Hey guys!!! Remember me??! I remember you!!! And I like you!!!
I agreed to write this recap because I kind of wanted an excuse to watch the Flyers again, and because I like writing for places that allow me to mention poop in the opening paragraph. So here we go: "poop."
That felt nice.
What didn't feel so nice was watching this hockey game. The Flyers won, and that's fine, but it all felt sort of pointless. What I've loved about watching and following and caring about the Flyers for the past 20 years of my life (I actually bandwagoned the Penguins for a bit when I was a little kid because 1. The Flyers sent my favorite player Rick Tocchet there and; 2. Kids suck) is that they've always played relevant hockey.
The Flyers have been a "win now" team who wins always, and it's made watching them a thorough pleasure. Even in that one other season in which they missed the playoffs in the past 20 years (2006-07), they were so bad that they earned themselves a 30th place record and the most lottery balls. So that was something.
But the 2012-13 (or just 2013 Flyers) are like Quantum of Solace, a bad sequel that doesn't make sense whatsoever as a standalone entity and never really got started. These Flyers haven't gotten to sleep with the girl or kill the villain. Maybe playing mild spoiler tonight is sorta like killing the villain, but really, the Winnipeg Jets getting a playoff spot doesn't really reflect particularly well on anybody.
I'm not sure where I'm going with any of this, so let's just get to the bullet points where I always did my best work (not "after the jump," because this new format doesn't even have jumps and is weirding me out...)
- Had the immense pleasure of watching this game with renowned hockey blogger Travis Hughes, and I asked him several time why these Flyers suck when last year's Flyers, which really weren't that different, didn't. His answer mostly had to do with defense, and stuff like that, which is a really unsexy reason not to be good. My reason? Apparently Danny Briere isn't hosting any French Canadian youngins in his enormous home this year, per Travis. The F?? Those floor hockey games, and the relentless heckling of the houseguest by his kids, were clearly the glue that held this team together. I'm not sure why it wasn't written into his contract that he always had to host somebody, but it's clearly torn this team apart.
- It wouldn't be Flyers hockey in April without goalie uncertainty! Unfortunately this time it's not about who is going to play in the playoffs, but who is the goalie of the future. Apparently people are mad at Bryz because he gets sleepy sometimes when he's sitting down. WHO DOESN'T. Seeing that they don't even have the back-up goalies opening doors anymore, there's really no reason for him to be awake. I say Keep the guy, because he's been good in meaningful games, of which there haven't been many this year.
- Gimmicks are awesome, which is why the Schenns should play together on the same line or pairing. Yes, I realize that they play different positions, but one of them should just suck it up and make the switch. ALSO on the Schenns, they need first initials on their jerseys. Not having that is just stupid. It defeats the point of nameplates if you're not totally sure who the guy is.
- Evidently this team could still make the playoffs, mathematically. But they won't, which makes this whole stretch really unsatisfyingly purgatorial. It's this horrible no-win situation that is just awful and I hate and I wish it didn't have to happen and why isn't this team good?
- Of course, there is still a lot to like about the Flyers, regardless. Like Kimmo Timonen. Dude is 97 years old and still getting it done. Respect. I have no idea how he's not using a walker out there, much less scoring goals. What I don't like about the defense, though? Apparently the Flyers have used 13 different d-men this year, but have not once called up Danny Syvret: Offensive Dynamo. The only reason the Flyers have lost any games this year is because they've been outscored, and with DS:OD around they would have scored more. Simple math.
- Feel obliged to mention that Jeff Carter has scored 24 goals in 42 games this year. That's not good. That whole trade day was terrible, it must be said. Also, speaking of former Flyers, some of the highlights of the game for me were the brief shots of Marty Biron and Arron Asham. Marty Biron is good people, yo. And Arron Asham hits people and scores a fair amount. Those were good things to have around.
- Flyers are still my team, obviously, and I just hope they get into gear next year. If there was ever a time to make a move--and God knows this team likes making moves--it would seem to have to be this off-season. Find a guy with the energy of Talbot, the hands of Giroux, the hair of Hartnell, the horrifyingly short fuse of Zac Rinaldo, and the dancing of Kevin Marshall. That guy must exist somewhere as a middle first round pick, right?
Questions with Answers
1. How does Brandon Manning and/or Matt Konan perform tonight? LOL like I know who these people are. I'm guessing people call the second guy "Konan the Barbarian," but I say we only call him "Konan the Barbie" until he proves himself in some epic way, and then we rectify the nickname. That sort of shit builds character, goddammit.
2. < insert Steve Mason goalie controversy question here > Having two goalies trying to be the top guy is a good thing. Having Bryz have to prove himself next year with some guy breathing stinky Ohio breath down his neck can only be a good thing.
3. Did the Flyers score all the goals last night in Montreal? No they still managed to score some. Even Erik Gustafsson, who I remember!
4. Lundqvist has played really well lately for NYR. Can the Flyers get to him? Yes, this is basically the same question as the above, but there are six games left in a meaningless season. Deal with it. You're totally just mailing it in Travis so I'm gonna introduce my own question for the readers: DO YOU MISS BEN CIRCLE YES/NO.
Comment of the Night
The other No. 26 would have scored that. #dsod #istillgotit
>> Ben Rothenberg, because I had to
That is all. It's been real yo. Eurovision 2013 starts May 14. Go Flyers.