It has been a very long time since weve seen a goaltender dominate the Flyers the way Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist dominated Peter Laviolettes team this season.
In sweeping all six games for the Broadway Blueshirts, Lundqvist had a 1.83 goals against average and .942 save percentage.
If the Flyers are fortunate to get past the Pittsburgh Penguins assuming they solidify the fifth seed Laviolette better hope somebody upsets the Rangers because theyve owned the orange and black this season.
There was a time in the Atlantic Division, when New Jerseys Marty Brodeur regularly gave the Flyers fits every season, every playoff.
This year, it has been Lundqvist but we havent gotten to the playoffs yet.
The Flyers made a couple of pushes in their 5-3 loss to the Rangers (see story) late in the second and throughout the third period and still couldnt overcome spotting the Rangers four early goals.
It was intense, Lundqvist said. A lot of action back there, that's for sure. You know it's going to happen when we get a lead like that. They are going to go for it and take some chances and do a little more.
It's tough to keep it simple when it's a four-goal lead. It always happens, we were prepared for it and we did a pretty good job.
The funny thing is, Pittsburgh seems to have a team that can beat the Rangers and the Flyers have a team that can beat the Penguins, but not the Rangers.
Lundqvist really got into the Flyers heads this season.
We had a lot of scoring chances, Jakub Voracek said. He played well, as usual, against us. We have to find a way to get the pucks through him if we want to beat him in the playoffs.
That doesnt seem possible, frankly.
Claude Giroux was asked what goes through a teams mind knowing it lost all six games to a bitter division rival?
I mean, thats another little detail that you guys like to bring up, Giroux replied. We dont really care that we lost six, its just the way we play. I think thats the most frustrating thing.
We know if we play our best we can beat them, thats no doubt. We were playing catch-up hockey again but nobody quit. We did a pretty good job of out-working them in the second and third but again, its the same story, we have to find a way to get a better start.
I dont know what we gotta do. Maybe drink a little more coffee orI dont know, but I think we have to find a way to get a better start.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com