Of all the first-round matchups that the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs have to offer, perhaps none is more enticing than the battle between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. This one had Game 7 written all over it from the start, and so far, that’s exactly how to outcome is looking. However, one win by the Flyers could change everything. With the Flyers evening the series up at a game apiece, the momentum has completely shifted back into their favor.
The Rangers may have home-ice advantage should a decisive Game 7 be necessary, but if this series only calls for a Game 5 or a Game 6, the home-ice advantage goes to Philly. Regardless of if they’re playing at the Garden or the Wells Fargo Center, yesterday the Flyers proved that they can outplay the Rangers no matter what pond they’re skating on. They were finally able to gain a sense of relief and revamp their confidence level by getting the Garden monkey off their back. Philly pretty much did what New York did in Game 1; they simply outplayed the Rangers in almost every single aspect of the game and finally countered on a late-game mistake.
For the Flyers, it was a simple run of bad luck. Not to take anything away from MSG or the Rangers’ fans, but the Garden isn’t exactly known for its history of being an intimidating place to play. The Wells Fargo Center, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It’s one thing to play bad in a building. It’s a completely different thing to have the ability to play well be altered by a crowd, which will be exactly what happens come Game 3 in Philadelphia.