Between the hard and victorious fight the Flyers put out on the ice, Lauren Hart & Kate Smith's duo of "God Bless America", and the 3 minute long standing ovation Brian Boucher received from Philadelphia's attendance last night -- I cannot determine which gives me bigger goosebumps.
From the drop of the puck, to the final buzzer on the gameclock, the Broad Street Bullies successfully battled to stay alive and move this series to Game 7 against our conference rival, the Boston Bruins.
In the beginning of the 1st period, Boston seemed to have no answer to the Flyers successful defense. Their chances were slim to none, and we continued to back-check and create havoc on our blue line, not to mention our boys kept the puck in the Bruins zone a substantial amount of minutes.
It wasn't until 6 minutes and 58 seconds into the game, Mike Richards kept a steady position in front of Tuukka Rask's net and managed to poke the biscuit in despite all the orange and gold traffic in the crease, lighting the lamp 1 goal to 0.
"This is really happening," I thought to myself. "We're gonna do this!"
Very early in the 2nd period on a Philadelphia man advantage, Danny Briere sunk the puck top shelf - Rask's glove side - and may have created a black hole behind the rubber's warp speed.
But it aint about how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
With minutes remaining in the second, another Flyer is consumed in injury's wake. Blair Betts, one of the (if not the) best penalty killers skated off the ice holding his shoulder, grimacing in pain after getting checked into the boards.
Paul Holmgren announced that Betts will play Game 7; he got hit and he's moving forward.
Yet Leighton got back between the pipes at the start of the 3rd and ended the game stopping 30 of 31 Bruins shots. It wasn't until the very last minute of the game when Bruins left winger, Milan Lucic, snuck the puck past Michael putting Boston down only one goal, but it wasn't enough. The Flyers beat the Bruins 2 - 1.
Athletes talk about heart. You want to know what heart is? Heart exists in athletes and warriors who face adversity head on and giving up isn't an option. Heart is when a team juggles goalies countless times in and out of injuries all season long but manage to play the cards they're dealt and still get far. Heart exists when a man, with his face, stops a frozen piece of rubber coming at him at speeds that would make others wince, duck and scream....not once, but twice -- and if it were up to him, he'd be out there right now doing it a third time. Heart is when a player comes off IR and scores an overtime winning goal.
Heart belongs in this city. Heart belongs on this team. It doesn't matter that there are nay sayers out there who have time and time again all season long told us that the Flyers can't do this, they won't do that, blah blah blah. It doesn't matter that we've had blatant goals taken away from us because there's a bunch of biased suits up in the war room sitting in leather chairs, smoking their cubans and reading Crosby Weekly while stroking their furless cats. It doesn't matter that Gagne was close to sipping dinner through a straw while getting his diaper cleaned by a live-in Jamaican house nurse because some punk boarded him and it was never called.
Our team IS history. This team MADE history. This team will MAKE history.
One more game. Two more series. It's go time.
Tomorrow. 7pm. In Boston. Be a part of history.