KEN HITCHCOCK doesn’t like the idea that this series swings on the play of one player.
He would rather not have people thinking that the balance of the Flyers’ season rests on how Peter Forsberg plays tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. He especially does not want the rest of his players thinking that.
But the coach understands the thinking, and he believes it’s a fair assessment. And with the Sabres leading the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, 3-2, he knows that’s what people will be looking for in Game 6 at the Wachovia Center.
The Buffalo Sabres know the odds are in their favor.
They have two shots to beat a team against which they’ve had adequate success, and if the Sabres fail the first time, they get to try again at home, sweet home.
The Philadelphia Flyers can only pray the Sabres are feeling cozy heading into Game Six of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight in the Wachovia Center. The Sabres are ahead, three games to two, in the best-of-seven series.
It’s May 2 and I am still hearing the same quotes in the Flyers dressing room that I heard back in February and March and April after losses in which the team began the game listless, without energy or purpose.
There is something fundamentally wrong with this team that has to be addressed in the off-season. Why the club responds poor after winning and better after losing and why every first period of every game is one where the team “wades” into the game, as coach Ken Hitchcock calls in, instead of diving in.
There’s a character flaw to this Flyers club that is impossible to define or fix right now. We’re gonna have to wait until the off-season to address it.