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Flyers win a wild one; but Sixers can’t stand the Heat


Boucher bails out Bobrovsky in an ugly Game 2

Most Flyers fans were wandering what team would show up in theFlyers photo: Thumbnail: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=863394 playoffs, and after Game 1 of their best-of-seven opening round series against the Buffalo Sabres, many started to panic.

A 1-0 loss to Buffalo had many wandering if the second half of the season Flyers squad showed up. The team that struggled down the stretch started to rear its ugly head, but one game can change a series. And Saturday, the Flyers were faced with the prospect of going down 0-2 in the series.

However, the offense and the power-play clicked, and Philly prevailed in a wild 5-4 win at the Wells Fargo Center. In a game that saw 18 power plays, nine goals and a ton of fights, the victory has given the “Orange and Black” faithful reason to breathe a sigh of relief. Despite evening the series, all was not pefect on Saturday. Veteran Brian Boucher had to bail out the club  and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky en route to the win.

Boucher stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced for an ineffective Bobrovsky, who gave up three goals on just seven shots.

And now the question is Bob or Booooooosh?  Ah, something to ponder for Game 3, which is Monday.

The Flyers look like they are poised to go goaltender by committee, which head coach Peter Laviolette has done at times throughout the season.

After this one however, Laviolette declined to tip his hand when it came to who would be between the pipes. “We don't talk about goaltenders, injuries or lineups," he said. "That should take care of it."

Read between the lines. If I was a betting man, Boucher gets the nod on Monday, but your guess is as good as mine. This is nothing new for the Flyers, who are known to go with the hot hand during the regular season as well as the playoffs.

And if you know hockey, you know you always go with the hot hand. Right now that is Boucher, who delivered again in the post-season.

If you like stats, you will like this. The Flyers are 25-1 in the playoff games when scoring at least five goals, and Boucher is now 4-1 at home in the post-season over the last two years.

Sixers fizzle against the Heat

If you are going to upset a team in the playoffs, you need to steal a game. And Saturday, the Philadelphia 76ers let the Miami Heat off the hook.

The Sixers looked sharp and played very well as they raced out to a 31-19 lead after one quarter Sixers photo: http://www.gcobb.comof play in their opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. But this is the NBA, every team makes a run, and Miami turned up the heat in the fourth quarter.

The most alarming trend here is that the Sixers have now let the Heat off the hook for the second time in the last three weeks. Back on March 25, the 76ers led by 16, and they blew that game as well.

On Saturday, Philadelphia led by 14 and despite showing they can hang with Miami, proved they can’t close like solid playoff teams do. They got scoring all around from Thaddeus Young’s 20 and Jrue Holiday, who added 19, but needed to make a stop and make shots down the stretch and they were unable to do so.

The team should some grit in the fourth quarter by scoring twelve straight and pulling within one at 88-87, but Miami was able to pull away. Dwyane Wade hit a tough bank shot to give Miami a five-point cushion as the Heat hung on for the 1-0 series lead.

Again, I go back to the original theme here, which is the ability to steal a game in the playoffs, and the Sixers let that chance slip away on Saturday.

Ultimately the Heat are going to win this series because they are the better team and they have LeBron James, who netted a quiet 21, and Wade. The Sixers don’t. But Philly could have made things interesting with a win in Game 1.

That didn’t happen and the Sixers will be kicking themselves for that.

Rich Quinones is a freelance sports broadcaster, sports writer, and host and creator of "On Q" Sports Talk, which can be heard every Thursday night from 10-11PM on 1460 WIFI AM.

He has over 13 years of broadcasting experience, most recently spending the last three as afternoon drive-time host for 1290 The Ticket, a Fox Sports Affiliate in Delaware. He has worked for various news and sports radio stations in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Ohio and the “First State,” where he won numerous awards for his own-air work. A national freelance sports correspondent for several different media outlets across the country, Rich has covered every sport over the years as well as the local teams in our backyard, and is known for his “hard-hitting,” passionate style behind the microphone. His work has been published online as well as in SJ Magazine and South Jersey Magazine. He is also play-by-play voice for the NAFL and served as lead blow-by-blow announcer for Dave Tiberi’s T.N.T Boxing.

“Q” covers the sweet science on a daily basis and is set to launch his own show online. Rich is also an advocate for retired NFL Players, who are struggling in life since leaving the game and need some guidance. He has partnered up with several former NFL players, who also believe in this cause

Contact Rich at rquinonesmedia@hotmail.com

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