The Flyers look to avoid getting swept at the hands of the Capitals
(Photo courtesy of Kate Frese/Kate Frese Photography)
The Philadelphia Flyers will need their best effort of the season if they want to extend their series with the Washington Capitals. Game time is 7:00 from the wells Fargo Center.
Washington has dominated special teams play through the first three games and have a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. The Capitals power play is operating at just under 50 percent for the series while the penalty kill is a perfect 13 for 13.
Over the years, there is something I have learned about teams being down 3-0 or 3-1 in a playoff series. That's usually when reality sets in.
So after the Flyers dropped Game 3 by a score of 6-1 to fall to a 3-0 deficit in the series against the Washington Capitals, reality was obvious: the season could end on Wednesday night. And even if it didn't, the Flyers were on borrowed time.
The days are numbered, could be one, could be three, either way, time is running out.
But instead of going into a eulogy on the season, I wanted to go back to Game 3 as a whole. What happened on the ice was embarrassing. What happened in the stands was disgraceful. Coupled together, it is a night that will scar Philadelphia sports for a long time. Which is why Wednesday is such an important night.
It was the hit that started it all for the Flyers, coming at 12:17 of the third period. Bellemare was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct. Ryan White and Radko Gudas each got 10-minute misconducts from the scrum that followed.
This morning, the 6-1 loss for the Flyers was secondary. Instead, it was the behavior of Flyers fans taking center stage.
Down 4-1 and facing a five-minute penalty kill for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's hit on Dmitry Orlov, fans started throwing LED bracelets used as part of the pregame festivities onto the ice. Lou Nolan warned of possible repercussions that could affect the team.
It settled for a moment, until Alex Ovechkin scored his second goal of the game to make it 5-1. The throwing continued and the Flyers were assessed a two-minute delay-of-game penalty.
The Flyers issued a statement regarding the behavior of fans during the third period of Game 3.
Watching the Flyers this season basically had the feel of watching two entirely different teams. The Flyers of the beginning of the season made it seem as though the playoffs were a pipe dream, while the Flyers of March made October look like a distant ways away.
They rallied from a snowball's chance in Hell at a playoff spot, to securing the final spot on the season's penultimate day. Their first playoff test wouldn't be easy, but then again, "easy" and "Stanley Cup Playoffs" were never two phrases that belonged together.
In just a matter of weeks, the Flyers have gone from one of the league's hottest teams to one loss away from the end of their season. As they stare down a 3-0 series lead, their season could very well end tomorrow -- though even if they can salvage a Game 4 win, it would just be delaying the inevitable.