Friday, April 9, 2010

Talking About Playoffs

For the second year in a row, the Flyers close out the regular season against the Rangers. Last season, the Flyers were fighting for home ice advantage. This year, they're fighting for their playoff lives, as are the Rangers. Two points for Philadelphia in these two final contests against New York, and they're in no matter what. Let's hope it goes better than last year.

You see, this time a year ago, I ate with the enemy, and the enemy won. The Flyers played like complete dog shit, giving up not one, not two, but three leads, ultimately losing 4-3 in regulation. All the Flyers needed was one point to secure home ice advantage. They didn't even get that much, which turned out to be huge — the Flyers got dismantled by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Penguins in the first round.

This year, there's even more on the line. As it stands, the Flyers currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with 86 points, just two ahead of the Rangers, and a point behind both Montreal and Boston. There are many different scenarios that can happen. If they lose both games in regulation, game over. No playoffs. If they manage just one point and Montreal loses its final game to Toronto, they're in. If the Bruins lose both their remaining games (highly unlikely, they play a terrible Carolina team tomorrow and finish up Sunday against the Caps, who very well could rest some players with the top seed all wrapped up), and the Flyers manage just one point, they're in.

But fuck all that noise. Really, this is all pretty simple. If the Flyers win just one of the two remaining games, they're in. Just like that. All they have to do is what they failed to do last season: Beat the Rangers at the end of the year. It's playoff time right now. Lose and you go home. Win and advance. It's not that complicated. It really isn't … so long as this team is motivated.

See, there's the caveat. With these guys, you just never know. Of course every time they take the ice, these players want to win. Everyone does, and that competitiveness is one of the factors that distinguishes professionals from amateurs. But over the course of the past two seasons, we've seen it time and time again that these guys aren't always focused on doing the little things to get it done, even when everything is on the line. Just take a look at last season: With everything to play for, they still couldn't even hold three leads against a team that had absolutely nothing to play for (the Rangers were locked into the 7th spot no matter what). And look back at the numerous missed opportunities to distance themselves from the pack this year.

Now they're fighting for their lives. And this time, they better show some fight. If this team can manage to get more than two points, they avoid Washington in the first round no matter what else happens, and that adds a little extra incentive to go out and win both games. Not that the Flyers have much hope of making a run or even winning a series regardless of who they play, but you never know. The Sabres have a great goaltender, but not a ton of scorers (though certainly enough). The Pens are a formidable bunch and the defending champs, but they also haven't played the most inspired hockey since the Olympic break. And the Flyers have beaten the Devils five out of six times this seasons, though it's never good see Martin Brodeur in the playoffs.

Regardless, the Flyers can't allow themselves to miss the playoffs. They just can't let that happen. Not after trading valuable young talent and draft picks for Chris Pronger. Not after firing their coach to spark the troops. Not after everyone vowing that last season's late collapse wouldn't happen again. And two losses to the Rangers to close out the season and miss the playoffs, while simultaneously boosting the hated rivals into the postseason, would be nothing short of a devastating collapse. And something I don't think I could handle, not after watching the Yankees dethrone the World Fucking Champions, not with the Rangers literally self-destructing for much of the season, not after this team climbed out of a terrifyingly awful start to jump from 14th all way up to 5th at one point. And not against the Rangers. Fuck those guys. All of them.

Fuck Mike Richter. Fuck Brian Leetch. Fuck Mark Messier and Adam Graves and Alexander Karpovtsev. Fuck Alexei Kovalev and Jeff Beukeboom and Glen Healy.

Fuck Sean Avery. Fuck Henrik Lundqvist. Fuck Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik and Olli Jokinen. Fuck Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival and Marc Staal. Fuck Aaron Voros. And most of all, fuck that raving douche John Tortorella.

Don't let these fuckers end your season. Please. I really don't think I could handle that. I need playoff hockey in my life, and I need it wit the Orange and Black in the picture. I can already tell the Phillies pitching staff is going to drive me crazy (beyond Roy, of course) all season long. I'd like to have a distraction from that for a little while. So go out there and win, for fuck's sake. I think after the way last season ended, you owe us all that much.

Note: Jeff Carter is a game-time decision. His presence certainly would be welcome.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. My son, you have insulted the church of Messier, Such blaspheme will cost you. For that the price to pay is watching the Flyers lose both of these games and miss the playoffs while the Rangers move onto the party.

  2. fuck Messier. One Cup without Gretzky. And he looks like Frankenstein. (He was all sorts of good though.)

  3. but remember he has one cup with out Gretz, Gretz has none without him.

  4. Flourtown's Mike Richter won that Cup and you know it. Yeah, a Philly boy.

  5. funny though how he's way more of a New Yorker though than a Philly guy. Pay that team respect son they wrecked shop that year.

  6. Next time ur up here and you see Mike's picture in my house you must bow to it and proclaim him the best goalie ever

  7. When did Patrick Roy change his name to Mike and why do you have a picture of him (or is it Martin Brodeur)?