Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Flyers Fan Point of View

'F-DA Rangers' here folks, long time no talk. I would like to tell you about the afternoon we spent in the Garden today, courtesy of The Dark Ranger himself as part of a well timed trip up to NYC.

As TDR and I were discussing pregame, I couldn’t help but notice the pessimism and complete lack of confidence in his voice, considering that both teams were within a couple points of each other before the puck dropped. This is Dark’s usual approach to our Ranger/Flyer rivalry, he plays up the Flyers, downplays his Rangers, so that way he is either right, or pleasantly surprised when the Rangers win (Dark, I’m on to you). So I shrugged off this normal tactic and entered the Garden feeling upbeat about my team’s chances, soaking in the pregame rituals and video montages and even feeling a bit of respect and possibly envy as I watched Messier hoist (and memorably shake) The Cup in ’94. Hey, it’s been 34 years since that’s been done in Philly, long overdue (I digress into a state of deep depression….)

The puck dropped, the teams looked even early, and two observations quickly became apparent. First, the place was quiet. I mean dead quiet, no cheering, no standing up, no Flyers Suck chats, but even stranger was the lack of discussion amongst the Ranger fans surrounding us. No spirited talk of this losing slump, no angry dudes cursing the Flyers in anticipation of a good bloodbath – maybe we were in a dead section, but you know something is wrong when you can hear the players shouting clearly from 30 rows up. I’ll remind you this was when it was still 0-0 and looking even. So I found myself looking down at the Blueshirts on the ice, and my second observation became crystal clear – this is a team without a star or chemistry worth getting hyped up about.

All that bitching about Jagr and – poof – he’s gone, leaving a gaping void. No one playing the part of skin crawler Avery or Barnaby. No crazy legs skater dumping and chasing or a possessed madman storming the boards, looking for a skull to crack. They looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now I haven’t been watching hockey this season like normal, but hey, I have about 25 years of serious hockey knowledge, and aside from a normally decent goalie in Lundqvist, a lukewarm at best Gomez, and an understated Captain in Drury, I’m sitting here having trouble remembering anyone else’s name I watched today!

So I think I owe Dark an apology, as his negative demeanor toward the team was apparently shared by 18,000 other people today, and clearly reflected in everyone’s lack of support for their team.

So no surprise what happened out there today. Flyers fed off that anti-energy, that ambivalence, and the hero, Captain Mike Richards, did what he does best and made it 2-0 while shorthanded TWO skaters. And then he almost did again. And then naturally they scored 3 more at even strength while the Rangers learned what it feels like to get hit in the back of the head with a lead pipe, Philly style. Knockout punch without even needing the goons. I had goosebumps, and fortunately there some Philly faithful in the Garden showing some emotion, because it wasn’t happening with those Ranger fans, and I can hardly blame them. Later in the 2nd, there were finally signs of life from Ranger Nation whenever #6 got the puck, allowing the audience to vent all frustrations on one guy who isn’t living up to his contract, and then I also enjoyed the “Fire Renney” chant because it sounded to me like they were all saying “Flyers Plenty” and asking for mercy, or I thought it might be “Flyers Handy” like they really came in handy today, but that didn’t make any sense – I just liked it because they were chanting for the Flyers, because clearly they were the only team worth chanting for today. Flyers packed it in during the 3rd and basically conceded 2 goals in exchange for some 4th line practice, some new pairings, and trying out opposite handed sticks for the fun of it, clearly content to take the 2 and the knowledge that it’s really just NJ and Boston to worry about in the conference.

I enjoyed this game immensely, but I do hope the Rangers can figure out what’s wrong, and add a little spice into the lineup, make things at least interesting next time? I’m making sure to watch the Flyers play the Caps, Penguins, and Devils before the Rangers these days, and that’s just sad, so let’s start talking. Who is gonna step it up and lead your team? Can a trade make all the difference?

Is anyone even talking about this team? Hello….Wake Up…..HELLO <<>> (sound of lead pipe to Ranger Nation’s head)

F-Da Rangers


  1. 1) Love 'The Hammer' pic! What a great era in the NHL! Those guys couldn't skate worth a darn compared to today, but it sure was entertaining to watch!
    2) As for the Garden being quiet. They, like Philly have knowledgeable fans. They can detect(and have long ago) that this team is missing something. Call it heart or chemistry,etc, but they are not a team most are excited about right now.
    3) If not for their very fast start and great OT/SO records they'd be out of the playoff picture right now. Renney's days (if not hours) have to be numbered!

  2. We have nothing left in the passion-pipes, F-Da.

  3. you will not find any disagreement mr. flyers fan. i am a lifelong rangers fan but we are a tired group of rangers fans. faux is right because we see what is happening. the game sunday and last night is a result of a team that is not improving. we probably won't even compete against the islanders tomorrow night. hell if they lose tomorrow we won't have any energy left. the hot dogs and beer at msg are the only things keeping us attached to the 100 bucks per game we spent on tickets. it's hard to compete when you don't know how to score and you have lackluster defensemen. cheers to the flyers.


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