I think the Flyers had lots of lady luck on their side (8-9 hit goal posts and a ton of lucky puck bounces!!!!) and charma was definitely on their side throughout as well. With the exception of game #5, the Canadiens were the better team and totally out chanced and outshot the Flyers.
What the Flyers did better than the Canadiens was stop the puck and allowed the Canadiens to play perimeter/cycling hockey. They were also better along the boards and going to the net with more determination than the Canadiens.
Granted, Martin Biron was lucky at times but he was also very good (except game #5 when the Habs finally screened him!!) and gave the Flyers the goaltending they required to advance further into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said concerning the Canadiens goaltending. In hindsight (it is 20/20!!!), it was apparent Carey Price was not totally ready for the incredible pressure that comes with being the Montreal Canadiens playoff goaltender. He admittedly stated that he was mentally fatigued by the second round which probably led to Guy Carbonneau’s decision to give Halak the game#4 start. The task would have been overwhelming for a proven NHL veteran like Martin Brodeur let alone a very talented, yet young Carey Price so we shouldn’t be too hard on him. Price will be a franchise goaltender and I’m convinced he will eventually lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup in the not too distant future.
In the end, the Canadiens weren’t expected to make the playoffs by the so called hockey experts and surprised everybody by winning the Eastern Conference. In the process, this young and talented team made a strong, bold statement to the hockey world that they will be a team of reckoning next year and for years to come. We should be very proud of them and accentuate the positives rather than focusing on the negatives. We’ll leave the very capable Bob Gainey to deal with the negatives and make the improvements that need to be done for next season…….meanwhile let’s savor the great memories of this season and count the days until training camp starts in September!!!