Are the Flyers Becoming a "Team of Destiny"?

Steve PrudenteCorrespondent IMay 13, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 12: Mike Richards #18 (third from left) of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a first period goal against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Wachovia Center on May 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is joined by (L-R) Kimmo Timonen #44, Simon Gagne #12 and Braydon Coburn #5. The Flyers defeated the Bruins 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The term "team of destiny" is often thrown around quite loosely and, according to the NHL's recent commercial spots, just about anyone (unless they're on the Philadelphia Flyers roster) can make history, even if it amounts to nothing in the end (see: Johan Franzen, Kevin Bieksa, Marc-Andre Fleury, et al).

If the Flyers win on Friday, it will be tough to argue that they are not a team of destiny, and they will definitely have made history.

In case you're not aware, the Flyers were once down three games to none in this best-of-seven Conference Semifinal Series against the Boston Bruins, but have now tied the series after a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night. What a difference one week can make.

With a win in game seven, the Flyers can write themselves into hockey history.

Let's put into perspective how improbable it is that the Flyers find themselves in this situation. A three games to none deficit has only been overcome in the NHL twice, most recently in 1975, when the New York Islanders did it to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Perhaps even more striking than that fact is that the last time a game seven was even played after a team went down three games to none was also in 1975, when, you guessed it, the Islanders lost in a seventh game to, who else, the Flyers.

The majority of the fans and hockey pundits certainly didn't expect this. But looking back on the Flyers' season, it's even more incredible they're in the position they're in.

They started out 3-0, but struggled through the rest of October and November. They replaced head coach John Stevens with Peter Laviolette. They sunk as low as 14th in the conference, but slowly climbed back into the playoff picture despite injuries to three different starting goalies and their top goal-scorer Jeff Carter.

In the end, their season came down to one game, which went all the way to a shootout before an outcome was decided. The Flyers prevailed, 2-1, and became the final team to secure a playoff berth.

There have been ups, there have been downs. There have been wins, there have been losses. They've been healthy, they've been hurt. But one thing has remained throughout: faith. That has carried the Flyers this far, and it's paid off.

The breaks may not have always gone their way, but the Flyers have always believed that they have a good team, and that they are destined to do great things.

Brian Boucher was sent to the Flyers to save the season, just the same as Michael Leighton was months before.

The Flyers were meant to exorcise the Devils in the first round, even after losing Simon Gagne and Carter (again) in the same game.

Gagne was meant to return to the lineup and restore the team and its fans' hope. Leighton was meant to save the season again in game five when Boucher went down. The Flyers were meant to climb out of a three games to none hole, and I don't know about how you feel, but I feel they're meant to finish the job.

I don't know what the near future is going to bring. No one knows. But I've certainly enjoyed the ride this team has taken its fans on all season. It has been agonizing at times, but this is the stuff that inspires people to be sports fans, and our faith shall be rewarded.

The team believes. We believe. We know we can win. It's our destiny.