Here is the pessimistic view of the Flyers' chances in the Stanley Cup Finals: In NHL history, only 6.1 percent (2 of 33) of the teams that lost the first two games on the road - as the Flyers did in Chicago - have won the title.
Here is the optimistic view: The Flyers overcame greater odds in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston. History told us that just 1.2 percent (2 of 161) of NHL teams had won a series after losing the first three games.
The Flyers, of course, won that series with four straight wins.
Hence, the Flyers, who started the Finals with 6-5 and 2-1 losses - games they could have won with a timely save or goal - have a base to build their hope.
"We've been there before. We've been down, 2-0. Even 3-0, so it's not like it's a new situation for us," left winger Simon Gagne said at Tuesday's news conference at the Wachovia Center. "We went though it."
It's a different dynamic," said defenseman Chris Pronger, comparing the Boston series with the current predicament, "but having that experience and knowing you can do it certainly helps."
The Flyers arrived home from Chicago about 2 a.m. Tuesday and did not practice during the day.
After a pair of one-goal defeats in Chicago - yes, they also lost each of the first two games against Boston by a goal - they are eager to meet the Blackhawks Wednesday at the Wachovia Center.
"The good thing now is we have a chance to come back here in Philly and play the next two games." Gagne said. "We have to focus on the game [Wednesday]. It's going to be the biggest game of the season for us."
The narrow losses in the first two Finals games conjure memories of the early results in the Boston series.
"There were a lot of close games in that series as well; a bounce here or a bounce there, and the games are going the other way," forward Jeff Carter said.
That's how the Flyers feel about this series.
"I think there's a lot of positives we can take out of it. Obviously we'd rather be up, 2-0 . . . but the main thing now is to play a full 60 minutes," said Carter, who doesn't seem as comfortable playing right wing as he did center. "We had spurts in Game 1, and the second half of Game 2 we played very well. We had a lot of chances."
If the Flyers play with urgency for a full 60 minutes in Game 3, "We should be all right," Carter said.
Added Carter: "Obviously, we'd like to be on the other end of those one-goal games, but we feel we're getting better. We're getting chances. It just comes down to bearing down in front of the net."
The Flyers held a team meeting Tuesday, and the focus was on continuing the strong play they exhibited in Game 2's third period - they outshot the Hawks, 15-4, and outscored them, 1-0 - and on how they were in a similar position against the Bruins.
"We were reminded of the Boston series, where we played well and did a lot of good things, [but] found ourselves down, 0-2," captain Mike Richards said. "It's not the time to get discouraged. It's not the time to try to do different things on the ice. I think if we keep plugging along the way we have been playing and doing the things we have been doing, the results are going to come."
Center Danny Briere, who leads the Flyers with 10 playoff goals, called the meeting "motivational."
"We talked a lot about what we've been through this year," he said. "And that we never make it easy on ourselves. But we think we play better when we're in that situation. We're feeling more comfortable when we're in those situations.
"What I like about our team is the way we respond when we put ourselves with our backs against the wall," Briere added. "We've overcome it before, and we're comfortable we can do it again."
Briere said "the situation we've put ourselves in demands desperation now. There's no doubt about it. But at the same time, you know we're coming back home, having the chance to play in probably the toughest building to play in the NHL on the road."