Just when it looked like we might be able to move past the potential ugliness in the Montreal Canadiens/Philadelphia Flyers series, a guy in a cape and a pig nose drapes a Habs sweater on the Rocky Balboa statue. Why not just take a dump on the Liberty Bell while you're at it, buddy? Enrico from The 700 Level has more photos and some details about the culprit.
Radio station publicity stunts aside, the fact remains that, as the action shifts to Philly, the Flyers are in the driver's seat.
Against Washington, the Flyers returned home with a split and dominated Game 3, before winning a much tighter Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. Whether they're able to repeat the feat may depend on the aftermath from Game 2's drama involving Tom Kostopolous's punch, Kimmo Timonen's face and Guy Carbonneau's justification of it all. Philadelphia was a much more physical team at home last round; will they be able to balance that punishment with the lingering emotions from Game 2? Matt P. from The 700 Level thinks it's time to move past the Kostopolous affair:
I don't fault Carbonneau, who was a great player and continues to be a standup guy; he's just doing what every coach does in the playoffs and standing by his players, making villains of the other side. The league looked at Kostopolous's punch to determine if it warranted disciplinary action and decided against it. We tend to agree, although we also think punching someone who isn't looking is a bitch move.
Meanwhile, Habsblog wonders if there will "be fallout from the ‘taunting', 'sucker punch' and John Stevens perpetual whining?"
If there is, will it mean more power play opportunities for a Montreal unit that's finally showing signs of life with the man advantage? Can the Canadiens get a kick in the rear by swapping out Mathieu Dandenault for 20-year-old Guillaume Latendresse? (That sound you just heard was Michael Ryder getting kicked to the curb.) And will any of it matter if Marty Biron continues to be the backbone of the Flyers, while an increasingly shaky Carey Price can't keep the puck in his glove? From John Boruk of Comcast Sportsnet:
Like Biron, Price appears to be susceptible to goals high and glove side. He may have the physical tools and has been a proven winner at almost every level, but until he navigates his way through an entire NHL regular and postseason, the book is still out on this guy. After Game 2, Price went on to say, "The score should have been 8-4. We had so many empty-net opportunities and weren't able to cash in." What he failed to say was, "If I had been on top of my game, and had been the best guy tonight, like the person across the ice, we should have won 2-1."
More Habs/Flyers Game 3 previewing here. Clearly, there's a chance things could get hairy ...