Posts Tagged ‘Kimmo Timonen


FLYERS: Laviolette Downplays Leadership Issues


…There’s no doubt in my mind the Flyers miss Chris Pronger and Jody Shelley on a consistent basis in that locker room. When their both back, maybe the team’s in-game focus will increase, but it seems to me like veterans Mike Richards, Kimmo Timonen, and Danny Briere aren’t having as much effect as Pronger and Shelley clearly did earlier in the season.

I’ve said time and time again: Chris Pronger is the Flyer the team can LEAST afford to lose, and, unfortunately, my point is being very much proven over these last few games.


FLYERS: Pronger Checks In From Training Camp

Chris Pronger is still a little ways away from officially returning to the Flyers full time after having arthroscopic knee surgery on July 27, but that doesn’t mean the future Hall of Famer isn’t doing everything he possibly can to make sure that he can be prepared to play at the highest level come opening night. The Daily News‘ Frank Seravalli has more on this in today’s edition.

Chris Pronger anchors arguably the NHL's best defense in 2010-'11

Seravalli makes note that Pronger’s time on the ice over the past five days has been his first time skating since the Flyers lost in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final on June 9. The Flyers defenseman also caught a bit of flack from the general public for having the surgery done so late in the off-season, instead of just having it done after the Flyers season came to an end, but Pronger explains to Seravalli, he “wanted to see if it could heal itself. It didn’t get much better – or any better at all. Ultimately, we found some things in [an] MRI and I had surgery the next week. I don’t know if I could have sped up the process at all.”

Later in the article, Pronger also notes how pleased he is with General Manager Paul Holmgren’s re-tooling of the Flyers’ blueline in the off-season. A potent foursome of Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle are joined by the likes of Andrej Meszaros, Sean O’Donnell, and Matt Walker to make up what Pronger calls “one of the deepest units” he’s played with over his 16 year NHL career. It’s hard to argue with him – the top six for the Flyers are going to be a talented bunch, and although there are certainly some older legs back there, it’s hard to argue against his opinion of the blueline.

To check out of all of Frank Seravalli’s article, click here:


FLYERS: Player Report Cards – Kimmo Timonen

NAME: Kimmo Timonen

POSITION: Defenseman

Regular Season Statistics: 82 Games Played – 6 Goals, 33 Assists, 39 Points. -2.

Analysis: When the Flyers acquired Chris Pronger in the off-season, much was made of the future Hall of Famer being the leader of the defensive corps and giving this team a better shot at the Cup. What many forgot, however, was that it was Timonen who had previously been the head dog on the Flyers’ blue-line and that he would still need to be top-notch to give the Flyers a chance to win night in and night out. Timonen, who just finished up his third full regular season in Orange and Black, has been absolutely phenomenal since the Flyers acquired he and Scott Hartnell’s rights in a trade with Nashville a little over three years ago. This season was no different. The Finn’s totals were his lowest since his 2000-’01 campaign with Nashville, but that didn’t take away from yet another 30-assist season for the former NHL All-Star and Olympian. Timonen proved to be durable yet again, competing through clear injuries in all of the Flyers’ 82 regular season games, and making sure that the Flyers second unit had a consistent and strong presence to compliment Pronger on the Flyers’ top duo.

Postseason Statistics: 23 Games Played – 1 Goal, 10 Assists, 11 Points. +6.

Analysis: Like the three other with him that make up the Flyers’ top four defensemen, Timonen proved himself to be an absolute horse this spring. He logged upwards of 30+ minutes a game through the Flyers’ final three rounds in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and showed time and time again that although his body may be older, he still has plenty to give in the later stages of his career. He provided the Flyers with the second of their two defensive cornerstone rocks this Spring, and is one of the reasons many people are excited about what this group can accomplish next season. Alongside Pronger on the Flyers’ top powerplay unit, Timonen also provided more than enough excitement. His numbers weren’t tops on the team, but they weren’t dragging either. And like many in Orange and Black this Spring, Timonen rarely was at a low until the final goal.


Reasoning: Timonen’s offensive numbers went down this year, although not significantly. It’s expected with age (unless you’re Nicklas Lidstrom) and no one will really lose any sleep over it. Timonen’s intangibles are what I like the most about him. He’s a real fiery guy, who wears his heart on his sleeve and, despite his height, won’t back down from anybody. He’s been a treat to watch in Orange and Black and I’m looking forward to him hopefully finishing out his career here. Kimmo is someone who is incredibly well-respected in the dressing room, and someone who is really a player that many other teammates simply want to see win. His stats may not be as great next season, but his heart certainly will still be there. With that being said, Timonen is still going to be one of the leaders of the blue line in 2010-2011.


FLYERS: Chicago Runs Flyers Over in 7-4 Rout

The Chicago Blackhawks knew that if they had to come back to Philadelphia down 3-2 in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, their chances of a comeback were slim to none. Instead, the ‘Hawks played like their lives depended on it and destroyed the Flyers in Game Five by a final score of 7-4.

Chicago celebrates Kris Versteeg's first period goal

Much like the 5-3 final of Game Four that went in the Flyers’ favor, the three goal cushion the Blackhawks had when this game went final didn’t even do their total domination justice. Antti Niemi was very ordinary tonight in goal for Chicago, but fortunately for him Michael Leighton was the recipient of some bad bounces, and Brian Boucher couldn’t hold down the fort. The forwards and defense for Chicago completely wanted it more, and battled hard all game long as a result. The Flyers were tentative – they let the Blackhawks dictate the play early on and that set the tone for a domination by the ‘Hawks as the game continued to wear down. The Flyers got it to two goals twice: down 3-1 in the first minute of the second period, and down 6-4 with a little less than ten minutes to play in the third. Still, that was more a factor of Niemi not being very good more than it was the Flyers actually generating serious offense.

The Blackhawks came out flying in the first period, scoring three unanswered goals, and controlling the shots by a margin of 13-7. Many Flyers said that after the game the first period they had just played in was one of the worst periods – if not the worst – this team has played the entire season, let alone playoffs. The scary thing is that it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Brent Seabrook got the scoring started on a goal that has become creepily typical of Blackhawk goals this series – a deflection. A Seabrook wrister unfortunately deflected off of Chris Pronger’s skate – who was trying to block the shot – and snuck into a tiny hole that had opened up when the puck changed direction past Michael Leighton’s right pad at 12:17 of the first period on the power play. The ‘Hawks weren’t done, however, as just three minutes later, another crazy carom saw the puck go from Dave Bolland’s stick behind the net to the back of Leighton’s skate and into the net for a goal that made the score 2-0 Chicago. In a period that Chicago dominated, the ‘Hawks were not yet done, as Kris Versteeg found the back of the net through a screen and under Leighton’s glove to give the Blackhawks what seemed like an insurmountable 3-0 lead. It was just that.

JVR beats Niemi to make it 5-3 Chicago in the third

The second period opened with a glimmer of hope for the Flyers and their fans, as Scott Hartnell picked up a loose puck in the crease to make it 3-1 Flyers just 32 seconds into the frame. Brian Boucher also entered the game for Leighton, who was pulled after giving up three goals in the first. The Flyers started to control the play a bit in the beginning of the period and there was reason to think that a comeback was entirely possible. That was, of course, until Danny Briere did not pick up his man – Patrick Kane – who got a beautiful back-door pass from Andrew Ladd to break the Flyers’ backs and make the score 4-1 Chicago. The goal proved even that much more crucial when Kimmo Timonen roofed a rebound in front to cut the Blackhawks’ lead to 4-2 just a minute and a half later. The Flyers chances then began to mount, but failed opportunities in front of a wide open net from Ville Leino and Mike Richards proved even more costly, when Dustin Byfuglien scored his first of the game on the powerplay to make it 5-2 Chicago and, for all extensive purposes, put this game out of reach.

The Flyers showed a little fight in the third period, as James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup Final on another bad rebound from Niemi and made the score 5-3, but, like the Orange and Black did in Philadelphia, it was the Blackhawks that answered back in a big way Sunday night, as Patrick Sharp beat Brian Boucher to make the score back to a three goal margin, now at 6-3. Simon Gagne got one back for the Flyers, as Ville Leino – really the only forward that gave a complete effort tonight – made a great individual play to get the puck to Gagne who was wide open to put the puck in the empty net. At 6-4 with less than three minutes left, there was hope, but not much. All that hope was diminished when Dustin Byfuglien buried an empty netter for his second of the game and locked up a 7-4 Game Five victory for the ‘Hawks as well as a 3-2 series lead.

The Blackhawks celebrate their Game Five win

This game was not about any one player in particular, although many other articles you’ll read will want to make it seem that way. In short, the Blackhawks as a team wanted this game a helluva lot more than the Flyers. As a deserving result, Chicago is now just one win away from a date with Lord Stanley. That could happen Wednesday night in Philadelphia, where I’ll be in attendance. However, if the Flyers get their way, all eyes and bodies will be back in Chicago for a decisive Game Seven.

It’s a pretty simple equation for the Flyers at this point: win two games and a row and you are the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions. Lose a game before you win two, and it’s all over. Let’s hope the first option is the reality come Friday night. Get the ball rolling Wednesday, boys.


FLYERS: Home Mojo Propels Orange and Black to Series Tie

Down 0-2 to arguably the most talented team in the National Hockey League and facing two must-win games on your home ice to keep your Stanley Cup hopes alive? Not a problem.

The Philadelphia Flyers handled their end of the bargain last night as their 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks allowed them to even up their series at two games a piece. The Flyers also took Game Three in dramatic fashion, with Claude Giroux scoring the winner in overtime to bring the series to 2-1 Chicago. The series was 2-0 heading into Philadelphia, as the Blackhawks also held serve on their home ice, taking Games One and Two in the United Center. The Flyers knew a Game Four loss could potentially end their season, as they’d be staring down a 3-1 series deficit with Chicago having the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup on home ice in Game Five. That is no longer the case.

Instead, this series will at least go six games, and to many experts, now seems destined for a seventh and decisive game next Friday night in Chicago. Of course, the result of Game Five will largely dictate the possibility of a Game Seven. For now however, it’s all about what happened in Game Four to get this series even.

An old face returned to the Flyers line-up in Game Four, as James van Riemsdyk took back Dan Carcillo’s spot in the Flyers’ line-up. Some new faces made their way into the Chicago line-up, as Andrew Ladd returned from an upper-body injury he sustained in Game Four of the Western Conference Final and Nick Boynton played in his first playoff game in five years, replacing Jordan Hendry on the Blackhawks’ blue-line. The ‘Hawks new additions were a plus to their new strategy: heavy neutral zone pressure on the Flyers and continue to force turnovers. While the ‘Hawks strategy was effective, the Flyers continuously had answers for Chicago.

Richards is congratulated on his PP goal that opened the scoring in Game Four

Andrew Ladd welcomed himself to the game and the series by promptly taking an undisciplined interference penalty just 36 seconds into the contest, effectively putting the Flyers on the power play. While Chicago did kill off the penalty, the early damage was certainly done, and the Flyers had established a flow to their liking early on. After killing the penalty, some great back and forth action followed, with Chicago suddenly seeming to get their way with the flow of play. It wasn’t long however, before the Blackhawks took another stupid penalty and put the Flyers back on the powerplay. This time, the Orange and Black made them pay. With a little over fifteen minutes to play in the first, Niklas Hjarlmarsson looked to clear the puck from his end on the penalty kill. He was stripped of the puck on a great hustle play by Mike Richards, who immediately swung to the front of the net, and sent a backhander in on an off-guard Antti Niemi. Niemi let the puck slip through his five-hole and Richards gave the Flyers the 1-0 lead in the game.

The remainder of the first period was very back and forth, save a few chances here and there that either Niemi and Michael Leighton each turned away. The period appeared to be heading to intermission 1-0 Flyers, until a crazy final five minutes totally opened up the scoring. Matt Carle scored on another defensive zone turnover by Hjarlmarsson, as he deposited the puck into an empty net with a little over five minutes left in the first. Just four minutes later, a bouncing puck in the Philadelphia end found its way to Patrick Sharp who let fly with a slap-shot from the slot, beating Michael Leighton after the puck hit a few bodies on its way in and making the game 2-1 Flyers. An uneasy feeling came over the Wachovia Center. However, just 51 seconds later, the Flyers answered back. With only 37 seconds left in the first period, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen, and Claude Giroux played a little tick-tack-toe and Giroux completed the slam dunk to deposit the puck into the back of the net and give the Flyers a very important goal and very important 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

Claude Giroux's slam dunk put the Flyers up 3-1 in the first period

The second period was scoreless, but it certainly didn’t lack intensity. Up and down action followed, with three penalties being called on Chicago in the period, and one penalty being called on Philadelphia. The Blackhawks held control of the shot totals in the second, much like they did in the first. In the second frame, shots were 13-10 Chicago, and in the first, the ‘Hawks lead 11-8. Still, although the pressure was there from Chicago, Michael Leighton stood tall for the Flyers. Leighton wasn’t excellent in this game, but he made a few saves that we’re pretty incredible, and he got the win, so it’s important to give credit where it’s due. Antti Niemi, on the other hand, finally showed his true colors. Pucks at the net and pressure in front will expose true weaknesses of any goaltender, especially one that, as I said earlier, was just getting flat-out lucky in making saves. Don’t get me wrong, Niemi’s a strong netminder and the likelihood of the ‘Hawks being in the position their in without him is definitely in doubt, but pucks that he had no business stopping – let alone seeing – just seemed to hit him the first three games. Not so much last night.

Jeff Carter congratulates Michael Leighton on the Game Four win

In the third, the Flyers got an incredibly fortuitous bounce off Kris Versteeg’s back on a Ville Leino wrister to give them what appeared at the time to be an insurmountable 4-1 lead. The Blackhawks didn’t give up though, and thanks to two marginal calls on the Flyers with under ten minutes left, the ‘Hawks were awarded a 5 on 3 power play. It took them all of about 20 seconds before Dave Bolland made the score 4-2 in favor of Philadelphia. The Flyers fortunately were able to kill of the remaining part of the 5 on 4, but the ‘Hawks had taken over the game at that point. About four minutes later, a Brian Campbell wrister hit just about every player on the ice before trickling past Michael Leighton to make the game 4-3 and Flyers fans immediately started to get very nervous. The Flyers, however, withstood a remarkable onslaught from the Blackhawks in the final four and a half minutes, getting some big takeaways in the defensive zone accompanied by some huge saves from Leighton. The Flyers fortunes changed for the better when a rebound off a Patrick Sharp shot hopped over the stick of Duncan Keith at the ‘Hawks blue line, springing Jeff Carter loose on a breakaway at an empty net, as Chicago had pulled Niemi for the extra attacker. Carter scored his first goal of the series to make it 5-3 Flyers and seal the deal to even this series back up at two a piece.

Now, the pressure shifts back to Chicago, who will need to find a way to take Game Five at home. We all know the last thing any player on the Blackhawks wants to do is come back to Philadelphia with their season on the line. Let’s hope the Flyers can make that exactly the scenario tomorrow night.


FLYERS: Giroux the OT Hero as Flyers Take Game Three

The headline in today’s Philadelphia Daily News said it all: “LAWDY, CLAUDIE!”

The Flyers hero from Hearst, Ontario sent the Wachovia Center into bedlam last night, and gave the Orange and Black life in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final in the process.

The Game will likely go down as one of the best playoff games in Flyers history. It was up-and-down, fast paced, and with no clear favorite for much of the contest. The score was tied for over 45 minutes of the 60+ that were played, and the Flyers twice held leads while the Blackhawks briefly lead for a 30-second period in the second frame. Being in the building for the contest, I can truly say it was the best Flyers game I’ve ever seen live, and I’m sure many – if not all – in attendance last night would agree with me.

Leighton and the Flyers gave Chicago a rude welcome Wednesday night

The game started with an incredible show on the big-screens that got the crowd roaring and the sea of Orange-clad Flyers fans were determined to make it a rough evening for the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. The intensity and surreal atmosphere continued into a chilling rendition of “God Bless America” by Lauren Hart accompanied by the late, great Kate Smith. When it came time for the opening face-off, the Wachovia Center was just flat-out defeaning.

Once the puck dropped, the Flyers, as expected, controlled the early flow of play. They took the puck into the Blackhawks’ zone and established a very effective cycle, wearing down the Chicago defensive corps. The resilient Blackhawks withstood the Flyer onslaught early on however, and got some good chances of their own to beat Flyers netminder Michael Leighton. Patrick Kane rung a chance at an empty net off a rebound directly off the post, and Leighton was able to turn away other early attempts by the ‘Hawks to grab the lead.

Briere got the scoring started in the first on the powerplay

The play stayed at a back-and-forth pace until Marian Hossa – a token Flyer killer – did the unusual duty of helping the Flyers out by taking an undisciplined slashing penalty with just over six minutes to play in the period. The Flyers, as they did all night when given the chance with the extra man, made Chicago pay. During the man advantage, Braydon Cobun let fly a rip from the top of the circle which Antti Niemi was able to turn away. The puck made its way out in front of the crease and on to the stick of Scott Hartnell. Hartnell made an incredible, no-look pass as he was falling down to get the puck right to the tape of the smallest, yet most productive player on the Flyers in recent weeks in Danny Briere, and Briere completed the slam-dunk to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

The goal re-energized the Wachovia Center, and jacked up the Flyers as well. They controlled the play for the remainder of the period, evening up the shot total at nine a piece at the end of the frame. The Flyers took a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Although he had gotten lucky with a couple posts, and hadn’t faced too many quality chances, a first period shutout for Michael Leighton was huge. For one, it gave the Flyers the belief that they could shut down this Chicago attack, and it certainly gave Leighton the confidence that he could stop the surging ‘Hawks offense.

The second period opened with the Flyers killing off the final five seconds of a penalty that had been assessed to Dan Carcillo for boarding at the end of the first period, then taking a power play of their own for a 1:55. Dustin Byfuglien had thrown Kimmo Timonen around like a rag doll during a period-ending scrum at the end of the first, and was assessed at two-minute roughing minor.

The Flyers had tremendous pressure on the powerplay and there was a real buzz in the building that the Flyers would score. They came close – Niemi made some great point-blank saves, and Mike Richards just missed a wide-open net from below the circles. Still, the Blackhawks were able to kill off the penalty and get some momentum of their own. They would ride that momentum to the eventual game-tying goal, off the stick of Duncan Keith. Keith’s shot hit a body in front of Michael Leighton and changed direction, causing Leighton to lose sight of the puck and allow the disc to find its way to the netting. The goal was such a fluke, that it momentarily stunned the Wachovia Center crowd, and the Flyers on the ice in the process.

For the next few minutes, it was Chicago that buzzed around in the Flyers’ zone, looking to get the important lead. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Another undisciplined penalty, this time by Dustin Byfuglien, lead to another powerplay for Philadelphia. Unlike their first opportunity of the period, this time the Flyers came through. Scott Hartnell redirected a Chris Pronger shot from the point barely past Antti Niemi and into the net to make it 2-1 Flyers. The goal wasn’t originally called on the ice, and play actually continued for about two minutes after the fact. At the first stoppage of play, the on-ice officials went up to the booth to review the play and deemed it a goal. The Wachovia Center again went nuts, and again, the ice shifted in the Flyers’ favor.

It didn’t stay that way, however. With just over two minutes to play in the second period, John Madden cleanly beat Mike Richards on a face-off in the Philadelphia zone and won the puck back to Brent Sopel. Sopel shot the puck through a sea of bodies and past Leighton to even the game up at 2 and give the defensive minded Sopel his first goal of the entire playoffs, all while sending an unnerving feeling through the Wachovia Center.

The Flyers celebrate Giroux's OT winner

The third period began with the thoughts of those in attendance as well as many watching at home feeling that the next goal could potentially be decisive. They were wrong. Thankfully. Patrick Kane was spurred on a breakaway off a Jonathan Toews pass and beat Michael Leighton less than three minutes into the third to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. They Flyers could have succumbed then, but they didn’t. In fact, they rose to the occasion, led by one of the night’s shining stars in Ville Leino. Leino scooped up a rebound in front just a mere 30 seconds after Kane had given Chicago the lead, and evened up the game at 3. The crowd was back into it. The Flyers were back into it. And they were not going to lose this hockey game.

Somehow, someway, the Chicago Blackhawks withstood yet another third period onslaught from the Flyers, who outshot them 15-4. Antti Niemi stood on his head, and helped his team force overtime.

Giroux salutes the fans after the victory

In overtime, Claude Giroux cemented his name in Flyers lore. After a goal that was apparently scored by Jeff Carter was disallowed after a review, Giroux became the hero when he redirected a Matt Carle pass in front to make the score 4-3 and final in favor of the Flyers. The Wachovia Center went absolutely crazy, and the Flyers had given life to a series that likely would’ve been all but over had they not taken Game Three. Now, the Flyers know that they can beat the Blackhawks. They have arguably been the better team through the first three games, and now they have something to show for it. Will it translate to a sweep of both home games on Friday night?

We’ll just have to wait and see.



Ladies and Gentlemen, the Philadelphia Flyers are the 2010 Eastern Conference Champions!

I could write that four million times, and the phrase would honestly never get old. I was fortunate enough to be at the game last night and let me tell you: what a spectacle, what an adrenaline rush, what a game, and, most importantly, WHAT. A. TEAM.

The Flyers celebrate after the final buzzer

The game didn’t start as it many probably would’ve liked: the Canadiens controlled play early on, and struck first blood on one of the rare shots these playoffs that Michael Leighton should’ve had, yet let slip by him. Brian Gionta did the trick, scoring only his second goal of the series just a minute into the game, as Scott Gomez fed him a beautiful pass in the slot, and Gionta buried a snapper through Leighton’s five-hole. The stands started to have an eerie feeling flow throw them: could the Habs pull off the unthinkable, again? This time to the Flyers? Thankfully, the man that wears the ‘C’ in the Orange and Black had other ideas.

I mentioned in the Boston series that Mike Richards had won me over this postseason. His guts, determination, and inspired play all while leading by example on a consistent basis suddenly had come out of no where, and they were helping to lead the Flyers to victory. These playoffs Mike Richards has won me over. Last night, he brought me to tears.

With the Flyers shorthanded on a marginal roughing penalty against Kimmo Timonen shortly after the Habs had made it 1-0, the Flyers entered an all-important penalty kill. Mike Richards, of course, was on the ice. Early on in the PK, he made a statement, as the puck was passed back to Marc-Andre Bergeron at the point in the Flyers’ zone, and Richards just absolutely leveled him, sending him five feet in the air backwards, setting up a three-on-one the other way. A Braydon Coburn slapper was eventually stifled by Jaroslav Halak, but the Flyers captain was not giving up. Later in the penalty kill, a loose puck made it’s way to center ice, and Richards was about to race away on a breakaway. Roman Hamrlik was giving chase, and, suddenly Halak was as well. Hamrlik and Halak collided at the top of the circles, squibbing the puck free behind the two of them where Richards lay. He got himself up quickly, picked up the puck, and buried it right into the back of the net to even up the score and send the Wachovia Center into a raucous frenzy.

The Flyers bench exults after Carter's empty netter sealed the deal

The first period would end 1-1, but it was certainly the Flyers that had taken over play after Richards goal, despite being outshot 9-6. Entering the second, the Flyers knew they needed to establish themselves in the Montreal zone early, and that they did. Three minutes into the frame, Matt Carle found Arron Asham wide open in front of Halak. Asham made a quick backhand to forehand deke and roofed it over Halak, to give the Flyers the all-important 2-1 lead. Just a minute and a half later, a beautiful tick-tack-toe between Kimmo Timonen, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter resulted in Carter burying a shot just in front of the crease off a pass behind the net from Richards to put the Flyers in front 3-1. While many in the Wachovia Center felt the Flyers had this one in the bag with the way the rest of the second period went, everyone knew in the back of their minds that nothing was going to come easy after everything this team had been through. The Flyers dominated the second period for the second game in a row, outshooting Montreal 12-6.

In the third, the thoughts began to creep in. “20 minutes from a trip to the Final” “All they’ve worked for has come down to this” “Please, o please, dear God, don’t blow it” Fortunately for the Flyers, lady luck was on their side, as the Orange and Black survived a frantic early push by Montreal to try to make the score 3-2. Eventually, with 13 minutes left, the Habs would make it a 3-2 game, and send an uneasy feeling through the Wachovia Center. Still, the Flyers held tough and Leighton was exceptional in goal. With about a minute and a half left, the Habs pulled Halak in an attempt to save their season and tie the game.

Mike Richards accepts the Prince of Wales Trophy

Mike Richards would have none of it.

The Flyers’ captain brought back images of Bobby Clarke with his determination to race down a loose puck heading towards the Montreal goal. He would beat Tomas Plekanec, who had about three strides on him to start, to the disc, and drop it back for Jeff Carter to net his second of the game through the legs of the makeshift goaltender, Josh Gorges. The Wachovia Center went nuts. The Flyers bench celebrated and hugged. Michael Leighton exulted by throwing his arms up in the air.

The Philadelphia Flyers – our Philadelphia Flyers – are 2010 Eastern Conference Champions. How sweet it is!

The Philly Phour

August 2017
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