Today it begins, arguably the most exciting Postseason in Professional Sports – the NHL Playoffs! Why?? Well, check this out! 2 of the most memorable games this year ended in “Sudden Death” Overtime, the New Orleans Saints victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and Team Canada’s victory over Team USA in the Gold
Medal Hockey game in Vancouver. During the NHL Postseason, “Sudden Death” Overtime games are common and nothing in Professional sports in more dramatic. Also on the line during the NHL Postseason is arguably the most recognized Championship Trophy in sports, THE STANLEY CUP!
For the Philadelphia Flyers’ fans, that trophy hasn’t been raised in the City of Brotherly Love since 1975. How can this be? The Flyers have been competitive for all but a handful of those 35 years and many times have been the favorite to win it all. They’ve been the runner-up 5 times (’76, ’80, ’85, ’87, & ’97) since going back to back in ’74 & ’75.
This year, another quest begins and a familiar foe stands in the way in Round 1, where the Flyers will match up with the New Jersey Devils. These same Devils have won 3 Stanley Cups in the last 15 years (’95, ’00, & ’03). The same Devils who broke our hearts and erased a 3-1 Series deficit to win the 2000 East Conference Finals on the way to their second Cup. Going into this Postseason, the Flyers certainly aren’t favored or expected to win. They had to win in “Sudden Death” Overtime on the final day of the Regular Season just to make the Playoffs. But I think I can speak for most Flyers’ fans by saying, “don’t lose to the damn Devils” or “just beat the Devils and I’ll be happy”. It’s a rivalry that has stretched for 15 years, with fans up & down the NJ Turnpike being entertained. Be prepared to be entertained again this year.
To close, what I can tell you from watching the NHL Playoffs for over 20 years, is that ANYTHING can happen! Just 2 years ago, the Flyers were not expected to go far and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. And, there were the Edmonton Oilers making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals as the lowest seed (#8) in 2006. So take out your Orange & Black and root on this year’s Philadelphia Flyers! Who knows, maybe THIS will be the year we will get to raise the Stanley Cup!
Tom Glatz, Bucks County, PA
I’ve lived in the Greater Philadelphia Region my entire life and have been watching/following sports since I was 5 years old! I have grown to love all that is Philly sports – Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Eagles, Big 5, Army-Navy, etc. I love talking/chatting sports with those who like or hate the Philly teams. I tell it like it is, whether in favor of our Phillies or in favor of those DAMN YANKEES! 😀
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