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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Step Right Up and See the Philadelphia Flyers Lose... Again

It's Playoff time!  It's time for the best teams to show what they are made of, and time for the Flyers to talk about it!

Let's be honest here.  Do you know what we like about the Flyers?  Nothing.

The entire franchise is "that guy" whom has been in the same stool, at the same bar for the last umpteen years, telling the same ridiculously tired stories about how he sexed up cheerleaders and has pummeled all sorts of loud mouths and braggarts in his day.  Yet, in all the time that you have made his acquaintance, you have never once seen him with a woman, and he has exactly zero evidence of actually being a tough guy.

Yes, that guy is the Flyers.  Sure you have heard stories that they actually did employ some rough and tumble types in the past, and they did actually win something... in 1975, but...  what have they done in the last 35 years?  We can sum it up with two words: 1.) Jack. 2.) Squat.

The team that boasts a moniker of "The Broad Street Bullies", and eggs their own fanbase on to refer to themselves as "the most intimidating" fans in hockey, should at least stir a bit of fear into opponents, right?

Sadly, no.  Philadelphia is getting their behinds handed to them by the Bruins.  Rather than dig in and play to do something to change their fortunes, their payers create a distraction from reality.  They are not ready for the big top, so they open up a side show.

Enter the carnival barker: Daniel Carcillo.
Thing is, no one will ever know what happened during the second-period exchange between Flyers agitator Daniel Carcillo and Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard because there were so many bodies and equipment in the way... "He bit me," Carcillo said. "Last time I have been bit was in grade school. It's not a good feeling and it's pretty cowardly."

Carcillo was then asked if he was surprised.

"That he bit me?" Carcillo wondered. "Yes. Guys don't bite. Men don't bite."
 Of course Savard had a different version of the story.  On a side note, was Scott Hartnell hiding his head when Carcillo  stated:  "Men don't bite."?

When asked about the incident the next day:

"I'm just worried about the game. I'm not going to get into all those side things," said Savard.

Carcillo, too, took a pass when asked if there'd be repercussion from the supposed bite.
"We'll see what happens. I don't want to talk too much," said Carcillo with a slightly ominous tone.

... later: "I'm not making a big deal about it. It's last game and it's over," Carcillo said, before grinning. "Hopefully I get matched up against his line."
Meanwhile, defenseman Chris Pronger promised more aggressive play in general from the Flyers for tonight's matchup.

"With the way they called things in the first round, maybe we kind of backed off a little bit in the first couple of games just to see how they'd call it, but we've got to make that adjustment to play with the passion and energy an excitement that we do play with," said Pronger....
Despite all of his bravado, ominous tones and grins, Carcillo had 2 shots on goal, no points, 0 PIMS, and was a minus-1 for Game 3.

Pronger's promise? 1 shot on goal, no points, 0 PIMS, and was a minus-1 for Game 3.

All of this is not to say that Carcillo, Pronger or the Flyers couldn't become what they hope that the rest of the league believes them to be.  They, like the rest of the team, have legit talent. If every guy on the team was Ian Laperriere, they would be truly tough. Their fans are passionate, if not loyal. 

Yet, they all (the team, fans and even local media) fall victim of same deflating truth: They value image over substance. Suspensions and misleading reputations over victories and real grit. The sideshow over the big top.

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