HNIC Star Selector - Game 4 Preview Flyers vs Bruins

These look like a different group of Bruins from a year ago... there was a smell in the air last year, of fear, of "do we belong?"... this year it smells like Horton's determination, like Thomas's game stealing saves, like a new car.

These look like a different group of Flyers from a year ago... there was a smell in the air last year, like the goalies had something to prove, like Pronger lifting the team on his own... this year it smells like confusion, like the goalies are squeezing the stick too tight, like the washroom at Lee's Palace....


When the Flyers secured a playoff spot by winning a final game shootout against the Rangers last year, I recall saying to myself and my buds, "Any win from here on out is gravy."  The reality was their first round opponents from New Jersey had owned them throughout their recent playoff history and I started quoting Dante from the movie 'Clerks', "I'm not even supposed to BE here today"! How did they win that one?  We are not even supposed to BE here today?  15 playoffs wins later and the last team to get their ticket to the play off dance were one shot away from winning the Stanley Cup.

Fast forward to 2011.  The Flyers finish 2nd overall and played the last 2 months waiting for the playoffs.  I found myself saying "They need a fire under their asses!" Some teams need a scare to get them jump started.   The Flyers, with a the terrible game in Boston, countless goalie changes, a horrendous game 3 start and an anemic power play can now played scared.  Maybe, if they win tonight, Game 5 can be the start of another, "We are not even supposed to be here today" moment.

Now I am rambling but maybe teams perform better when the expectations are lowered?  Look to at the Caps, Sharks and the Canucks over the years, lots of pressure and nothing to show for it. Well the pressure is off the Winged P, they just have to win tonight and maybe, just maybe... hmm lets leave that for the potential Game 6 preview...

Star Selector tonight for me is a no brainer.  Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara HAVE to be in your starting lineup.  I would sit Tim Thomas with a desperate Flyers team on the doorstep.  I would also start Chris Kelly if you see a sweep.  James van Riemsdyk has to get a start as he has been the best Flyer overall and Danny Briere always has a chance to go off.  But I feel like tonight, for the 1st time in the series, Mike Richards will show why he wears the 'C'.  At least that is what I hope in my heart of hearts.

My Starting Five:
Nathan Horton
Zdeno Chara
James van Riemsdyk
Mike Richards
Danny Briere

Good luck tonight to all our Start Selector players

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