Friday, May 21, 2004


Philly's tough

I expected to be making a bold playoff prediction today about who was going to win the Cup final between Calgary and Tampa Bay.

The Philly had to go and mess up my plans.

Y'know, before the playoffs, I really had dismissed Keith Primeau as a guy who was a veteran leader with a decent skill set. I never considered him to be the type of player who can impact a playoff series by himself. Perhaps it's because his gifts have always been obscured by other issues in Philly (Lindros and the atrocious goaltending, for example). Then I heard a commentary prior to the Toronto series that the series would be decided by the play of Primeau.


This is why I'm not paid to be a hockey analyst. Primeau was the catalyst behind the 7-2 game 5 win and focusing on him led indirectly to Roenick's game-winner in Game 6. Last night, Primeau put the Flyers on his shoulders and refused to let them lose, tying the game with a minute and change to go and then assisting on Simon Gagne's game winner. I am so impressed with Primeau's big-game skills, I'm leaning toward thinking of him in the same way I did Messier when the Rangers won it all a few years ago.

Looking at the two benches after Primeau tied the game, you could tell that Tampa wasn't coming back. They looked tired and whipped, while Philly was energized. I think that, if Philly scores first tomorrow night, it's all over.

But it should be a great game.