These are exciting times for hockey fans as the Stanley Cup Finals are just around the corner, with the Chicago Blackhawks waiting for the winner of the series between the Canadiens and the Flyers which is currently 3-1 favoring Philadelphia, who plays game 5 of the series at home tonight.
And well, this Philly team is most likely the one that is going to meet Chicago, as they have shown a lot of strength in these playoffs. Want proof? What about a comeback from a 3-0 deficit to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals?
The Flyers are certainly not going to make things easy for the Canadiens as this is the 1st time since 1997 that Philadelphia has the chance to advance to the NHL finals, and they certainly will put an effort in order to make it happen in game five in front of their crowd.
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This has been quite an outstanding journey for the Flyers, whom almost did not made it to the postseason, as they needed a valuable victory over the Rangers in their last regular season game in order to clinch the seventh seed, while Montreal made it to the playoffs as an eight seed, and managed to beat Washington and the Pittsburgh, the current Stanley Cup champs in the second round, which is why Philadelphia will play a strategic game against the Canadiens, as this team is capable of turning things in their favor unexpectedly.
Philadelphia managed to make a fabulous comeback from a 5-1 defeat in game three, as they applied a defensive scheme which was quite dominant on game four, beating Montreal by 3-0 at their own ice rink. A clear proof of how well the Flyers played in terms of defense is Michael Leighton’s performance, as he was able to stop seventeen shots, becoming the thirteenth goalie in the league to have 3 shutouts in 1 series.
Of course he also got a lot of help from Philly’s defensive lineup, blocking a total of 27 shots in front of their goalie (who is replacing Brian Boucher due to injury) that currently holds an average of .951 saves per game in the postseason.
There is still not a clear winner in this series, but if it comes down to pick a clear favorite, I will have to say that Philadelphia has a slight advantage since game 5 is at home.
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