Flyers and Bruins Begin the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals Series
May 14, 2010. A day that will live in infamy in Boston, MA. On that day, the unthinkable occurred. On May 5, 2010, the Boston Bruins won game 3 of the Easter Conference Semi-finals, all but assuring their victory in the best of 7 series.
Two days later, a scrappy underdog team that just sneaked into the playoffs on the last game of regular season, managed to win a chippy game 4 in overtime and send the series back to Boston.
Something happened to the series in between games 3 and 4. Maybe it was the injury to Boston's Dave Krecji. Or maybe it was the return of Philadelphia's Simon Gagne. Whatever it was, the Flyers went on to win game 5 in Boston. Then game 6 in Philadelphia, forcing the mind-boggling game 7.
Defying fate, the Bruins took a 3-0 lead in the game and they looked poised to wipe away the stigma of joining a terrible group of two teams. Only two teams have ever lost playoff series where they had won the first three games in the series.
Then, Philadelphia rookie James van Riemsdyk scored his first ever playoff goal, quieting the crowd. And then in the second period, the scrappy Philadelphia Flyers Scott Hartnell scored a goal that sent a shock-wave of uneasiness through the Boston faithful.
Minutes later, Flyers playoff hero Danny Briere scored a goal to tie the game up. Half way through the third period, long-time Flyers Simon Gagne scored the game-winner, completing the ignoble accomplishment.
April 30, 2011. A new meeting of these two teams in the Eastern Conference Semifinals begins. A few things have changed. Both teams have tinkered with their line-ups. Philadelphia didn't sneak into the playoffs, leading the league for much of the season. Both teams are healthier.
Everything else is the same. Animosity. Feelings of revenge. Visions of physicality. Seven possible games with the potential for revenge or further salt into that particular wound.