The Philadelphia Flyers finished off what has been an incredible race to the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens which was almost a carbon copy of Sunday's Blackhawks clincher.
Montreal started the game with what appeared to be the upper hand as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Late in the first period, the Habs were on a power play and one of the worst plays of the series was a preview of things to come.
Jaroslav Halak skated way out of the net to stop a cleared puck and collided with Mike Richards. The puck squired free and Richards came up off the ice and had an easy tap in to tie the game. The Habs never played with confidence again.
Aaron Asham and Jeff Carter scored goals 88 seconds apart early in the second and the game was basically over. Scott Gomez made it 3-2 early in the third, but an empty netter with 23 seconds left in the contest started the final celebration.
Mike Richards defied superstition and grabbed the conference cup after the game and took it to the locker room.
The Flyers were preseason favorites for a lot of folks, myself included. However, they did not clinch a playoff berth until winning a shoot-out over the Rangers in the final game of the season. They surprised New Jersey in the first round and were down 3-0 in the second round to Boston before making an historic four game run to move to the conference finals.
With a 4-1 romp over Montreal, the Flyers are no Cinderella headed to the finals. Clearly, along with the Hawks, the two hottest teams are headed to a showdown starting Saturday night in Chicago.
For a complete schedule of the finals with times and TV networks go here.
In Pred Nation...
From a Swedish newspaper comes early word that Goalie Anders Lindback has signed a three year entry level "dream" contract with the Nashville Predators. Lindback was the third stringer on Sweden's entry in the just completed World Championships.
Jim Diamond continues his Predator's movie casting with the goaltenders.
Ryan Porth takes a look at the Preds defense for next year. Personally, I think the Preds will trade the rights to Hamhuis and Grebeshkov before the entry draft. Check Ryan's site later today as his 30 in 30 feature will begin.
Here's Ryan's first post at From the Point. It is a discussion of Dale Tallon's part in the current Blackhawks run.
Dirk raises the question as to what fans should expect from the Predators next season.
Mark Willoughby is wasting no time with his review of round three and his pick for the finals. Way to be the first Mark.
You can follow Dan Ellis's summer league hockey exploits at the league site. Dan is on team 5 (red) while Jed Ortmeyer is on team 3 (gold). All they need is a Ustream feed for some real action.
Around the NHL...
The NFL's loss in the American Needle case could have huge ramifications throughout the world of pro sports. This was a big issue in last summer's case between Jim Ballsille and the NHL as to who controlled where teams were located. Had this come down a year earlier, we may have had the Hamilton Coyotes. Mark Willoughby has the analysis that I was waiting for in the matter.
Steve Lapore asks if the NHL is ready for Saturday night primetime on NBC. He also reports that Sunday's Hawks-Sharks game was the highest rated indoor game this year.
The Islanders aren't going to China for camp in September as had been discussed. Chris Botta thinks there is more to the story than the request by the NHLPA to make a trip before hand to check out the facilities.
PHT is reporting that up to half of the Carolina Hurricanes may be on the sales block.
Matt Reitz discusses how the NHL is a Land of Confusion. It is not what you may expect.
Russ Cohen caught up with Tyler Seguin prepping for his six hours of draft coverage for XM Home Ice and has an article about their visit at Sportsology.
As we follow Chris Hayes' year long journey at Freddy Charles, he is now learning to skate.
For off season reading, you may want to read Chris's Magic Ice which is the story of a father and son and their pond hockey exploits. It is written by wife and mother Brenda Schultz and part of the proceeds go to charity.
Odds and Ends...
Here's some tips on how better to use Twitter search.
For fans of The Office, do you want to create part of a fanisode?
The Big South Social Media Summit that was scheduled for the flood ravaged Schermerhorn Center on August 13th is relocating to... the Internet. Here is the story.
For Foursquare folks, here is a way to map your travels on Google Earth with a couple of clicks. (H/T to @dani3boyz for the find)
The small Google Pacman app that was up for two days allegedly cost the US 4.82 million man-hours of productivity.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass