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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

Overtime, over tired
A three-period hockey game goes into five overtimes. Looks like I'm going to have another hockey hangover.

It's 3 a.m. Friday and I can't sleep, even though I have to be up in an hour to go to work.

Looks like I'm going to have another hockey hangover. This time, blame it on the Stars and those darn Ducks.

With less than three minutes to go in regulation play, it looked like Anaheim was going to continue its amazing run toward Lord Stanley's Cup with a 3-2 upset of Dallas at home. Then Brendan Morrow stuffed one past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to tie the game.

No big deal, I thought, sleepily flipping the channels and yawning. I'll just catch the OT. This shouldn't last long.

After this past week of watching the Flyers in three overtime games, I should have known better.

Five overtimes, three hours and no coffee later, former New Jersey Devil Petr Sykora got a gift pass from former Flyer Adam Oates and beat Marty Turco of Dallas to finally win the game.

Welcome to playoff hockey, my favorite sports time of the year.

Only this year, the games have been really pucked up. How else can you explain hockey games that last longer than major league baseball games?

Not that I'm complaining. This is what hockey is all about. Hard hitting, great passing, sharp shooting, unbelievable goaltending. That's what wins you the Cup.

It's also what my Flyers seem to lack in earnest. This year's team seems to react to its opponent, rather than control the tempo and outcome of the game.

They play great when their backs and other body parts are against the wall and a big forecheck is looming. But somehow, they seem to lose that edge when given the advantage.

In fact, I trust the Flyers more on a penalty kill than I do a power play. They simply pass the puck around inside too much the zone looking for a perfect opportunity that seems to never come. But when there's no time to think, they react instinctively and let shots fly at the net.

It's a shame, really. This should be their year to bring the silver back home to Philly.

With the Red Wings and Avalanche knocked out in the first round, the only recent cup-holders left in contention are right across the Delaware. But the inconsistent way the Flyers are playing, combined with the beating they took from Toronto, makes it doubtful they'll see the Devils in the next round.

My pick for the finals - Vancouver, whose roster looks like an all-star game lineup, and the Devils, with the Canucks capturing the Cup in six hard-fought games.

Somebody wake me up when we get there.


  • Broad Street Bully.com
  • Flyershistory.com
  • Flyerszone.com
  • Orangeandblack.net
  • PhillyFlyers.com
  • Black2Orange.com
  • FlyersPhans.com
  • Official Flyers fan club site
  • Flyers goaltending history
  • Flyersalumni.com


I don't understand all of the excitement of the NFL draft this year.

I mean, it's not as if many of these rookies are going to make a huge impact on their new teams this year. In fact, it could take as long as three years for the newbies to get enough seasoning for them to be starters, let alone meaningful contributors.

But with the talent drain the Eagles suffered this off-season, I sincerely doubt that the additions of Jerome McDougle and L.J. Smith will make up for the losses of DE Hugh Douglas, linebacker Shawn Barber, punt returner Brian Mitchell and punter Sean Landeta.

And they still have yet to find anyone who catch the missiles that a healthy Donovan McNabb can fire into the numbers. 

Coach Andy Reid and the Birds can spin this off season any way they want, but they still will take the field at Lincoln Financial Park on Sept. 8 against the Buccaneers with less of a team than with which they closed Veterans Stadium.

Hopefully, that game will be a wakeup call.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at . To read his previous columns, click here.

April 28, 2003