The cheer can be easily explained. The Flyers have successfully avoided the New York Rangers in the Semifinals even if the Rangers beat the Senators tomorrow night. The Flyers have struggled against the Rangers this year and that is why (almost) everyone wanted to avoid them for as long as possible in the playoffs. The Capitals win ensured that they would avoid them at least another round. The Flyers went 0-6 against the Rangers this season. They have lost in every imaginable way. They have been blown out, they have been shut out, they have been in tight games, and they have blown leads. It is hard to imagine another way that the Flyers could have lost.
One thing that has marred the Flyers this season has been afternoon games. The Flyers regular season record in games that started before 7:00 pm was tough to swallow. The Flyers won just three of the ten regular season games that started before 7:00 pm. No coincidentally, only one of the Flyers – Rangers six total games started at 7:00 pm or later. Could that have something to do with it? Maybe. For what it’s worth, the Flyers won two afternoon games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Pittsburgh last week.
So, as Ward slid that puck past Thomas, Flyers fans everywhere realized that they would go another round without facing the dreaded blue shirts that have haunted the Flyers all year. But, did that mean fans would pack it in if the Flyers did have to face the Rangers? “No [expletive] way,” one fan so elegantly phrased it. “Do I want to face them? No,” the fan continued. “Am I afraid of them? No. The playoffs are a completely different beast. And no doubt Lavy [Flyers coach Peter Laviolette] has his boys playing good hockey. I just want to see the Orange and Black back on the ice.”
Who will they play when the Flyers get back on the ice? It is still unclear. It could be the Panthers, Devils, Capitals, or Senators. It all depends on tomorrow night’s Game 7s. But there is one thing we do know; it won’t be the New York Rangers.
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