Better With Popcorn

Flyers Swept Away in Boston

With the Philadelphia Flyers determined to repeat their history-making comeback of last season on Friday night, they took to the ice in Boston’s TD Garden. Although this time, the Bruins were having none of the Flyers resistance. In what was a theme of the series, Boston outmanned, outplayed, and outworked the Flyers on their way to a 5-1 Game 4 victory and series sweep. Philadelphia continued to have no answers for the hungry Bruins and their Vezina trophy finalist in net, Tim Thomas.

In the 93rd game of the season for both teams, it was Boston that put the game’s first tally in the score-sheet. Forward Milan Lucic completed a tic-tac-toe passing play and tapped the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky with 7:58 remaining in the first period. The goal would be the only of the opening stanza, which was fortunate for the Flyers as they were out-shot 13-6.

Although Boston held the lead and clearly dominated the ice in the first period, the Flyers found a way to even the scoreboard in the second. In a 4-on-4 situation, the team’s captain, Mike Richards led Kris Versteeg with a pass on a break. Versteeg went in on goal, deked, and lifted the puck on the backhand behind Thomas. With the goal, Philadelphia showed that they wouldn’t go away quietly.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, the Bruins’ third period effort made sure that not even a whimper would be heard.

First, it was defenseman Johnny Boychuk that gave the Bruins an early advantage in the final period. Boychuck fired a slap shot over the shoulder of Bobrovsky to make it 2-1 with 17:18 to play. Philadelphia once again fought back by generating several chances, but Thomas continued his mastery in goal. Then, Lucic put the game out of reach to the approval of the deafening fans clad in black and gold.

It was a failed clearing attempt by Matt Carle that led to Lucic’s opportunity. With two Bruins skating uncontested in front of Bobrovsky, Lucic made the most of his chance by putting the puck between the Russian rookie’s legs. The goal effectively ended the game and Philadelphia’s season with ‘4:57’ displayed on the scoreboard. Boston would go on to add two empty-net goals from Brad Marchand and Daniel Paille to round out the scoring.

For as much success as the Flyers accumulated during the 2010-11 campaign, it will undoubtedly go down as an enormous disappointment. Philadelphia came within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup last season, and many thought they had upgraded enough to put them over the hump.

Alas, that hump still exists in South Philadelphia. A combination of untimely injuries, defensive struggles and goaltending troubles haunted the team in the playoffs. Regardless of circumstance, the team couldn’t cut it against Tim Thomas and the bigger, more physical Bruins.

As the clock wound down on their season, the Flyers struggled to enter Boston’s zone and mount any type of pressure. Even with an extra attacker, they failed to make anything happen.

To all observers of the series, that came as no surprise.

****I would like to personally thank all of the readers out there that took the time to read the Flyers material on TCL. On behalf of all the writers for the boys from Broad Street, it is more than appreciated. With just the click of a mouse, you have helped us to create quite a following that we hope to appease from here on out with our coverage. I have done my best to put our gratitude into words, but I can hardly do it a justice. Enjoy the off-season and be sure to check in on our year-round material. We have some exciting developments to come for you all. Thank you.

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Owen Durkin's picture

As a hockey fan, the Flyers made it interesting to watch with the way they refused to go away despite the odds. While it may be true that goaltending was once again the Achilles heel for this team, they never stopped competing, although the result might suggest otherwise. I think it's safe to say Bobrovski is very much the goalie of the future in Philly, but it would be nice to see them pick up a tried and true NHL goalie to tandem next season. They simply need a better option in order to get it done in the playoffs. I can't help but wonder which piece of the team they deem expendable in order to acquire the goaltending they need, and fans deserve...