As is frequently the case, in the big games, it is all about creating your ‘luck’. But in sports fan-dom (sitting in your canapé or reading BBC.co.uk, etc), you win some and you lose fun (oops, I meant ‘some’).
The Reds of Liverpool (my team in the English Premiership) locked horns with Chelsea in the European Cup semi-finals for the third time in four years. It is impressive to think that the opponents of the semi-finals of such an international tournament can virtually become a franchise rivalry. Nonetheless, unlike the first two encounters where Liverpool, playing away the first leg, finished up on top, Tuesday’s home goal concession — an own goal in injury time — and a 1-1 score will likely prove fatal. John Arne’s Riise’s header into his own goal FIVE minutes into injury time will surely haunt him and the team leading up to next Wednesday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge. Both goals in the game were from errors rather than good plays. Sometimes, it is just about capitalising on your luck…
Virtually at the same time, the only other professional team I follow, the NHL Flyers of Philadelphia, playing against the Washington Capitals, managed to overcome the tide of momentum–having given up a 3-1 series lead and several leads in games–to eek out a 3-2 win in OT in Game 7. Heroics, great goaltending and grit. Good ole hockey saw the Flyers capitalise over Caps. The Flyers had to overcome some odds as well: Previously, Biron was 0-5 playing in the second night of consecutive games. Lupul, who scored the game winner, hadn’t scored a point in the entire series. And the Flyers, who had a franchise worst ever, NHL basement record last year are into the second round.
Now, the next round brings up the redoubtable Montréal Canadiens — my ex-home team. Bonne chance, mes amis!
I welcome some banter (taunts and progmostics) from my old friends and colleagues in Montréal–or any Habs fans for that matter! For myself, I believe if the Habs dont win in 6 or better, it will be a surprise.
And, as for Liverpool, they are facing a titanic uphill battle considering their record at Stamford Bridge. My prediction: 0-0 on Wednesday, therefore Blues over Reds. Anyone care to forecast differently?
Slyevisha stantia, Mosckva!
I assume you didn’t see that Game 7 over on your side of the pond Minter. It was a barn burner but, seriously, the Caps were robbed and the Broad Street Bullies were given a gift by horrific officiating. In the first game of the second round, the Habs really outworked and outplayed the Flyers much more than the score sheet reflected. In the last two games, however, the Flyers defense has been formidible! They are keeping those pesky, little, and fast Habs forwards on the outside looking in. I actually bet on the Habs to make it to the conference final and am now doubting the wisdom of my choice. Biron played like a hero out of a saga of old in front of the home town crowd and that other francophone at forward, Briere, has been electric. Having said all this, I am expecting the storied Habitants to rebound and steal the thunder in Philly tonight!
Hi C’est Moi, no I don’t get to see any of the games over here (didn’t sign up for any super cable program). So, I have to go with what I read. The Habs have gotten themselves into a big hole if they are to get out of this one… two games in two nights… More hard fought hockey ahead. Go Flyers!