One Down, Three to Go
The Flyers opened up strong against the Devils last night in Game 1 of their series, and had to hold on for dear life as their division nemesis made a game of it in the third period. The Sixers season continues winding down (their "magic number" for elimination is still 2, as they got a little help from the Miami Heat in knocking off the Celtics), and the Phillies dropped to 1-2 as they head to Florida to face the defending world champs.
Phil Sheridan says Robert Esche, in his first playoff appearance, "outplayed the great Brodeur." Tim Panaccio chats with Coach Hitchcock and gets this playoff insight: "In the first round, overtime games are there all the time. If you lose those games in overtime, they become huge momentum-busters." That is so true. Every team I have followed, when it gets into one of these multiple period OT games in a playoff series, whenever it lost that game, they seemed to lose the series. And vice versa. It's almost uncanny. Sam Donnellon feels that the Devils will really miss "bully" Scott Stevens in this series. Rich Hofmann is the voice of pessimism today. He really doesn't like the way the Flyers won last night (what, he expected the defending champs to roll over and play dead once they were down 3-0 in Game 1 of a series?)
Joe Juliano reports that the playoffs are not "completely out of the question" yet. However, their season is on life support, and Boston has its hands on the plug. Also mentioned in that article is the fact that Glenn Robinson has missed 40 games so far this season, definitely living up to his reputation as the Big Dog. Kevin Mulligan says Robinson continues to rehab and hopes to return in the postseason. Too bad the Sixers won't be there. Maybe if he hadn't missed half the season and had been the true "second scorer" Billy King throught he acquired last summer, they would have had a chance.
Todd Zolecki says the Phillies didn't give Vicente Padilla enough run rupport last night. His notebook says the Phils head to the field of broken dreams tonight, Pro Player Stadium. In his regular Friday morning column Morning Bytes, Frank Fitzpatrick says the PECO building will be displaying multiple messages for the Phillies next Monday: "AHHH... Grass! Go Phils!" and "Here's to a Great Season in a Great New Ballpark." Marcus Hayes believes the Philies are at it again: failing to score against bad teams.
Comcast SportsNet has the Phillies take on the Marlins at 7:35. UPN57 has the Sixers fighting for their playoff lives against the Wizards at 7.