Another year, another mostly passionless Stanley Cup playoffs for Western New York hockey fans.
With the Sabres out of the running, I usually like to root for the Canadian teams.
Obviously, that’s a problem. Not one Canadian team made the playoffs, and Canadian teams have filled a mere four of 20 quarterfinal spots over the past five years.
So the lone consolation this spring is the Flyers are on the verge of being eliminated by the Capitals. Thank God. One sporting prejudice from my youth I just can’t shake is the hatred of the Flyers. Didn’t like Kate Smith. Hated Bernie Parent. Then there’s the champion Flyers villain, who was and always will be Bobby Clarke, the super-talented punk who played dirty and hid behind his enforcers. Clarke’s thug takeout of Valeri Kharlamov in the 1972 Summit Series was his crowning punk achievement. Old grudges die hard. The Sabres’ rout of the Flyers in the 2001 playoffs didn’t even the score.
The Caps have outscored the Flyers, 12-2, through three games. Here’s hoping for a blowout and series sweep Wednesday.