The flowers are blooming. The trees are returning to their glory. Everything seems right in the small corner of the world we each call home. This can only mean one thing. The Stanley cup playoffs are upon us!
The Flyers enter the second season searching for answers. They managed to limp their way across the finish line and still secure Atlantic division bragging rights for the first time since 03-04. A 7-4 win over the Islanders Saturday night at the Wells Fargo center secured this feat.
The orange and black entered Saturday's contest with total ownership own the team from Long Island. They held a 5-0 season advantage, and were looking to complete the sweep of the lowly Islanders.
It didn't take long to send a charge through the Philly faithful at the Well. Just :16 into the contest Kimmo Timonen beat Rick DiPietro to put the Flyers up 1-0. A mere :31 later Scott Hartnell also put the biscuit in the basket bringing the Flyers advantage to 2-0.
The division crown seemed a formality at this point, but before you could say Smirnoff Bobrovsky gave the lead back.
At 7:03 of the first the speedy rookie, Michael Grabner, beat fellow rookie Bobrovsky to bring it to 2-1. Two minutes later Travis Hamonic again beat the young Russian to knot the score at two. This game had more back and forth action than a, well, I'll leave that to your imagination.
Even before I had finished my opposing team's goal tirade, which is a regular occurrence, Danny Briere put us right back into the lead. While shorthanded Danny stripped the puck from the defenseman and raced down the ice. He popped one past Ricky D and put the Flyers back on top.
But how long could a lead possibly last in this kind of a game? 2 minutes and 15 seconds to be exact.
That is how long it took until John Tavares tipped one past Bobrovsky. This would spell the end of the evening for Sergei. Not exactly the kind of performance that instills confidence heading into the post season. Bobrovsky has impressed me with his resillience this year, so I know he will bounce back just fine.
Onwards to the second period. Yes that all happened in just one.
It took only seconds for the Islanders to strike in the second. 53 seconds. PA Parenteau beat Boucher to put the Islanders back up, 4-3. The Flyers faithful were not happy and voiced their displeasure with the team. I guess they got the memo. Well at least Andrej the giant did.
Meszaros tied the game at 4 with a beautiful wrist shot past a screened DiPietro. He would strike yet again, and the Flyers never looked back. Scott Hartnell and Darroll Powe each added goals and the Flyers clinched the Atlantic division.
Despite posting an abysmal record over the end of the season the Flyers managed to hold off the charging Penguins and secure the top spot in the division. Something that appeared to be slipping through their fingers with every remaining second of the 2010-11 regular season. Now that is behind them, and us, and we can look forward to the second season. The stanley cup playoffs!
Keep an eye out in the very near future. We here at PhillyReign.com have a special treat for you. The gang will be making predictions for each round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.