Just watched yesterday's epic battle against Pittsburgh...in extended highlights, cause I missed it entirely. But why should that stop me from some quick thoughts?
1) Bryzgalov is looking GOOD.
2) How much are you loving Hartnell, now that he's become disciplined enough to let his potential shine through? 33 goals and 62 points? Whoa.
2b) The man drilled his shot. Once to tie, once to win with a second left in overtime. But the game-winner was all about the vision and the pass of Danny Briere. I think his health is one of the greatest general barometers of how this team plays.
3) These guys (this Flyers team) are actually playing really well right now, and probably, at their best, at least about even talent-wise as both the Rangers and Penguins...as long as 1) continues to hold true...
3) And all three of those teams, I'd argue, are at least on par for the moment with Boston, the defending champs.
4) And, though I confess it is perhaps slightly hyperbolic, I would say with some measure of confidence, and all due respect to Ken Hitchcock, who i respect greatly, Peter Laviolette is the greatest Flyers coach of my lifetime. Coming back from down 3-0 in a series and 3-0 in Game 7 will lead a man to say such a things, and not undeservedly. So...
5) ...why not us?
Many worse teams have made much deeper runs. ('06 Oilers, anyone?) And Lavy won the Cup with a team far less talented than his current one (the Hurricanes that needed 7 to best those same Oilers.)
5b) Yes, they are one of about 10 teams that are legitimate Cup contenders. And the future is bright, even if it's not this year. So I really don't expect it to happen, but...
...if everything comes together just right, this team is definitely good enough to win the whole thing.
I'm just sayin'.