Game 7 Is Not My Favorite Thing

April 22, 2008

If the Flyers are as tense as I am, there’s not much hope for them tonight. But I don’t think they are. They’re alive and kicking and ready to play tonight. I have to convince myself of this. It may require bourbon.

Why will the Flyers win tonight? Fast start. Kill the energy of the Johnny-come-lately red-clad fans and infect the Caps with the same frustration they felt in games 2 and 3.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards will be animals. Danny Briere will take the huge fire that burns in that tiny body and score two or more. Being on the road will work to the Flyers advantage. Them against the world.

Does any of this make any sense? No of course not. But as FlySkippy said on HockeyBuzz.com today, “We are fans of the team, not of the record.” So there’s really no choice for Flyers fans but to strap in and get ready for the roller-coaster ride.


Games 3 & 4–The Crowd Experience

April 18, 2008

So we’ve seen what the Washington media and owner thinks of our little Flyers Caps series, but what is it like to be there? Oh my little kittens, you have no idea!

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Overtime Hodgepodge

April 18, 2008

I don’t know if an owner should do this, but laugh with me at Ted Leonsis’s playoff diary. He is foolish enough to suggest his wife and daughter wouldn’t be safe in a luxury suite in the Wachovia Center. Unless he’s bringing along members of the great unwashed to sit in his box and throw back some brews, there’s really no risk there.

While Ted may be forgiven for being a bit on the clueless side, this guy is paid to write about hockey, so there’s no excuse for him. Is he the only person in the building who didn’t know that when a penalty is called and the crowd chants “asshole,” the object of their ire is the official? Someone should strip him of his apparently ill-gotten media credential. I do realize that Caps fans are new to the excitement of playoff hockey, but for a sportswriter to make this kind of error? Of course, he’s probably more a PR person than a sports person.

This comes just a day after Mike Wise in the Washington Post embarrassed himself crossing from basketball to hockey and showing his complete lack of understanding of the game. The incitement is obvious, but his attempts to play the whole thing off as meant to be funny shows either desperation (I don’t want to look foolish so I’ll pretend I was trying to be funny) or a complete lack of ability (because it isn’t funny, even if you’re a Caps fan).


Bad Reffing on the Way

April 6, 2008

Apparently, Michel Therien had trouble with the officiating in the Pens game with the Flyers on Wednesday. That’s rich. Unless he was complaining about his own player not being called for butt-ending Scott Hartnell in the face and exploding his nose with no call, I can’t see where he’s coming from.

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NHL Finally Gets What It Wants

April 6, 2008

The NHL really wanted tight playoff races. It wanted every game to count. But it couldn’t have dreamed of a scenario like the one it had this year, with races for a number of playoff spots not decided until the last week of the season, and in the case of the Southeast Division, the last game of the season. Read the rest of this entry »


Flyers Get So Much Right

March 28, 2008

Tonight the Flyers held their second session (the first was last Thursday) of a Season Ticket Holder special event. A fairly small group of fans (I’m not good at these estimates, but I’d be surprised if it were as many as 200), who’d reserved their spots with customer services, was welcomed to dinner (split between the Cadillac Grill and the Lexus Club) and to a series of four question and answer opportunities, with:

  • GM Paul Holmgren,
  • Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor and Director of Scouting Don Luce,
  • Customer Service Senior Director Cindy Stutman and Senior Manager Melissa Keeler, and
  • President Peter Luukko and Senior Vice President, Operations Shawn Kilger

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The First Shoe?

March 19, 2008

Last week, the Flyers sent out season ticket packages for the 2008-09 season. There was a price increase, not that unusual, although with a salary cap and a still not quite competitive team, while the economy moves into recession, it may be a harder sell than they expect.

But the big surprise, and a very unpleasant one, was that they are moving the entire first row of fans, many of whom have had those seats since the beginning of Flyers history, to create a premium seating row with a much higher price than the lower bowl and built in (without a choice offered) concession value.

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Rooting for a Merciful End

March 17, 2008

Looking at this it’s becoming more and more likely the freefalling Philadelphia Flyers will be spending April on vacation, not in the playoffs. And I have to admit, I’d rather not spend good money to see this ragtag mess get dominated in the first round.

Of course, my feelings about the play of the team aren’t being assuaged by the actions of the front office. Awaiting me in the mailbox yesterday was the season ticket brochure for 2008-09. I guess now we know why they announced the price increase so early. They want a down payment on next year by April 15. This isn’t exactly good timing. They might have better luck waiting until the bad taste is out of season ticket holders’ mouths from this disastrous second half before they ask for a deposit on next year.

Let’s see.

Bad collapse at end of season. Check.

Moving long-time season ticket holders, some charter season ticket holders, out of the first row to cash in. Check.

Asking season ticket holders to put a deposit on seats before the playoff refunds can be processed. Check.

What a way to celebrate spring.


3.7 Seconds

February 24, 2008

What a night. To get so far in a game, having 1 goal hold up. Seeing Mike Richards go down with an injury and having the building go so quiet you’d have thought the pope had died. Not long after to have little Scottie Upshall shout “Give me those Richards minutes” with a crushing body check. And then, in the last minute, with the crowd going absolutely wild supporting the effort and finally ending this damned losing….but oh no Flyers fans. You must suffer more deeply. Hockey sucks.


Hockey Day in Philadelphia

February 9, 2008

Today is Hockey Day in Canada, which is my favorite holiday. I love watching (thank you, NHL Center Ice) the Hockey Night in Canada crew bringing the game, and all its faces–young, old, pro, amateur, boys, and girls–to show how wonderfully rich the game makes Canada (and those of us who are hockey mad, if not Canadian).

My hockey day started with a special event courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers. As a season ticket holder, I put my name in the hat to be a so-called “Benchwarmer.” About 10 days ago I got a call from the Flyers that I’d won the lottery and would be allowed to sit on the Flyers bench during warmups for today’s Flyers game. When I mentioned I had only one seat, but would like to bring arena neighbors, they were kind enough to let me bring two.

 So today I was joined by my friend Mickey Melchiondo of Ween (site warning! occasionally inappropriate for youth) and his friend George for our adventure in benchwarming. After tromping down into the bowels of the Wachovia Center, we walked down the tunnel to the bench. We were warned to stay seated on the bench, in order to avoid being high sticked by passing players.

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