I'll freely admit that I pretty much stopped watching hockey after the work stoppage a few years back. As far as I'm concerned, the Flyers are only behind Eagles Football, Illini Basketball, and Illini Football in my canon of favorite teams, but once I went a year without the puck, I didn't really feel any urgency to start watching it again (and given the ratings, lots of other folks agree). I maybe watched a game or two on the 12-foot screen just to appreciate how pretty hockey is in HD, but that was all.
However, given the Flyers managed to reach the postseason vs. the local Caps, I wanted to see what the latest incarnation of Black and Orange was like. Most of the pundits didn't give the Flyers a chance in hell against the Caps star Ovechkin, and if I didn't have a newborn at home, I would've gotten some scalped tickets to the first few games given the Verizon Center is only a metro ride away. So I settled down on Friday night with my dad and watched some hockey.
Holy crap, what a great game. Even with the Caps coming back in the 3rd period to overtake the Flyers' 2 goal lead, it was one of the best games I've seen in years. Flyers 0, Caps 1.
Then came game two on Sunday, a 2-0 shutout pitched by the Flyers' Martin Biron. Flyers 1, Caps 1.
Game 3 was a 6-3 buttwhooping that ended with my favorite play in all of sports, the dagger-in-the-heart empty net goal. Flyers 2, Caps 1.
And last night was Game 4....it was like Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. The Flyers got off a goal in the first minute of play, and then 3 minutes later the Caps respond with a power play goal, and then another before the Flyers tied it up before the end of the first period, 2-2. Then the scored in the 2nd, followed by the Flyers with 10 minutes left in the 3rd. 3-3, Overtime. Second Overtime. Goal, Flyers. Flyers 3, Caps 1.
Game 5's tomorrow afternoon in D.C., and I'd probably go if it weren't just before the first Seder and we'll have 8 houseguests, but you can damn well bet that it'll be on the TV.
I'd still rather they shrink the NHL season from 82 to a more reasonable 40 or so games, but I just might start watching the regular season again this fall.