I dunno what was sweeter; The fact that the Flyers came out dominating like they did throughout the first half of the regular season, out shooting the Sabres in the 1st period 16 - 2, or watching Ryan Miller get pulled after Ville Leino sent a rocketing fourth goal puck over his shoulder.
Whichever one it may be, collectively our effort in Game 7 of the QuarterFinals last night sent me to bed a happy man and I awoke this morning with a skip in my step.
Sitting back and playing this entire rocking rollercoaster of emotions through my head I am thrilled I've had the chance to witness such an epic Stanley Cup Playoff series.
Hobbling into the post-season, the Philadelphia Flyers were picked to be underdogs by handfuls of experts. It made sense considering since the NHL All-Star break our boys had their worst performances while the Buffalo Sabres continued to be one of the hottest squads in the league.
No matter the regular season outcomes, our Broad Street Bullies hit the ice twelve and a half hours ago determined to drive the nail through Buffalo's coffin in front of a screaming wave of Orange attendance.
"The crowd was unbelievable tonight, and I just wanted to salute them," Leino told the Flyers press after the 5 - 2 victory.
Ville was one of five Philly skaters to light our barn's lamp. It came early in the 3rd period just after Ryan Miller faced 28-shots and allowed four behind him. Villedelphia's goal was what made Sabres head coach, Lindy Ruff, pull Miller from the cage and send backup netminder Jhonas Enroth in to stop the bleeding.
But it was Braydon Coburn's knuckled skipping puck from the top of the slot that initially opened the wound on Ryan Miller just seconds before the 1st period ended. Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk continued their collected sorcery in the 2nd twenty with two PPG's (B, JVR) from each of their sticks.
"In the big games, we show up," Briere said.
I think that goes without saying, Danny.
Ol' Professor Playoffs netted a total of six goals in this series easily standing out as the #1 Star in this best of seven.
One of the bigger surprises of this QuarterFinals has come from the performance of loudmouth Flyer, Daniel Carcillo, who backhanded a shot through Enroth's five-hole halfway through the 3rd and froze Philadelphia's final tally at 5-goals scored. That was Carbomb's second goal of the series and really turned some heads with his tough play in front of the goal mouth these past seven contests.
All in all, the efforts put forth from the Flyers in the face of many negative hurdles and adversities is nothing short of noble and prideful. When down, they managed to fight back and created their own pinnacles regardless of the injuries and goaltending obstacles that evidentally had them tripping at times. And to boot, we move on to the SemiFinals at full steam and charging with colossal momentum.
Though Brian Boucher allowed two Sabre goals late in the tilt, he wound up saving 26 of 28 shots on his net and sealed his position between the pipes moving forward.
Chris "Lurch in Orange" Pronger saw 17-minutes and 27-seconds of ice time last night which satisfies the many woes of a concerned Flyers nation. He even finished with one point from an assist on JVR's shelved puck.
And the best of yet, that agitating swine, Patrick Kaleta, could do nothing but watch from the press box with an "undisclosed injury" as his precious boyhood-dream-come-true Buffalo Sabres got thrashed for 60-minutes.
Back home you go, Kaleta, where I'm sure you'll spend the next few months googling your future adversaries, trying to find out their credit scores or which disease a loved one of theirs passed away from so that you can use it against them. It worked out so well before. Do your fellow straight-male brethren worldwide a favor and shave that ridiculous chin-strap beard off your face. You look like a ballbag.
Good night. Good hockey.