Carter-jeff-ap-080426-392Posted by Greg Hall

So it all
comes down to this; a 3 o’clock showdown with the hated New York Rangers for
the final playoff spot.  Eighty-one games
in the books and they are all miniscule in comparison to this one.  This is for all the marbles; the winners get
in and the losers polish off their pitching wedges.

Philadelphia Flyers are one win away form not only making it back to the
Stanley Cup playoffs, but if they do defeat Henrik Lundqvist and the company,
they will also jump into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference over the
Montreal Canadiens, who clinched on Saturday night, because the Flyers have
more wins (but the same amount of points).

This game
became a must-win for both clubs after a hard-fought 4-3 Ranger victory Friday
night at the “Garden” and Rangers’ feisty head coach John Tortorella thinks the
pressure is all on the orange and black. “We’re loose,” said Tortorella, “I
think the pressure is all on them.”

Time will
tell in the back end of this home and home series between long standing
Atlantic Division rivals.  The Rangers
looked to be dead in the water over the past month, but due to an incredibly
top heavy Eastern Conference, but have managed to string together some key wins
and nudge their way back into the playoff push. 
If the Rangers were to get in, they wouldn’t have the luxury the Flyers
do, as they would square off with the top-seeded Washington Capitals, the
league’s best team.

However, if
the Flyers were to emerge victorious, they would have a first round trip to
either Buffalo or New Jersey (who also play each other today), pending the
outcome.  Either of these teams would be
a much better matchup than the Caps for any team, and that obviously includes
our Fly Guys.

The Flyers
are trying for their first Stanley Cup since 1975 and their first appearance in
the finals since 1997, while the Rangers haven’t hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup
since 1994.  Funny how Chris Pronger has
taken the last two teams he has been traded too (the Edmonton Oilers and
Anaheim Ducks) to the Stanley Cup finals and this year, he is trying to just
get his team into the dance? Only in Philadelphia; go figure.