Monday, January 5, 2009

Nine Best of 2008 -- #8

The eighth-best game of 2008 in the countdown is kind of an odd pick. It didn't lead to anything, it wasn't even that close a game for the most part.

But it was super important all the same. The Flyers went into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals down 3-0. The Flyers hadn't played too badly in Game 1, but really stunk up the joint in Game 3, easily their worst game of the year. Facing a sweep at the hands of Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and without two of their top defensemen in Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn, the Flyers needed to salvage something, if for no other reason than to avoid the embarrassment of a sweep and to make the last game of the season at the Wachovia Center a win.

And win they did. Three garbagey first period goals from Joffrey Lupul, Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter put the Flyers comfortably up, and gave fans something to cheer about for the first time in weeks. Jordan Staal knocked a couple past Martin Biron in the third, but the Flyers hung on, and Lupul added an empty netter to lock in the win with the score of 4-2.

But the fun didn't stop after the second Lupul goal. Derian Hatcher (remember him?) beat the living crap out of Ryan Malone, and then Mike Richards treated Sidney Crosby with the respect he deserves.

Flyers lost Game 5 badly, but that shouldn't detract from how awesome Game 4 was. For that one night (and the two days between Games 4 and 5), the Flyers gave their fans reason to be happy, reason to be hopeful, reason to believe. And that's what being a fan is all about.

Well, not really. But it's a nice idea.

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