Let's go Flyers.]]>
So tonight is game 6 in a very tepid Flyers-Rangers playoff series. Without a very genuine effort, the Flyers will be eliminated from the playoffs by their rivals. Not much else to say about tonight. Scott Hartnell has to find a way to contribute and the Flyers as a whole must capitalize on their power plays for them to have a chance to force Game 7.
Enough about the present. Let's talk about the past, shall we? Ahh, to think on hockey's past, days when young men could play their beloved sport without the interference of big media, corporate sponsorships and a connected fan base. There are many a great articles within Sports Illustrated's 'SI Vault' for you to relive Flyers past. Its good with your morning coffee and often times can help awake many dormant memories of ex-Flyers from days long ago. May we point you to an article from February 14, 1983. "The Doggone Bruins May Go All the Way", by Jack Falla it describes the plucky Bruins in their quest to secure Lord Stanley's Cup of that year. Led by the likes of Ray Bourque, Mike Milbury, Craig MacTavish (!) and ex-Flyers goalie Pete Peeters, this team of mostly nobodys got all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before the Islanders took care of them. The Isles would go on to win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup that year. The article goes into great detail about how the Bruins came about acquiring then Flyers goalie Pete Peeters (straight up trade for Brad McCrimmon). At the time, Peeters was an excellent goalie and McCrimmon a very dependable defenseman. At the time, then Bruins coach Gerry Cheevers called the trade "an out-and-out steal". Peeters had recently rattled off a 29 game unbeaten streak, only three off the all time mark for a goalie. Peeters was an All -Star and looked to have a very bright future in front of him. So why would Philadelphia trade away such a talented goalie? A normal person would tell you that Philly had Pelle Lindbergh waiting in the wings, poised to become the best Flyers goalie since Bernie Parent. We'll tell you something different. From the article, was this the real reason Peeters was traded?
Toward the end of last season in Philadelphia, the Flyers attended that city's hockey writers' annual dinner and roast at a time when Peeters was brooding over what appeared to be a delayed sophomore slump (his goals-against average would end up a disappointing 3.71). A writer playing the role of Peeters appeared on stage with a red goal-judge's light in his mouth. The next day, when the writer came into the Flyers' dressing room, Peeters and two teammates stripped him, dragged him into the shower and inserted a red bulb in such a way as to give him a taillight. The writer dropped plans to file charges when Peeters, cooling off, apologized. The only thing Peeters will say now about the incident is, "Coming on top of my bad year, I knew Yd be traded."
Now a few questions come to my head. First, which Flyers writer was the victim of this "tailighting"? Does this writier still work in the Hockey world? Which two Flyers helped Peeters wrestle, strip and insert a lightbulb into a butt? Goalies are a weird bunch, so if this a three man gang up, could it have been the work of Peeters, Pelle Lindbergh and Rick St. Croix? How is this not a part of Flyers folklore? Did the Flyers win the next game and if so, did this act become a superstitious pregame ritual? Do current Flyers players play full games with lightbulbs up their butts? Does getting 'taillighting' hurt? Can you imagine the outrage if this ever came to light with a current NHL team?
Personally, I think it very impressive that the beat writer accepted the apology, knowing full well the entire locker room must have been privy to what happened in that shower. I also hope that Peeters put the lightbulb into the butt screw cap first…
We'll probably never know which two teammates helped Peeters stick a lightbulb up someone's butt, but goddamit, we can dream can't we? That 82-83 Flyers team had some of the club's biggest stars on it: Clarke, Marsh, Jimmy Watson, Paul Holmgren, Bill Barber and Tim Kerr. I'll allow you to speculate on the tail lighting on your own time.
Hockey sure was different not too long ago. Maybe Scotty Hartnell needs to show up today with a big old 120W Bright White shoved up his keister to help the current club stay loose. Or maybe he's just into that sort of thing? Either way, I smell a new marketing strategy if and when the Flyers make it to Round 2 of the playoffs.
There are two morals of the story is: don't make fun of goalies, ever. And check the SI Vault because there are some untapped beauties waiting to be rediscovered.
Let's Go Flyers.
1. Both the Rangers and Flyers have had successes in this series when they control the neutral zone. Whatever team can move the puck easier will have the ice tilted in their favor.
2. The Rangers are very terrible
3. The Flyers seem to be living-or-dying with their special teams. If they can keep nullifying New Yorks Powerplays, the already anxious New York crowd will turn on the Rangers quickly.
4. The Flyers need, NEED to capitialize on their powerplays. They are a special teams team. This is a must-have for them to win 2 of the next 3.
5. Hal Gill. Holy shit Hal Gill is playing.
6. Hal Gill CAN be effective today. We need him to replicate Nik Grossman: shot blocking, clearing the porch and bringing a big physicality to the blueline. I think the Flyers have plenty of speed and finesse without Gustafsson. I could be TERRIBLY wrong. I hope I'm not.
7. Braydon Coburn is having a heck of a series. He is neutrilizing Rick Nash while being a very stable part of the Flyers D. Both Coburn and Striet have carried this defense and the Flyers need more of the same.
8. COME ON LIVERPOOL!
9. Coffee is very good, you should try it, it makes bolging way better.
10. Today is not a "must-win" and I hope that doesn't effect the Flyers mentality. We have seen a resiliant bunch this season, however we've also seen a team that can become disinterested easily.
11. The Rangers get last change again. This was very problematic in all of Game 1 and some of Game 2. Giroux will be shadowed by McDonagh all day so it'll be tough going for the Captain again. If he can't contribute with points, we'll need him to dominate in faceoffs and establishing a proper forecheck.
12. Scott Hartnell, you won't find a bigger fan of yours than the team at FGSB, but you need to be moved off of the 1st line for someone more dangerous. I nominate Jason Akeson or...well there isn't really anyone else. Can't break up Coots/Read. Schenn/Simmer/Vinny doens't make much sense either on the top line.
The Flyers can win at MSG, we've seen that. If they execute as well as they did in Game 4, we could be seeing the Flyers eliminate New York in their own barn. Let's Go Flyers.]]>
If you are still with me, you know this is the only way this post would end. Get shots through to Hank. Win the board battles and send these blue shirt wearing dorks back to their shitty hellhole.
Claude Giroux will deliver it to ya tonight. Don't get it twisted.Let's Go Flyers.]]>
Tonight the Flyers embark on a quest to win their third Stanley Cup. Their first task in accomplishing that goal is to beat their long time rival the New York Rangers. The Blueshirts are a very hard team to draw in the Quarters and this matchup does not particuarly bode well for the Flyers. New York has the advantage in Goal and on the Blueline, however the ice tilts in Philly's favor on the offensive side. In order for Philly to overcome New York they need to be a disciplined, patient team. That…that usually doesn't happen.
New York is a very quality hockey team. They are capable of going on a deep run in this new playoff format, and are one of the only Eastern Conference teams that matches up well with the Boston Bruins. They have a defensive core that all Flyers fans should be jealous of. They have excellent wingers but not great centers. Rick Nash is an explosive forward who can change the game with his bullheaded rushes and silky hands. The Rangers have a lot of good things, things all Stanley Cup contenders need. They are missing one thing. They do not have the best player on the ice in this series. Not by a long shot.
This series can be summed up nicely: It begins with Giroux. It will end with Giroux.
Those are Philly's chances in this series. As X goes, so goes Philly's offense. He is the main force on special teams and at even strength. The Flyers may need him to steal home ice away with some late game magic. He is certainly capable of doing so. We saw Giroux carry a similar team against he Penguins in 2011. We saw Giroux take a 1-7 hockey team and turn them into a playoff dark horse. We saw Giroux become a top 3 scorer in the league after starting the season what felt like 100 games without a point. This series is a collection of conundrums for the Flyers. To be opportunistic but don't try to force "it". To be careful but not passive. To be aggressive but not take penalties. How Berube arranges his chess pieces and his game by game strategy are a huge item to watch. Via, Frank Seravalli, Berube has already stated that they Flyers will attack NYR defenseman Ryan McDonagh in a peculiar way. We can only wait and see what other type of tactics the Chief has cooked up for this series. I worry about not about the tactic of trying to neutralize the Rangers best defenseman like this, I worry about staying committed to the tactic. If the Rangers score early does this type of strategy get abandoned prematurely?
This will be a Patrick Division battle. I fully expect this series to go 6 or 7 games . If the Flyers can capitalize on special teams and keep their system simple, they will take a huge Penn Station homeless man on the 2 train dump on the Rangers. If the Rangers frustrate the Flyers with stellar goaltending and a tight counter attack, then the Rangers will take a huge Penn Station homeless man on the C train dump on the Flyers.
It''ll be Claude Giroux and the Flyers moving on after this battle is over. I have no doubt. Let's turn this bolg R-rated for a real quick second and give the Rangers a massive Sbarro-loving, MTA riding, booger eating tax riding, no good music venue in the city anymore having, too many Starbucks and wheres the local coffee needing, gentrification all over the place for rich europeans to invest in needing, all the girls never talk to me at bars they are dummies, big dumb overrated city with a terrible hockey team. Fuck the Rangers.
Feels good to be back baby. Let's Go Flyers.
This is a straight up cut and paste job, except that I had to retype this whole thing because it was written back in the day when books were printed on paper. What's up with that?
I've been reading this excellent book about the 1980-81 Oilers for the past couple years (slow reader) and recently came across a great section that made me actually LOL. I can't believe things were exactly the same THIRTY years ago, and the hockey news industry as continued to chug along like there's no other way to handle the situation.
From Peter Gzowski's The Game of Our Lives:
"With broadcasters and the press, Fuhr showed a still more remarkable facet of his personality. He would answer question as if he had never learned the language of "the interview" - the ritual by which hockey players would phrase wordy and predictable answers to wordy and predictable questions. Fuhr answered what was asked of him, no less but certainly no more. Asked if he found NHL play much tougher than Junior A, he would not say, as the ceremony demanded, "Well they're faster here and they shoot harder and I'm playing against guys I used to read about and dreamed of playing against, but I just try to do my job one game at a time; and if I hang in there I think…" Instead he answered "No." Had it surprised him when Sather had shown so much faith in him? "No, not really." Well, did he like playing on the same team as Gretzky and the other young stars? "Sure" he would say and look quizzically at his interrogator, as if the question had not been serious. There was no arrogance in these exchanges; Fuhr simply talked the way he played goal - coolly and giving up no easy rebounds."
For some reason I had always assumed that guys were more open to journalists 30 years ago. Smoking cigarettes with them on the tarmac, sharing stories in front of them over a few too many rye at the hotel bar.
It seems, however, that reports have been asking the same questions forever. Questions whose responses I'm sure they could write without even having to go through the formality of the interview.
What a silly, wasteful little dance.
There were two fights after this one, but Dorsett was the big threat. The guy who was going to start trouble if real trouble was going to be started. And Simmonds stepped in for the preemptive strike. And scored a big win.
Here's hoping Simmonds' continues to step in when needed, providing the kind of team toughness that allows the Flyers to ice the most skilled lineup possible, night in night out.
Jeff Carter's high and wide shot
I see no reason why Jeff Carter's treason
Should ever be forgot…
Let's Go Flyers.