The Flyers stunned the Bruins at TD Garden tonight for Game 5. Because I was at the game, I will write some of this post from my perspective of the game at TD Garden, and do a brief discussion on Bruins fans and how condoms were thrown at me. Read on.
While walking towards TD Garden, I can say with complete certainty that Bruins fans expected a win tonight. My crew and I were thrown numerous insults walking towards and into the stadium. (I have never been called a "cocksuckah" more in my life…stupid Boston accents.) Despite the hostility, I snagged some funny fan photos on the way in.
Okay, Ray Bourque was awesome, and it is completely acceptable to wear the jersey of a legend. But PJ Axelsson? Really? It's time to upgrade your jersey collection.
A Tampa Bay Rays fan in Boston. I always take the time to laugh at Rays fans after 2008, but it's even funnier knowing that they just got no hit by Dallas Braden. LOLRAYS
Wow, what a smug face. In a way, I wish he wasn't looking right into the camera, so you could see that HE WAS WEARING A MARLINS HAT AND A BRUINS SHIRT. What the hell do you call that?
Officially one of the worst mascots ever. He tried to make fun of us somehow, but the joke really is all on him. He's just so indescribably stupid looking. Uneven teeth, a disgusting stitching job, the shortest damn bear I have ever seen, what else can I say?
Anyway, we finally managed to get to our seats. Another common insult was "Go Home!"…which isn't very insulting or intimidating considering that the Flyers were going home winners or losers. Then, after a 15 minute long introduction video, the game was finally underway. Surprisingly, the video featured just as many hits and fights as the Flyers' videos do, but we're the only violent, bloodthirsty fans in the NHL. Although the Bruins think they have the best national anthem singer, Lauren Hart and the guy from Ottawa are 100x better.
Back to the game:
The fans were extremely loud at the start. To be honest, there were very few Flyers fans in attendance tonight (we were the only four in our entire section). Thankfully, a Ville Leino goal just 6:41 into the game quieted the Boston crowd and gave the Flyers an important 1-0 lead. Brian Boucher kept the game tied with a huge glove save off of a deflection in front later in the opening frame. The spotlight that goes on after Boston goals went off, but the puck never crossed the goal line.
Despite being down by a goal going into the second, the Bruins fans continued to be loud. A pivotal moment in the game occurred 4:35 in the second – Brian Boucher made a clutch pad save in front. On the play, Miroslav Satan collided with Ryan Parent, and the pair fell on top of Boucher. His legs crumbled in an awkward position; Boucher threw off his blocker to alert the officials that he was hurt, and left the ice with the help of Jimmy McCrossin. Boston fans were LOUD. With Michael Leighton being thrown into his first career playoff game, the Bruins and their fans smelled blood. Even worse, Danny Briere took a "cross-checking" penalty just 30 seconds later. The Flyers killed the penalty, Leighton stood tall, and the momentum of the game truly changed – the crowd was not as loud for the remainder of the game. Scott Hartnell, who was all over the ice tonight, batted a puck behind Tuukka Rask midway through the game to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. The Flyers then broke their powerplay scoring drought when Simon Gagne netted his second goal in as many nights to extend the Orange and Black's lead to three.
That's when the stuff getting thrown at us got worse. Beer cups, french fries, ketchup, popcorn – that's all expected. But after the third Flyers goal, THIS was thrown.
A condom. I guess Boston fans have no better use for them anyway.
Simon Gagne sealed the deal with a breakaway goal early in the third period, his second of the game and his third since returning from a broken foot. This made my night, considering I was wearing a Gagne jersey and a few select Bruins fans thought saying "Sigh-mon Gag-knee" the whole night would be hysterical. The Flyers won the game 4-0, and Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher teamed up for the combined shutout.
From what I hear, it was not shown on TV that Bruins fans were throwing rally towels and beer cups on the ice. It happened on several occasions, including during the final two scrums of the third period and DURING PLAY. If it wasn't shown on TV, the proof is below. It was pretty classless in my opinion, and I'm sure this would have been all over TV if the game was in Philadelphia and fans threw shit. Rask left the ice pretty fast at the conclusion of the game, probably because he was angry and BECAUSE HE WAS GETTING STUFF THROWN AT HIM BY HIS OWN FANS IN A SERIES WHERE THE BRUINS ARE STILL UP A GAME.
Despite the passion from Boston, nothing beats Philadelphia fans. Although its clearly a biased opinion from myself, I truly believe that Philly has the best fans in the nation. And I'm damn proud of it.
Claude Giroux did not return after a boarding call late in the second due to "precautionary reasons". His status remains unknown. Presumably, Brian Boucher will also be out for some length of time with strained MCLs in both of his knees, making Michael Leighton the Flyers' netminder for possibly the remainder of the season. Additionally, Game 6 on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center was pushed back to 8PM.
The Flyers have one thing now that they didn't have 2 games ago: momentum. There is nothing more important in a playoff game, and a series, than to have momentum on your side. Simple proof was the Flyers penalty kill after Leights entered the game tonight. Although the games will get tougher now that they are equally important for the Bruins and the Flyers, the Flyers have momentum and confidence on their side. Tonight was the first game all series that one team truly dominated, and it was the Flyers. The Bruins had very few scoring chances following the first period – the Flyers simply stunned them and played tight defensively. Hopefully this continues…if the Flyers win, it would be the first time since 1976 that a team down 3-0 even came back for a game 7. The Flyers are halfway there.
For more ridiculousness in Philly sports over the last week, check out our Weekly Recap.