Tell me if this sounds familiar: It’s late January, the Eagles season just ended prematurely and the Sixers are mediocre. Why not show a little respect to the Orange and the Black [Editors note: that rhymed]?
The water cooler talk at work and on sports radio is all about what the Eagles should change in the off-season and who we would prefer the Phillies to beat to win their third World Series title. Maybe a little love for hockey, eh?
Ladies and gentlemen, the Nakey Nine: Nine Reasons To Get On Board With This Flyers Squad.
1) This team is really, really good – To change up a great line from Ron Burgundy in Anchorman “This team is good, I mean real good. Hey everyone! Come and see how good they are!” Ok, maybe that’s not the exact quote; but you get the point. ,The Flyers are currently tied with the Vancouver Canucks for first in the NHL in points and they show no signs of slowing down. If you decide to give a team a chance, it’s a lot more enjoyable when they are winning. That leads me to the next point…
2) Presidents’ Trophy – The team that ends the season with the most points in the NHL is awarded the Presidents’ Trophy. Obviously it means nothing come playoff time; but it’s a nice piece of hardware to put in the trophy case at the Wells Fargo Center. The award was introduced in the 1985-1986 season and the Flyers have never captured it.
3) Lavs – Coach Peter Laviolette came to the Flyers in December 2009 and almost immediately turned them into a powerhouse. His stern, no nonsense demeanor just stinks of hockey. It doesn’t hurt that everything he has touched since coming to Philadelphia has turned to gold.
4) Briere-Leino-Hartnell (Two Men and a Briere)– This line has surprisingly morphed into one of the NHL’s best. Not since the days of the Legion of Doom (Mid 90’s line compiled of Eric Lindros, John Leclair, and Mikael Renberg) have the Flyers had such an overwhelming line. Broad Street Hockey is tackling the nickname issue.
5) Prong’s Return – You remember Chris Pronger; he was the story of last year’s playoffs with his stellar, somewhat bullying play. Well, he has been sidelined since December 15th after having surgery on his injured foot. Surprisingly, the Flyers didn’t miss a beat. Now that they have hit their stride; they could be scary good with one of the best defenders in the league returning tomorrow night.
6) Bouche vs. Bob – These two goaltenders have been playing lights out all season. Bob started the season out winning game after game and then Bouche took the reigns. It looks as though Lavs will continually go with the hot hand (Who am I to argue with him?). Put simply, you win you play. Go get ‘em boys.
7) In Claude We Trust – In the Stanley Cup run of 2010, the world was introduced to Flyers winger Claude Giroux. He has not disappointed in his follow-up act as he was chosen to his first All-Star game. Watching this guy reminds me of a young Peter Forsberg, he is a magician with the puck.
8) Dominance vs. the Atlantic Division – We all know it’s a fantastic feeling to own your closest rival, how about owning your four closest rivals? This year the Flyers have a 12-1-1 record against their foes in the Atlantic Division. Enough said.
9) Jody Shelley – Fighting is a part of the game. People may whine about how it's bad sportsmanship and how we should be more evolved then watching goons slug it out on ice. Spare me. If people were REALLY offended by fighting, then the UFC would be out of business. Jody Shelley was signed in the off-season to bring some toughness to the team. Ok, he may not be the best fighter in the league, but it seems as though he has at least one fight every game. Win or lose, it’s entertaining.
There you have it, nine reasons to give the Flyers a chance in this lull period in sports. The Eagles are done and the Phillies are a month away from starting up (and the Sixers stink). Let’s get behind this team and start making some noise. What’s your other option? American Idol?