Flyers Send #1 Canadiens Golfing
Philadelphia tops Montreal 6-4 to take series in five games
Philadelphia finished the 2006-2007 season in dead last, and just one year later have advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Montreal surprised everyone this season, including Captain Saku Koivu, who thought they were not even a playoff team in the beginning of the year. The Habs did finish atop the Eastern Conference in 2007-2008, but have been officially ousted by the Flyers thanks to Saturday night's 6-4 loss ending the series with Philadelphia winning 4 games to 1.
Montreal’s kryptonite was not found by their 1st round opponents in the Boston Bruins, but it was quickly found by the Flyers; Martin Biron and R.J. Umberger.
Biron again had a 30+ save game, proving that he was a master in the net and was a puzzle that the Canadiens could not solve. Biron is a native of Quebec, which is why he always felt at home during this series in both arenas.
Besides Biron, Umberger was the arsonnist that sent the Habs blazing away. During this season he scored 12 goals, while in the five games in this series he popped in 8. Just like Johan Franzen for Detroit, no one has really looked to him as a player who can make a difference. Pittsburgh will need to keep an eye on this guy in the next round.
The Canadiens will soon empty their lockers and wonder why they lost. After being benched in Game #4, Carey Price did start in Game #5 with a dreadful ending. He was peppered with 20 shots in the second period alone, but did make 31 saves in the final loss. Price is a rookie goalie that was out-played by his opposition's goaltender and will learn from this experience. He admitted that this was his hardest loss of his young career and this will likely keep the 20-year old wondering how he could not perform like he did in the 1st round.
Montreal out-shot Philly in every game, and only won one game in the series. Montreal out-played Philly in every game, and won just once. During the season, the Habs won all four of the meetings, outscoring the Flyers 15-6, but the playoffs are a different season as Philadelphia beat them when it counted.
> Find a great selection of Flyers apparel & merchandise available online through Pro Hockey Fans and get a NHL Fathead online at Sports Shop!
Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals preview:
Biron proved that he only has one thing in mind; winning. The guy was clutch, crucial, and the key ingredient in the Flyers success. Meanwhile Price was pulled and benched while only winning once in the series. He was the #2 reason why Montreal is going home, the #1 reason being Biron.
The Canadiens power-play was not good enough in this series, even allowing a short handed goal by Philly. Again, Biron was the reason the Montreal’s poor man advantage. Not many goalies can own a series the way he did.
Daniel Briere was rather quiet for a good part of the series. After earning 12 points in the first round against the Capitals, he only had 2 against the Canadiens, with 1 of them being the ever-important game-winner in Game #4. Now who is laughing Montreal fans?
When the playoff race was on, with about a week left in the season, I predicted the Flyers to NOT make the playoffs and not beat the Canadiens. Boy was I wrong, as they will face Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals.
Philadelphia wins series 4-1.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
Want to add your comment to this article? Leave your comments on our NHL blog today!
> Follow the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online with Pro Hockey Fans!
> Find all of the NHL news & articles online from Pro Hockey Fans.