Round 3. The Philadelphia Flyers. Yes that was the sound of your genitals expanding and then suddenly shrinking. It's amazing to be here, but these bullies are scary shit.
Here's how they match up with our Little People.
The Biff Flyers: I hate manure!
Richards, Brière, Gagné - Skill and grit. Brière's finding his game in these playoffs, hitting a few top shelf shots along the way. Gagné used to skate like the wind. He's still got the wheels but he's learned to do better in front of the net. He came back from injury in the second round and helped orchestrate a stunning reversal of fortune for the Biffs. Richards, Captain Biff, has the skill and the almanac in his back pocket to know that he's going to have to be in the crease, in Jaro's face to do any damage in this Final Four and erase the Canadiens from the family picture.
Jeff Carter - Biff punched out in the parking lot, probably not rejoining the prom.
Hartnell: Dressed to kill - Probably bullies the Bullies. Plus he can see the net through his caveman beard.
Carcillo, Asham: They're going to force Lorraine to kiss them even though she really doesn't want to, but nobody's around. She'll have a Dr. Pepper to get over it. They are monumental assholes. And they can score.
Set your PVR for JVR (and Giroux): The dark horses that can turn the plot around. They can sabotage the flux capacitor and make sure we never get to 88mph. 88, another number these bullies know well.
This is the best group of forwards the Flyers have had since the Lindros era. Ian Laperrière and Jeff Carter are out and they are still lethal in the skill and toughness departments.
The Habs' forwards are not as flagrantly lethal, but they've been impeccable. Cammalleri leads the league in scoring. Gionta has 7 goals. Lapierre is inspiring and is coming up with the most timely goals in the series. Same goes for Moore. It's a smaller group and it can be vulnerable in view of Philadelphia's size. But all of that talk can be thrown out the window. Gomez gains the zone almost every time, rarely turning the puck over. Andrei K picking up his game and can be PIVOTAL in this series if he can play with more confidence. Andrei can tip the scales. Of course that's not going to happen. Can Pleks find room in this bruising series.
Pyatt, Moen, Moore, Lapierre: This is your series. If these guys respond to Philly's aggression and aggress back, play gritty in your face crash and bang hockey, it's going to be a great series. Pouliot? Just one goal, that's all I ask.
Now go, boys. Lorraine needs your help.
I tried to write about Pronger and the gang, but I peed in my pants. Pronger is the add-on that made the Flyers a legitimate contender. But we got PK. Markov leave's and PK steps in seamlessly. Don't expect Andrei to return in this round. Philly's deep at D. Carle, Timonen, Coburn. They can all play at both ends. They can score. They're going to be instrumental in protecting their goaltenders in this series. Montreal can have them with their speed. That's they key. The Habs' D is more mobile though not nearly as punishing. Maybe O'Byrne gets a bit of ice time as a result and Bergeron is used as a PP specialist, but that removes the speed element that may prove to be Philly's undoing. Oh Jacques, study this dilemma you must. Hal Gill is tremendous now, our response to the Pronger factor. We've each got our Chrysler building standing in the way.
Jaro has out dueled a Hart Trophy winner, a young hotshot and a Stanley Cup Winner/Gold Medalist, all with the weight of an entire bandwagon on his back. Philly is starting with a guy they picked up on waivers, who's played 5 periods in a couple of months, and probably won't be back next year. Clear cut advantage, right? Except everybody thought Marty vs. Boucher was lopsided, same with Rask vs. Boucher/Leighton. Leighton only came off the bench and shut the Bruins out for four of those five periods he played. So there is no way Philly's goaltending can be written off. So my forced Back to the Future analogy is this: going in, you would think the Habs and Halak have a major edge over Philly and Leighton. But I bet if this were 1985 you'd put money on Lea Thomspon having a greater contribution to film (outside of the Back To The Future franchise) than this, right? Exactly. So don't count your chickens, people.
On to the waiting in line details:
When: In mid-May baby. We're playing in mid-may. At 7pm.
Where: At the Wachovia Centre in the city of the love of the brothers, where brothers can say, hey bro, I love you, without it sounding gay.
On the Fallopian Tube: RDS, CBC, Versus (who gets Versus?)
Hot Bullies: Back from 3-0 and 3-0. Who's hot? Are you kidding me?
Hot Habs: Cammy and Halak went to Alaska yesterday and it melted.
Adult entertainment: I usually don't like cheerleaders in hockey (no, seriously), but for this I'll make an exception.
It's the Final Four and it's time to talk about it. Bring it people, let us know how you're coping.