Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Airing of Grievances: Part II

Apparently I will be going to the Penguins vs. Flyers game on Thursday, December 17th. The Flyers have been playing like an AHL team for almost a month now, going 2-10-0 in their past 12 dating back to November 20th. While the Flyers have been slipping and sliding their way through November and December, the Pens have gone 8-2-1 during that span earning a tie for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and one point behind Washington for the best record in the East and the NHL overall. Obviously two teams at completely different ends of the spectrum with one team flying high and the other simply trying not to drown. A head coaching change has done little so far and it seems as if trades and player movement are on the horizon for the Flyers (but that's for another post).

Now when I go to the game on Thursday there won't be much talk at all amongst the fans about how poorly the Flyers have been performing or what it's going to take to change things. No, most of the talk will be about how Pittsburgh got lucky last year with second tier players and with a captain who would much rather dress up as Miss Coco Peru than check a competitor into the side boards. And this is what upsets me. Now I'm as big a Crosby hater as they come. I despise the very essence that is Sidney Crosby. And I love when you can clearly hear the "CROSBY SUCKS" chants through the TV and radio broadcasts and have participated in a few chants myself. But this is not at all the time to be cheering hatred for the opposing team or it's players.

With the way the Flyers have been playing recently, the fans need to be chanting "LET'S GO FLYERS" and show their support for the team they say they love. Stop being so concerned with the opposition and show your own team a little support. I'm not saying not to boo the Pens when they enter the arena or not to throw a mustard-drenched hotdog at a Pens fan wearing a Malkin jersey. Let the Penguins and their fans know you're there, but let them know by cheering loudly and wildly for your own team. And if the Flyers get ahead early, then you can throw a little "Crosby Sucks" in there, but not until then. If the Flyers go down a goal early or it's tied going into the second period, don't chant "CROSBY SUCKS." It just shows Pittsburgh and their fans that you hate the Penguins more than you love your Flyers, and that's not the way it should be.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? I Don't Think So.

December, for a college student, is far from the most wonderful time of the year. It is quite possibly the most stressful and mentally draining time of the year. Final exams and papers are piling up faster than you can even imagine and instead of seeing jolly, smiling faces around campuses you see exhausted, miserable students with blood coming out of their eyes. The Christmas season definitely changes when you leave home and go to college. Instead of counting down the days until winter break with a red and green construction paper chain, you have a daily planner counting down the days until you can sleep again without having visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, handing back your exams and papers with Cs, Ds and Fs on them and laughing in your face while they do it. There is no mistletoeing and no hearts will be glowing for a student with four exams in a three day span. And the only "tales of the glories" being told will be of that one semester where your friend passed all of his exams and only contemplated dropping out of school twice. The holiday season isn't the greatest time for any student, plain and simple. Work begins to pile up and it gets a little overwhelming. The only thing a student can do if force their way through it, study their ass off and promise themselves that it'll be over soon and that next semester will be better, no matter how empty those promises may be.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Not So Much

After the first game of the Flyers' November road trip, they have been playing absolutely dreadful hockey. They are 1-6-0 since beating the Kings on November 18th (literally a day before my Flying High post) and currently have a three game losing streak. They haven't scored a goal is seven straight periods and when they get on the power play, I'm scared that the opposing team is going to get a shorthanded goal rather than being excited about the possibility of scoring. There have been glimpses of quality play this year, but the team just hasn't been consistent enough to keep it up. It's time for changes to be made.

1) Fire John Stevens and Co.
The John Stevens era has been quite a roller coaster ride. He became head coach of the team, taking over for Ken Hitchcock, during the worst season in Flyers history. During his first full season as coach, he took the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals where they eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. And in 2008/2009 the Flyers had a first round exit this time, courtesy once again of the Pittsburgh Penguins. And the beginning of the 2009 season hasn't gone quite as planned either. There is so much talent on this team, and for them to be 10th in the conference and playing at a level like this is unacceptable. The players know it, the coaching staff knows it and the fans know it. I just don't know if the current coaching staff is the right one to fix the team's problems. It may be that Stevens has lost control of the locker room or maybe his system (if you can call it a system) just isn't working. Or maybe it's both? A change may really jump start this team and set them in the right direction. It worked for the Pens last year, why can't it work for the Flyers too?

2) "C" is for change
I believe that if a coaching change is made, Mike Richards should be relieved of his duties as captain. He hasn't shown that he is mature enough to be the captain of an NHL team. Now, when he was officially named captain I was all for it. He shows, on the ice, that he is a leader and will do whatever it takes to will his team to victory. But there's more to being a captain than on ice performance and attitude. A lot of what it takes to be a captain is shown in the locker room. A captain should take responsibility for his team and prove to his teammates that on and off the ice, this team is his team, and no one's going to mess with that. Chris Pronger has shown this year why he was a captain of the Anaheim Ducks. He has taken responsibility for the Flyers poor play and has stated that on ice changes will be made or there may be personnel changes instead. I'm not saying to make Pronger captain right now or this season for that matter, it just may be something to think about.

If something, anything, isn't changed this team could be in for a tough season. I hope they don't need to make any changes and they can turn it around like this never happened and make me sound like an idiot. It might me a personnel change like Pronger said, but whatever it is, it needs to happen soon or this losing streak could turn into 2006/2007 really fast.

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