Rounding up the reaction to Flyers historic win
After the Philadelphia Flyers came back from being down 0-3 in the series against the Bruins to win, becoming just the third team in NHL history to do so, many were split on exactly what happened in this series.
Did the Bruins collapse? Was this a choke of monumental proportions, possibly one of the worst choke jobs in the history of sports? After all, not only have just three prior teams allowed a comeback from 0-3 down in the series, but the Bruins choked away a 3-0 lead in the deciding Game 7.
Or was this more about the resiliency of the Flyers? This was yet another example of just how much the Flyers have overcome in this series and this season overall.
Here’s a snippet of reactions and from the Bruins side, they clearly feel as if they let something get away. This is a game that the Bruins will have a very, very tough time living down and it’s likely this team and these players never will. As for the Flyers....well, it’s pure elation.
While the Bruins players own a place in history that none of them want -- the stench of this one will be attached to them if and until they accomplish greater things -- it’s unfair to call the collapse an outright choke or to make Savard, who came back from a Grade 2 concussion and scored the winning goal in Game 1, a Buckneresque scapegoat.
Few expected the Bruins to get out of the first round against star goalie Ryan Miller and third-seeded Buffalo, and the seventh-seeded Flyers were regarded as an even matchup before Krejci’s injury. The loss was crushing and perhaps even inexcusable, but given the infirmary’s worth of injuries they endured late in the season, the Bruins deserve at least some kudos for being here in the first place.
But these Flyers wouldn’t settle for just one epic comeback from 3-0 down. No, once the Flyers evened the series at 3-3 each, they saw it fit to dig themselves another 3-0 deficit in a hurry, as Milan Lucic scored twice through Michael Leighton‘s five-hole as the Bruins raced out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s first fifteen minutes.
It looked bad. Real bad. But these Flyers don’t much worry about 3-0 deficits, and they probably never will again.
More after the jump:
Are you kidding me? Watching the Bruins blow a series on a too-many-men penalty is like watching the 2010 Red Sox lose a one-game playoff on a homer hit by a guy named Bucky.
Until last night, too many men on the ice in Montreal in 1979 (a Boston team famously coached by Don “Grapes’’ Cherry) was arguably the worst moment in Bruins history.
Boston now has to live with this Flyers comeback forever. The outcome of the series will forever be a stain on what was turning into a memorable run by the Bruins. From the contributions of veterans Mark Recchi(notes) and Miroslav Satan(notes), to the stellar goaltending of Tuukka Rask(notes) who saved the season in relief of 2009 Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas(notes), to the triumphant return of Marc Savard(notes) in Game 1 of the series. There will be no getting over this loss.
Impossible wasn’t tough enough for them. The Flyers had to stack a three-goal deficit on top of the three-games-to-none mountain they’d already climbed, just to see if they could overcome that, too.
Stunningly, they did just that. The Flyers finished the Ultimate Comeback in this playoff series with a spectacular comeback in a hypertensive Game 7 Friday night.
In most instances when somebody says that an event was the best or worst of all time at anything they are exaggerating. But not this time. That was the biggest choke/collapse in the history of life. I mean blowing a 3 games to none lead is one thing. But to blow a 3-0 lead in Game 7 at home on top of that? That makes it bar none the worst collapse in the history of sports and civilization.
- Really? A too many men on the ice penalty? Of all penalties that could be called a Bruins playoff game was decided by a too many me on the ice call? Where have I heard this story before? Just a brutal way to lose a game and a series. Now when Bruins fans talk about “The Too Many Men on Ice Game”, we will have to ask " which one?”
“I know everyone wrote us off after that last Pittsburgh game [on March 18, a 3-0 loss in which the team was criticized for sluggish play and for not further standing up to Matt Cooke, who had previously given Savard a concussion on a questionable hit] and I know everyone did a great job of coming together and jelling and turning the season around,” Thornton said.
“I was coming back,’' Savard acknowledged. “I’d seen that no one jumped, so I stayed on. I’m not sure what happened after that. I went back and got the puck. And then . . . I don’t know.’'
“We came out strong early, but [in the third period], we sat back and played not to win,” said the Bruins’ Milan Lucic, who scored twice. “We came out playing so well, and you’ve got to stick with that philosophy that got you that lead. We didn’t do that.”
“It always changes during the game when the other teams scores and they get the momentum. It’s going back and forth. I’m not criticizing our effort or anything. I thought we battled hard. You got to deserve those bounces and today they deserved it.”
"[Jeff] Carter wasn’t playing and [Simon] Gagne missed a couple of games, so they had their injuries too and we can’t blame it all on that. We’ve never put the blame on injuries all year and we’ve always kind of battled through it, and I don’t think that should be any excuse right now.”
“After the time-out,” Leighton said, “he said to me, ‘Leights, settle down. Shut the door. We’re going to score some goals.’ ”
“Lavy called a time-out and said, ‘Let’s just focus on one goal at a time,’ ” Gagne said. “ ‘Let’s try to get one goal in the first and then try to tie the game. Then they might start to get nervous.’ ”
“I was so happy at the end,” Gagne said. “We just put everything on the line. There is no better feeling.”
“I saw it right away,” Flyer captain Mike Richards said. “I saw one guy go to the bench and two guys jump on. Maybe a little bit too excited. It was a big time. Our power play picked a good time to click.”
“There’s the right people in that locker room to win a game like today,” Laviolette said. “And there’s the right people in that locker room to come back from 3-0 and win a game today.
“I’m really proud,” he said, then pausing. “I’m really proud of the way we played. I’m proud of the way they represented the organization and the way they represented themselves.”