Let’s say this right at the top. If the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, it will be because they were a good enough team and true enough champion to fend off the most relentless band of hockey warriors this sport has seen in a long, long time.
The champagne will taste all the sweeter because the Blackhawks will have earned that Cup the hard way.
That said, here’s why the Flyers look and feel like a team on the verge of winning its first championship in 35 years. Here’s why, as the puck drops Sunday night on Game 5 in Chicago, the Flyers deserve the absolute faith and respect of their fans.
Here’s why: Every step of this long, long road, the Flyers have gotten better and stronger and more fiercely determined. The later it gets – in games, in series, in the tournament – the more prepared they are to meet the rising challenge.
In four series now, the Flyers’ record in Games 1 through 3 is 5-7.
In Games 4 and beyond: 9-0, and counting.