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03-28-2007, 10:26 AM
  #62
dave4
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 637
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Last night's game is as clear a half empty/half full scenario as you can find.

Half empty - The second period WAS similar to the Maple Leaf implosion, except Renney mercifully pulled Hank this time. The Leaf game was preceeded by a couple of wins where the team played like crap but Hank stood on his head (the Dallas game in particular), but then he finally let in a bunch. Same thing last night.

And the team was sent reeling after the Leaf game, it took two weeks to recover. We don't have two weeks. And last night's game showed how much we rely on Hank. Without Hank playing insane hockey the last month we're all talking about missing the playoffs, not making them. Hank has got to bounce back strong from this game.

Oh, and we blew another 2-0 lead. This must be an NHL record.

Half full - The team was bound to lose eventually. The team is good, but not 'win every game' good. Not a bad night to get a loss out of our system, when we get some help on the scoreboard. The team showed resiliency they didn't show in that Toronto loss, coming back and making it a game again. And who knows, with Hank in net maybe it's a 4-4 game. Then again if Hank stays in net the team may not have turned it around in the first place.

They were playing a desparate opponent, who played desparate hockey starting in the second period. And once they got on the scoreboard the crowd was unbelievable, as loud as you'll hear in any arena in the league. The team seemed to feed off the crowd. The Flyers won't be quite as desperate on Saturday, and if we win that game we're looking good again.

You can make the argument that if Orr doesn't take that penalty 200 feet from his own goal the comeback never happens, we find a way to take a 3-0 lead, the crowd turns on the Canadians, and the party is over before it even starts.


Obviously what matters is not what happened last night, a loss was coming sooner or later. The question will be how do they respond from the loss? Do they go into a tailspin we've seen too many times before at the end of seasons, or do they circle the wagons and come back more determined than ever, which is what we've seen the last two months of this season?

The last five games, and the next two games in particular, will decide how important last night's loss was.

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