Well, I’ve put it off as long as I could, let’s talk about the loss last Sunday, the series as a whole, and talk about the future. If you’re reading this thinking “how can he be this upset, he knew they couldn’t beat the Capitals in a 7 game series” stab yourself and go back to only watching your team in the playoffs.
Last Sunday I woke up from Spring Jam hungover at about 10:30, bought a yellow gatorade and tin of chew, and made the trek from Dinkytown to Bloomington in hopes of a big Game 6 win against the Washington Capitals in Philly. As I mentioned above, people have criticized me saying that I had to have known they wouldn’t be able to beat the Caps, especially since they were down 3-0 at one point, but if you had watched any of the 2 games before, you would’ve understood we could’ve beat the NHL All-Stars as long as Neuvirth was in the net. The guy had a 44 save shutout the game before in Washington and, as expected, was lights out in the loss in Philly as well. As for the actual game, it was intense from puck drop to the final buzzer and I’m proud as hell at how that team battled. Obviously keeping that 1st line from the Caps quiet all game was going to be damn near impossible, and midway through the 2nd that rat bastard Ovechkin made a great dish to the weasel Backstrom and the rest was history. Once again Philly’s power play was as effective as Dwight Howard’s condoms, and I was left with my tail between my legs for the 22nd straight year of my life.
As for the series as a whole, WHERE THE HELL WAS CLAUDE GIROUX??? I’ve gone to war for this guy time and time again but seriously I can’t back him up on this one. I’ve read a lot about how since Coots was out Giroux was forced to play against the first line blah blah blah and anyone who thinks that is a legit excuse is a damn idiot. He’s a first line player and should produce against other team’s top lines. If he’s the true super star I’ve fallen in love with over the last 5 years he has to come up with more than 1 point in a series that goes 6 games otherwise he deserves all of the criticism in the world. He’s our leader in points, he’s our captain, he’s hung like a horse, and he can’t be having these types of series if he’s making the cash he is, it just can’t happen. Did it suck losing our best defensive forward on our team? You bet. Did it suck that Vorachek and Simmonds were also bums out there? Absolutely. But Claude Giroux is our guy and I put a lot of this series on his shoulders. Another thing that bothered the hell out of me was Hakstol this series. I know a lot of Sioux fans still think he’s a super hero, but he made too many questionable decisions this series that ended up costing us. He tried to get a injured Vorachek going by putting him up with Simmonds and G and it was a complete disaster. Not only did Vorachek play softer than a Squirt B forecheck, they broke up Simmonds, G, and Schenn who were on fire at the end of the season. Finally he puts them back together after going down 3-0 and guess what happens? Philly wins the next 2. His other big jabroni move was continuing to roll with Mason when he clearly had more issues going on than the Olsen twins . I just cannot fathom how he puts him back in the net after he was shakier than Muhammad Ali in the first 2 games and let in a goal from the parking lot. Other than that this sucks, it really does. I LOVE the Flyers throwing those bracelets on the ice and I thought it was annoying that the players were complaining about it afterwards. If you don’t want things thrown at you then don’t lose by a touchdown in front of the best fans in hockey, simple as that. It was fun giving the Capitals a scare and coming back from 3-0 and I 100% think we could’ve pulled it off had Neuvy started the series and Coots doesn’t get injured, but this season was a failure. I’m not a Minnesota fan where I’ll be happy just making the playoffs, I want cups. Plural.
So, where do we go from here? Schenn will get locked up to a long term deal worth around 4.5-5 mil a year and I have no problem with that. The guy was a bowling ball all season hitting anything that moves and had 26 goals and 59 points total on the season. Lock him up and move on. Other than that R.J. Bumburger will be bought out which will give Hextall an additional $3 million dollars to mess around with this year and hopefully we let guys like Gagner, White, Manning, and Medvedev walk because they’re all trash. As for Radko Gudas I actually would like to see Philly sign him to a short term deal but if they over pay for him I will go bananas. They’re prospects are still fantastic and we should expect to see Konecny, Provorov, Sanheim, and Morin get some solid time in Orange next season. I think Konecny and Provorov start with the big boys right away and Sanheim and Moring will follow a couple months into the season. It sucks being stuck with the 18th pick but I fully expect Hextall to make some magic. It sucks to end this way but nothing we can do now but drink and complain. I LOVE the hell out of this team and can’t wait for next season
As always: Fly or Die
Photo Credit: NHL via YouTube