Do I want to fight the Flyers? Of course. Not a day goes by that I don't think about physically fighting each and every one of the Philadelphia Flyers. The reasons differ, obviously, but the fact remains the same: I would like to challenge them.
The real question emerges when I think about whether or not I'd win a fight against a Flyer. I took it upon myself to chart out the odds.
The main measurement for this is obviously The Intangibles™, which I've summed up in three separate hashtags: #Heart, #Grit, and #Truculence. They all mean about the same, in that I've arbitrarily stuck numbers on players based on my current feelings and my own imagination.
(A final warning: I do not advocate fighting in any circumstances. I certainly do not advocate fighting any of these 23 NHL players, or any NHL player for that matter. I don't know why you'd even consider fighting them. Maybe it's a grudge. I don't know. Just don't fight them. Don't. Seek counseling instead. We can deal with your anger in more productive ways.)
(image credit: Britta, of NWHL Gifs)
End Fight Probability: There is an 88 percent chance that Radko Gudas knocks you out.
Have you seen Radko Gudas? He looks like one of those guys who goes to the police academy to get tased for an adrenaline rush. Just to see if he could handle it. What the fuck. There's such inexplicable anger in his eyes, a barely contained rage. Stay away from Radko Gudas. You'll lose this fight.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 64 percent chance that Brayden Schenn knocks you out.
Brayden Schenn couldn't fight his way out of a tastykake box. He'd win a fight against a blueberry pie, but not against you. Pretty good chance you win this one, I'd say.
End Fight Probability: There is a 9 percent chance that Michael Raffl knocks you out.
Michael Raffl isn't much of a fighter, but he can definitely handle himself in a scrap. And he certainly wouldn't take it easy on you. Even if he was fighting a little kid, he'd still take it super seriously. Raffl would probably win, but not handedly.
End Fight Probability: There is a 23 percent chance that Sean Couturier knocks you out.
Why are you trying to fight Sean Couturier? What's wrong with you? What are you trying to prove here? You need some serious introspection. Don't fight Sean Couturier. He'd win anyhow.
Michael Del Zotto
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 25 percent chance that Michael Del Zotto knocks you out.
Fight Michael Del Zotto immediately. Fight him because he looks the way he does, fight him because he acts the way he does. I don't care. I'd just like to see it. I'd get a ring-side seat for any and all fights against him. Fight Michael Del Zotto.
End Fight Probability: There is an 90 percent chance that Wayne Simmonds knocks you out.
Come on. Even if Wayne Simmonds was operating at roughly a quarter of his otherworldly power, he'd still absolutely rock you. And that's if he was feeling kind. Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 83 percent chance that R.J. Umberger knocks you out.
If you challenged R.J. Umberger to a fight, he'd agree and then promptly fall asleep. Sure, he's probably got some old man strength, but what good would that do if he's busy with his afternoon nap. Fight Umberger. There's nothing to lose.
End Fight Probability: There is a 7 percent chance that Scott Laughton knocks you out.
Young Scooter looks awfully mean, but for as tough as he might look, he's actually very soft. Still, he's probably much stronger than you, so I'd say a fight would be a draw, slight edge to Laughton.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 12 percent chance that Luke Schenn knocks you out.
You might see that percentage and think I'm totally off the mark. And truly, I can see how you'd think that. I mean, Luke Schenn has 32 NHL fights according to hockeyfights. He's clearly not one to shy away from violence. Even still, I'm of the belief that Luke Schenn would actively avoid fighting. He wants to protect his marshmallow center. He'd rather take you out to get froyo and talk out your issues like adults. You could take him, but please choose otherwise. He's a sweet man.
End Fight Probability: There is a 66 percent chance that Brandon Manning knocks you out.
You shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Brandon Manning may permanently look terrified, but holy crap, that guy will fuck up your steeze like no one's business. Be careful with what you say around Manning. You don't know what might set him off.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 39 percent chance that Matt Read knocks you out.
Matt Read is a new dad. If you were threatening the livelihood of his family, perhaps I would skew this fight in the opposite direction. However, I'm basing this on normal circumstances. Therefore, I firmly believe that you could handle beef with Matt Read. (Make sure Wayne Simmonds isn't around, though. He doesn't like people picking on Matt.)
End Fight Probability: There is a 100 percent chance that Ryan White knocks you out.
What the fuck are you thinking? Ryan White is the DMX of the Flyers. He doesn't give a shit about you. He doesn't give a shit about anything! He's a wild horse: you absolutely cannot tame him, he'll freak out if you sneak up on him, and he will probably end up killing you by kicking you in the head. If you see Ryan White walking towards you, cross the dang street. Matter of fact, get in your car and leave. Actually, just move to a new city while you're at it. You don't need that danger in your life.
End Fight Probability: There is a 40 percent chance that Claude Giroux knocks you out.
Sober Claude Giroux would either try and weasel his way out of trouble, or he'd settle things rather quickly. Drunk Claude Giroux has gone to jail for much, much less.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 72 percent chance that Michal Neuvirth knocks you out.
Michal Neuvirth is new in town, and he's trying to make friends. Not only would he actively avoid fighting you, he'd probably bake you cookies to convince you he's a good dude. Don't be a brat. Accept the friendship cookies. Accept love into your heart.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 38 percent chance that Mark Streit knocks you out.
Mark Streit has mentally retired to a villa in the South of France by now. He's not trying to square up against anyone,especially not in his older years. He's trying to chillax with a nice Bordeaux and watch the sun set. I wouldn't blame you if you joined him. It's lovely this time of year.
End Fight Probability: There is a 55 percent chance that Steve Mason knocks you out.
Steve Mason cares so much about things that all the passion is practically pouring out of his ears. If he wants to fight you, he's gonna do a dang good job of it. Just be friends with him. Harness his power for good.
End Fight Probability: There is a 47 percent chance that Vinny Lecavalier knocks you out.
Fighting Vinny Lecavalier would be like fighting an old junkyard dog. He was a lot more spry a few years ago, before he was past his prime. Now, he's bitter and angry and more than willing to bite at the first thing to challenge him. He's old, sure, but he's also got more reason to throw down than you do. He's The Beast from The Sandlot. This is one ball you're not getting back, Benny. Hard pass.
End Fight Probability: There is a 56 percent chance that Nick Schultz knocks you out.
Nick Schultz continues to be a mystery to me, but he's big and he looks a little like Frankenstein's monster, so...best to stay away, I'd bet.
End Fight Probability: There is a 26 percent chance that Chris Vandevelde knocks you out.
Chris Vandevelde would kick the shit out of you, but you'd be so lost in his dreamy eyes that you wouldn't even care.
End Fight Probability: There is a 13 percent chance that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare knocks you out.
Peebs is like that guy at the bar that you see quietly enjoying a nice IPA, being respectful, and tipping the bartender well. Then, when some douchebro starts a fight with a girl over a rejected advance, he steps in and ends that shit. Real quick. He's a hero, and heroes always win.
End Fight Probability: There is a 76 percent chance that Evgeny Medvedev knocks you out.
In Soviet Russia, defenseman beats YOU. Big fat nyet on this guy.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative 46 percent chance that Sam Gagner knocks you out.
You could be in the middle of a fight with Sam Gagner, and he will have already forgotten 1) what you're fighting about, and 2) that you're fighting at all. Once that happens, it should be easy to take him out.
End Fight Probability: There is a 68 percent chance that Jakub Voracek knocks you out.
Voracek would destroy you, and you'd thank him for it. He is the sun, beautiful and powerful. If you stare at him for too long, he's gonna frick up your vision. No dice.
(Credit obviously goes to Shea Serrano, from whom I totally ripped this idea. His hilarious Grantland article is a must-read and is much better than this article. )