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The Chicago Blackhawks do not like Chris Pronger.
Two days after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup over Pronger and the Flyers, a picture has surfaced featuring the graffiti “Pronger is gay” on the Chicago locker room white board during the Hawks post-game celebration in game 6. The classless and childish epithet came a day after a video was released of Chicago’s Adam Burish verbally attacking Pronger in a media interview during on-ice celebrations.
However, this slight on Pronger has taken it one step further.
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The Flyers have nothing to be ashamed of.
What began as a group of unlikable, vacation-taking pub crawlers, transformed, on a blood-stained playoff proving ground, into a gritty, gutsy, never-say-die team. The type of squad that, win or lose, gets etched into lore and has made Philadelphia proud.
“I’m proud of our team and the way we compete,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told the media after his team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks that gave Chicago the 4-2 Stanley Cup Finals victory. “The way we played, the way we never quit. We never gave up. They kept fighting.”
With unimaginable pressure leading into game 6 tonight with his team facing elimination down 3-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers forward Danny Briere still manages to keep it all in perspective.
The community-driven veteran acquired valuable game 6 luxury box tickets for a group of children currently receiving cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I’ve been extremely lucky. I am doing what I love to do, and playing in a series every hockey player dreams of,” Briere told the media. “I wanted to share this moment, not only with my friends and family, but with a few kids that are in a need of a reason to smile.”
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During the late stages of Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime Stanley Cup Finals victory of the Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers captain Mike Richards looked sluggish. With little jump, the 25-year-old center could be seen hunched over with elbows on his knees, as he coasted back to the bench.
It looked like he was out of gas.
“At times, it looks like he wants to do something but his body just won’t allow him to do it,” one unnamed former played told Steve Simmons of the QMI Agency. “It looks to me like he’s physically worn down.”
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The Philadelphia Flyers are going to the Stanley Cup.
Led by an inspired three-point night from captain Mike Richards and two goals from Jeff Carter, the Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, in game 5 Monday night at the Wachovia Center to take the Eastern Conference Finals series 4-1.
“It’s huge,” said Claude Giroux, who finished with an assist. “We didn’t want to go back to Montreal, we wanted to end the series right here.”
Only eight games remain between the Philadelphia Flyers and what seems more and more like destiny.
With 3:04 left in the third period and the score locked at four, Scottie Upshall deflected a Jeff Carter shot past Canadians’ goalie Carey Price, giving the Flyers a late one-goal lead. Minutes later Mike Knuble followed up with a calming empty net goal to finalize the Flyers 6-4 victory over Montreal and advancement to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
R.J. Umberger scored two goals and Marty Biron was dazzling, but it was Danny Briere’s power play goal with 4:48 left in the third period that broke a 2-2 tie, giving the Flyers a 3-2 victory over Montreal in pivotal game four, to take a dominant 3-1 series lead.
Umberger (7) and Scott Hartnell (2) each scored in the second period to give the Flyers another 2-0 lead, but like most 2-0 Flyers leads in the series – it evaporated. Tomas Plekanec’s (3) redirection and Saku Koivu’s (3) rebound goals in the third period got the Canadians back into the contest, 2-2.
Just in time for an opportunity to deal Montreal a series death blow, the Philadelphia Flyers will get back one of their more productive post-season forwards as Mike Knuble returns to the lineup for game four against the Canadians.
After going down with a minor hamstring tear in game five against the Washington Capitals, Knuble will return in full capacity and hopefully kick start what has become a frantic power play in his absence.
Marty Biron shined with 34 saves and R.J. Umberger finally made his post season presence felt with two goals, as the Flyers took down the Canadians, 4-2, Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
In what was almost an exact repeat of game one, the Flyers jumped to two-goal lead early in the first, only to allow the Habs to climb back into the contest. Both of the Flyers’ goals came high glove on Carey Price, who looked as mediocre as any goalie has this season and has had a problem with his catching hand.
Shrouded by the after effects of questionable game-changing referee decisions, a simple fact breathes hope for the future of the Flyers in their uphill battle against the top-seeded Canadians: They outplayed Montreal on the road with little to no rest.
Aside from the almost laughable — physics bending — decision to allow Alexei Kovalev’s high stick goal to count, and the kneeless kneeing call on Mike Richards with less than a minute to play, the Flyers skated with, bashed on and proved that flawless supertender Carey Price is by far not impenetrable.