all know the narrative, this wouldn’t be the only time the Flyers came back from being down three.

In every aspect of hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers were outplayed in the first period. James van Riemsdyk did score his first career playoff goal to cut the Boston Bruins lead to two. It’s the worst lead a team can have in all of hockey. An undisciplined, slow, and uninspired Flyers team would have to do the exact opposite in every aspect in the second period.

Second Period

When I was in college, I was introduced to the idea that a two-goal lead is the worst lead to have in hockey. The philosophy behind that is the team with the two-goal lead plays too conservative and gets soft because they have the insurance goal. Turns out, the two-goal lead is the one that is blown the most. Exhibit A: the Boston Bruins in game seven of the 2010 NHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Scott Hartnell scored after controlling the puck from his knees to extend the offensive possession. Ville Leino’s shot rebounded off Tuukka Rask and Hartnell finished. After the first period, the Philadelphia Flyers were down by about ten shots in comparison to the Boston Bruins output. The Flyers went on a ten shot streak in the second period, dictating the pace of the game and erasing any weakness they showed in the opening period. Before the end of the period, Daniel Briere became a magician with his wrap-around goal on Rask to tie the game at three.

Third Period

Remember how Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne were the series standout players for the Philadelphia Flyers? Briere tied the game and Gagne gives the Flyers their only lead of game seven. Philadelphia is running wild in the Wachovia Center watch-party. The Boston Bruins served the Flyers an incredible opportunity due to a “too many men on the ice” penalty. Just like this series, Philadelphia came back from being down three to win the game, 4-3, and advance in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

What Happened Next?

Xfinity Live was turned upside down from the Philadelphia Flyers fans at the watch party. The Eastern Conference Finals were the first time the seventh seed faced the eighth seed, which gave the Flyers home-ice advantage. After overcoming this sort of adversity, Philadelphia seemed like “world-beaters.” They handled the Montreal Canadiens with ease and made their Stanley Cup Finals appearance. What makes all of this bitter is a magical journey through the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs had come to an end in game six against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Mandatory Credit – © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports