There is nothing better in professional sports than a game seven in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Your either going to advance (or win the Cup) or go home empty handed. The Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers are going to face each other in a game seven for the first time ever in a game seven scenario on Tuesday night.
And its a game seven that should have never happened. Just like overtime on Friday night, the Buffalo Sabres should have wrapped this game up. Instead they let the Philadelphia Flyers hang onto life in the game, come back to tie it, and eventually outlast the Buffalo Sabres. Friday nights comeback attempt by the Flyers was a little easier to stomach – despite the Sabres fast start they were able to close the game out with a win. Today they, they squandered leads and disappointed a home crowd looking for a playoff series win, something they have not seen in a very long time.
It is only fitting however, that the hardest series for experts to pick head to a game seven. While the Flyers have looked more deserving of the win this series with a right to face off against a second round opponent, it seemed only fitting that the Washington Capitals were watching today’s game knowing that the Buffalo Sabres would be their second round opponent. Hopefully we will find out that Tuesday night our opponent will be the Washington Capitals.
On a night when the offense is clicking they need Ryan Miller to be more like the goalie that has shut the Philadelphia Flyers out twice this series – and less like the Patrick Lalime in Ryan Miller’s sweater that we have seen most nights this playoff run.
The Buffalo Sabres lost another forward in tonights contest, as Tim Connolly was sent face first into the boards by Flyers forward Mike Richards – who only drew a two minute penalty for the nasty hit (not going to call it dirty – I didn’t actually see it). Connolly did not return to the game for the third period. This is going to be a big hit for the Sabres penalty kill – thats about the only part of the game that Connolly helps on. This comes one game after the Sabres lost Jason Pominville after the skate of Van Reimsdyk cut open the back of his leg.
The pressure for game seven is heavily on the Flyers, anointed by many to be the beast of the East for the Stanley Cup this year, they have struggled to score against Ryan Miller, and have whined their way through the first round so far. Their barn, their fans, their expectations. I would not want to be in an orange sweater on Tuesday and look up after 60 minutes to find your team having scored less than the Sabres. If the Sabres win on Tuesday, the amazing ride continues, if the Sabres lose, it will start what will probably be the most positive exciting off season in the history of the franchise with the changes that Terry Pegula and his managing team have in store.