As if this postseason couldn’t get any longer for Flyers fans, both Western Conference semis just had to go seven games, as terribly exciting as that truly is. And the Flyers West, aka the Los Angeles Kings, appear to be making another run at the Stanley Cup, with the assist once again going to former members of the Philadelphia hockey club.
Justin Williams, who of course was a first-round pick of the Flyers back in 2000, scored both of the Kings’ goals in their 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. He along with the other excommunicated – namely Mike Richards and Jeff Carter – move on to face the winners of tonight’s Game 7 between the Red Wings and Blackhawks in Chicago.
Williams has already hoisted the Cup twice in his career, once with the L.A. last year, as well as with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. We also learned with this most recent clutch performance against the Sharks that he’s come up especially huge in Game 7’s. As Greg Wyshynski writes on Puck Daddy, Williams became the first NHL player to light the lamp in each of his first four, and he now has more scores in Game 7 than any active player in the league.
New Jersey Devils beat reporter Tom Gulitti summed up Williams’ historic dominance in these dramatic conclusions like this:
Justin Wlliams: Game 7 '03 ECQ w/PHI vsTOR: 1G, 2A ;Game 7 '06 ECF w/CAR vs. BUF 1G, 2A: Game 7 '06 SCF vs EDM: 1G, 0A; Tonight: 2G, 0A.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) May 29, 2013
It’s not like ex-Flyers Williams, Richards, and Carter are getting it done by themselves obviously. There is a strong core there, and Jonathan Quick continues to absolutely astound in net – is there a better big-game goaltender in the National Hockey League today? Still, very difficult not to picture those guys in Orange & Black sometimes. Seasons like this aren’t making it any easier.
And who are we supposed root for the rest of the way? Certainly not the Penguins, pulling for Boston is always complicated, I’m still not over the Blackhawks in 2010, and I know some Red Wings fans and who have have a quiet superiority about them. Kings it is…?
Watch Justin Williams' dominance in Game 7 via Pro Hockey Talk: