Game 7, Take 2: Philly and Boston 

May, 14, 2010

Last night was strange, man. I clicked and clicked and clicked, but there were no playoff games to be found anywhere. For each of the last 29 days, we had at least one post-season battle. Last night, on that 30th day, the icemen rested. There were no games. I was left sitting in a comfy Connecticut cigar club with Barry Melrose and Steve Levy watching an NCIS rerun. Lovin' life, baby!

Well, we get back at it tonight. It's the last night of the second round. It's the last chance for the Boston Bruins to avoid be lumped in with the 1942 Detroit Red Wings and the 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins as the only teams in league history to lose a best-of-seven playoff series after winning the first three games.

In such a strange playoff spring (particularly in the East), I can't help but think the Philadelphia Flyers are going to complete their against-the-odds comeback tonight. The Bruins could certainly use a monster effort from rookie goalie Tuukka Rask. And, a few goals wouldn't hurt, either. The offensively-challenged Bs have lit the lamp only once in the last two games.

As I noted on Wednesday, the team that scores first will have recent history on its side. Including the Habs-Pens showdown, the club that scored first has won 64 of the last 82 Game 7s. I think it's particularly important for the Bruins to score first tonight. If they fall behind, the bad vibes might be tough to overcome in front of the home crowd.

A little more very recent history favors Philly. The visitors have won seven of the last nine Game 7s. We'll see if that trend holds true tonight.

For now, here are five thoughts for Friday.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.