THOUGHTS ON GAME 1
At that point, a fellow writer walked by me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "The natives are getting restless."
That they are. It's because they saw a Game 1 loss to an inferior team. It's because the team didn't care about hockey for a month and that frustrated them to no end.
It's because they now are letting their instinct kick in - the same instinct that always tells Flyers fans in the Spring to panic after following the Stepford mantra through 82 games.
It's certainly understandable.
But, it's also a bit of a rash response.
The Flyers dictated the play for much of the game. They controlled the puck. They out-hit the Sabres. They out-worked the Sabres. They out-everythinged the Sabres except for in two places - on the scoreboard and in the crease.
And while those are two very important aspects to a hockey game - and the blatantly obvious reason the Flyers are trailing the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 1-0 - they are not the most tell-tale signs from this game.
No, the most telling thing to me, is the Flyers are the better team - by a lot.
All they need to do is find a way to score a few goals.
Sounds simple, but it's not all that hard - especially if they continue to dictate the defensive game. The Sabres got very few chances. Very few. Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves and I had to do a double-take when looking at the scoresheet, because it didn't seem like that many - not even close.
Meanwhile, the Flyers were buzzing around Miller and got a lot of good first shots, they just didn't pounce on rebounds - that might be the one area they look to improve at practice.
But, that said, if the Flyers play games 2-through-whatever like they played Game 1, they'll win this series with relative ease.
Miller stole one game - even if he wasn't the first star (this writer thought James van Riemsdyk was more impressive on the ice) - and he could steal another one along the way.
But the Sabres can't compete with the Flyers when their system is rolling - and that was evident for much of Game 1.
And here's the belief that it'll be evident the rest of the way too.